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7 Wickedly Wonderful Marketing Tips for Halloween

Halloween kicks off a long holiday season for retailers, restaurants and other small businesses. For many people, it's also the proper start to fall, and they want everything that that entails. Even if your local business doesn't seem to fit with either of these themes, you have many creative ways to market your business during Halloween.

Bring Out the Pumpkins

Pumpkin spices, colors, decorations and shapes dominate this time of year. It's time to figure out how to work this Halloween favorite into your marketing plan. Sponsoring a pumpkin carving contest or showing off your employees' creations are two ways to incorporate this into any small business. Of course, if you deal with food or drinks, you have to have something pumpkin-themed on the menu. These limited-time offerings can be fall-themed if Halloween doesn't quite fit what your target audience is looking for.

Invite Trick or Treaters Into Your Business

Your business may not cater specifically to young children, but you do want to get the attention of the adults who often accompany them. If you're in a well-populated commercial area or mall, you can work together with other local businesses to create a safe trick or treat path that gets a lot of traffic to your location.

When you're putting together the treats, consider creating a bag that offers something for everyone. For example, you can put in chocolates and candy for standard options. Add in gifts for the kids who may face allergies or dietary restrictions, as well as a toy for those who truly can't eat any offering. Their parents will appreciate you going on the extra mile and considering all the small details.

Highlight Your Halloween Products

Your Halloween products should be front and center in your advertising in September, if not sooner. People want to have their costumes and party logistics handled well in advance, so it helps to aim for an early unveiling of what you have to offer. If you're wondering whether you're pushing Halloween items too soon, go to a craft store and see whether they're jumping on the holiday yet. They typically get a bit of a head start over other businesses since they sell supplies for DIY crafts, which may take more time. You also want to consider what's typical for your particular market. Restaurants may run Halloween promotions the week of Halloween, while retail stores need to get started much sooner.

Show Some Personality

Halloween gives you the opportunity to show some more personality than normal. Everyone is taking on another persona for the night through their costumes, so you have some leeway to work in some transformations of your own.

You can have some fun while still coming off as professional with this strategy. After all, it's not every day that your employees get to come in as their favorite cartoon characters, reimagining of Hollywood monsters, or with bright and bold makeup.

Transform Your Business Into Halloween Central

Do you have a customer base that really gets into Halloween? Don't be afraid to turn your business into a Halloween mecca for your clients. Put together haunted house-themed decor to really get people into the holiday spirit.

Let your employees show off their favorite costumes and embrace the spooky side of things. While this approach is easier when you have a lot of products for the holidays, you can make it work with restaurants, retail stores and even grocery stores. For example, you can put Halloween-themed recipes around a grocery store to give customers ideas for party food.

For restaurants, a Halloween catering service or spooky delivery would be a perfect match for people who want to focus on hosting their parties. You can always find a creative way to implement Halloween into your company.

Offer Branded Candy to Other Businesses

If it doesn't make sense to host Halloween festivities at your business location, consider leveraging other companies instead. Send branded candy bowls around to organizations and stores in your area. When they host their own trick or treat events, you get the brand face time that you're looking for.

This option works great for restaurants and grocery stores, since you're already working with food. Try to highlight some of the best candy or desserts that you have available so you can entice people to become regular customers.

Halloween Bundles

You don't need Halloween-themed products to pull off a holiday bundle. Look through your product and service lines to see which ones make the most sense for the fall season. Pull them together in a limited-time offer that generates a lot of attention from your audience. You can also drive demand by leveraging the fear of missing out (FOMO) that is often present in younger demographics. They won't have a chance to get a Halloween bundle for a year after your promotion, and that can compel some people to make the purchase.

Halloween is a fun holiday that offers an easy entry into the often--hectic end-of-the-year season. Take the opportunity to really embrace the options and flexibility that it gives you. You can show off your company's creativity through your decor, custom product offerings or branded candy.

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