According to the National Retail Foundation, Halloween 2011 is poised to be one of the biggest Halloweens for business in nine years with approximately 70% of consumers indicating they plan on celebrating it this year. In fact, I recently heard that Halloween is quickly becoming one of the most popular holidays in America, second only to Christmas. Don’t miss out on this huge opportunity to market your business this Halloween. Here are 9 Halloween marketing ideas from other small business owners across the US. Use one of these to jump-start your ideas for your own Halloween marketing.
- Host a Costume Exchange– National Costume Swap Day was started in 2010 by Corey Colwell-Lipson the Founder of Green Halloween. And while the official “Costume Swap Day” is over, you can still host your own or plan on hosting one for next year. Invite people to bring last year’s costume and trade for a new one.
- Have a Green Halloween Event– And while we’re on the subject, why not have a Green Halloween Event? Instead of giving away the usual candy, why not offer healthy treats and invite people to trick or treat at your business?
- Have a Halloween Themed Contest– Halloween themed contests are very popular and there are no end to the possibilities both online and offline. Pauline Perenack, Marketing Manager for RES.NET, a company that provides services and software for the real estate industry says, “For Halloween this year, we have hidden monsters throughout our membership portal, offering a prize drawing for each monster found. The purpose of the contest is to drive brand recognition, as well as membership purchases/renewals.” Another company, Fat Wallet.com, put together a video about the ghosts in their building and are having a contest for people to win the “Ghost Hunting Equipment” that was used to make the video.
- Sell Halloween Themed Products- Omaha, Nebraska, hardware store, Westlake Ace Hardware, takes the Halloween theme to extreme this year by selling products to help consumers “zombie-proof” their homes even going so far as to create a “Zombie Preparedness Center” on their website. This unusual Halloween marketing idea has created so much buzz that even national media are talking about them.
- Have a “Punkin Chunkin” Event– Alisa Bennett, President of People at Play, in East Bradenton, Florida; an experiential adventure program that allows participants to run heavy construction equipment such as excavators, skid steer loaders and bulldozers in a fun “construction site” environment, says that the “Punkin Chunkin’ Package” includes time operating a CATERPILLAR 312 Steel Track Excavator through a fun challenge course, followed by the opportunity to smash a dozen (12) large, orange, ripe pumpkins using the Excavator bucket. You don’t have to own a heavy equipment playground to have your own “Punkin Chunkin” event.
- Charity Photo Costume Event– Benjamin Weatherston’s company, Photo Studio Group in Ann Arbor, Michigan is giving people a free photo of their child in their Halloween costume in exchange for a food donation.
- Make Your Place a Trick-or-Treat Stop– Pizza Marketing Expert Scott Anthony says that pizzerias (or any business) can invite the public to visit your business on Halloween to receive a special “treat” and get a picture taken with your mascot (a costumed employee). You can then e-mail them a copy of their photo. Of course, you will need to get their email address to send them the photo and in doing so, you will be building your database so that you can email them throughout the year.
- Hold a Pumpkin Festival- You can purchase pumpkins in bulk from a local farmer and have your own pumpkin festival. And if you don’t have a retail location, why not have a virtual pumpkin festival on your website, your blog or on Twitter or Facebook?
- Give Away Halloween-Related Freebies– Want to get more traffic to your website? Then give away Halloween themed freebies such as pumpkin carving templates, Halloween costume ideas, or Halloween party planning tips. Disney Family.com has even gone so far as to have 31 days of Halloween providing free pumpkin carving stencils, craft ideas, recipes, and more. Make your freebie appropriate to your business. (That’s why I’m writing Halloween-related marketing tips.) Invite visitors to sign up for your email newsletter to receive more valuable freebies.
These are just a few of the best Halloween marketing ideas that I found. What are yours? Share them here along with your business link, we love to hear from you!!