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Fun and safe Halloween marketing ideas for your small business

October 15, 2021
Written by Nextdoor Editorial Team
October 15, 2021 | Written by Nextdoor Editorial Team

This October, while the neighborhood kids are trying on their costumes and dreaming of candy, you may be thinking about how your small business can make the most of Halloween. While you're ideating ways to grow your business, don’t let this holiday pass you by without having a little fun.

How? By embracing these Halloween marketing ideas. If you don’t know how to put together a Halloween marketing campaign, this blog post can help.

From store designs to digital outreach, get creative with your marketing and show your customers a little bit of your spooky side. Read on for the best Halloween marketing ideas to bring more customers to your door.

Throw a Halloween party

There’s always a reason to celebrate, and Halloween is no exception. You can become the toast of the town by throwing an event that your customers will be lining up for this spooky season.

Whether you rent out a banquet hall, host an event at a local bar, or bring guests into your own location, a Halloween party is an opportunity to familiarize more customers with your business, while having fun. With some festive decorations, Halloween candy, and costumes, you'll be able to host the perfect event for shoppers this holiday season.

Consider adding these events to your Halloween party to attract more guests and create a more memorable event:

  • Costume contest – The best dressed deserve to be rewarded. Encourage your guests to dress up as anything from Frankenstein to felines, and have a team of volunteer judges choose the best costume. Encourage guests to come back to your business by giving  away gift cards.
  • Pumpkin carving – A classic seasonal activity, bring some pumpkins to your party and give kids and adults the opportunity to make the best jack-o-lantern. Whether they’re going freehand or following an outline, pumpkin carving is an essential part of Halloween.
  • Monster-mash dance-off – What would a party be without music? Encourage the attendees to bust a move on the dance floor to the spooky anthems of Halloween. No Halloween party could be complete without a ghoulish dance-off and a few groovy moves.

Throw a Halloween party to market yourself directly to your customers and give them something to remember for the rest of the year. If you can play host for the evening, you may end up benefiting from an increase in sales for the busy holiday months to come.

Organize a local business trick-or-treat

While you might want to do it before the 31st of October, a local business trick-or-treat can be a strategic way to engage with families, join in the Halloween fun, and market yourself all at once.

The premise is pretty straightforward. Partner with several nearby businesses for families to trick-or-treat at during the weekend leading up to Halloween. The trick-or-treaters and their parents can visit your businesses, collect Halloween candy, and have a fun day out with their neighbors celebrating the Halloween season.

If you’re wondering how to put together a local business trick-or-treat day, follow these steps:

  • Team up – This event takes more than one business to pull off, so reach out to your neighbors. If you have a member account on Nextdoor, use it to easily connect with your whole community and find other local businesses to join in the festivities.
  • Set up – Organize your store to make it clear from the outside that you’re one of the designated trick-or-treat stops. Since you’re organizing the event, it might make sense to have it begin or end at your business.
  • Offer something unique – Candy and treats are definitely essential to this event, but you should also consider offering something related to your business as well. If you’re a brewery, be sure to have some pints poured for the parents. If you make candles, offer some samples to the families that stop in. Find a way to get your business on the mind of all those who come by. Branded treats are a great Halloween promotion idea that will keep shoppers coming back for more. 

While trick-or-treating is an activity aimed at kids, parents often appreciate and remember when a small business does something for the family. By putting this event together you’re not only keeping your business on their minds, but you’re also creating positive associations with your brand that can pay off in the long run.

Put on a spooky scavenger hunt

Before the weather gets too chilly, bring your community together outside for a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt. Find a large open space and invite neighbors to follow the Halloween-themed clues to discover the prizes.

Consider incorporating these aspects to your scavenger hunt to encourage turnout and get the word out, including:

  • Charity – You can sell tickets to your scavenger hunt to raise money for charity, allowing you and everyone to attend to give back to the community. Take Susan Cioffi, a Riverview Florida realtor, for example. She designed a fundraiser to offer support to newly housed people. You can choose the organization that aligns with your brand’s mission or even start laying the framework needed to start a charity of your own.
  • Branded prizes – Add a little bit of your business into the scavenger hunt by having participants look for branded goods associated with your business. That way, every time another clue is found, it’s another connection to you. Make it an even bigger community event by partnering with other nearby businesses to donate prizes.

The most important aspect of putting together a scavenger hunt is directly interfacing with the attendees and potential clientele. Use this opportunity to make a memory, create community bonds, and have fun with customers, new and old alike. 

Design a scary store

Don’t hesitate to bring Halloween into your actual business. Customers often appreciate seeing the effort of seasonal decorations, and may even be more excited to visit your business once it’s been redecorated.

A few ways to redesign your space to celebrate the season include:

  • The Halloween display – If you have a front display window for your business, it’s the perfect location to show your Halloween spirit off to everyone who passes by. Fill your display window with pumpkins, scarecrows, and all manners of ghostly cardboard cutouts. Go all-in on your display and you might find people stopped in their tracks, admiring your hard work.
  • A frighteningly fun interior – Don’t stop at the exterior, bring the Halloween decorations inside your business. Decorate your walls with your favorite Halloween images and make something striking for your customers to take selfies in front of.
  • Don’t ignore the digital store – Your digital storefront can be just as important as your physical one. Add a dash of Halloween flourish to your website and you might see more clicks, more sales, and more revenue from all your hard digital work.

If you can, add a touch of Halloween spirit in your products - from pumpkin-flavored beer to ghost-themed apparel. Also, consider offering a special deal to your customers. Harkins Theatres in Denver, Colorado, for example, capitalizes on the season to offer October Fright Nights. Throughout the entire month, they fill up their calendar with classic horror flicks which customers can come to watch and be completely spooked at a discounted price. Get creative and offer your own promotion for the whole month of October.

Bring the Halloween spirit online

If your business is mainly conducted online, it’s doubly important that you keep your marketing evolving throughout the fall season and into the winter.

Here’s how your business can prepare for this rise in online shopping and how you can create a Halloween-themed digital presence while doing so:

  • "Spookifying" your social media – Bring Halloween into your social media posts with images and hashtags that will captivate those who are looking forward to the holiday. There’s no right way to capture the essence of Halloween, so try embracing your scary side with a wide array of messages that will bring more eyes to your business’s social media pages.
  • A digital Halloween campaign – From ghostly banner ads to ghoulish search engine marketing, you can cater your online ad designs to align with the scariest time of the year. Not only will it act to revitalize your ad campaign, but it will also show your customers you’re keeping up with the season and keyed into the present.
  • Writing a seasonal newsletter – Sometimes it’s helpful to communicate with your customers in the long-form. A seasonal newsletter can help you talk about everything that’s going on at your business, from your latest deals to your new Halloween-related products. Dust off your writer’s cap and start putting your thoughts into words. It could turn out to be a hit and leave your customers looking forward to a newsletter every month.

While some aspects of business might feel predictable or unchanging, your online marketing and branding can be flexible, changing and reacting to the season. Reach as many customers as possible by tailoring your messaging and keeping things fresh and fun.

The Best of Halloween is On Nextdoor

With a new set of Halloween marketing ideas, get excited to start setting out pumpkins and ghosts and preparing for a new wave of customers.

There’s no better way to directly reach your community to let them know what you have up your sleeve than on  Nextdoor. Claim your free business page and start connecting with neighbors as excited as you are about your seasonal offerings. 

This Halloween is the perfect time to start connecting with your neighbors on Nextdoor—don’t be scared.

 

Sources: 

Osprey Observer. Realtors Host Poker Night To Support Holiday Giving. https://www.ospreyobserver.com/2021/09/realtors-host-poker-night-to-support-holiday-giving/ 

Springfield News-Leader. Bawi Korean BBQ in Springfield continues to celebrate Korean War veterans with free lunch. https://www.news-leader.com/story/news/2021/06/22/springfield-korean-barbecue-restaurant-gives-free-meals-to-veterans-war-missouri-restaurant-food/7769498002/ 

Boston Agent Magazine. Esin Susol. https://bostonagentmagazine.com/2021/08/16/esin-susol/ 

KCRG. Local business prepares for more people to do their holiday shopping online.
https://www.kcrg.com/2021/09/22/local-business-prepares-more-people-do-their-holiday-shopping-online/


Claim your free Business Page to get started on Nextdoor. For resources on how to use Nextdoor to stay connected with your local customers, pertinent news affecting businesses, and more, follow us at @nextdoorbusiness on Facebook.


Claim your free Business Page to get started on Nextdoor. For resources on how to use Nextdoor to stay connected with your local customers, pertinent news affecting business, and more, follow us at @nextdoorbusiness on Facebook

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