Halloween marketing will soon be on overdrive (you know this if you’ve been anywhere near a grocery store or pharmacy recently). So it’s time to get your local business in on the action. After all, by the very nature of trick-or-treating, Halloween is all about bringing the neighborhood together.
Here are some fun Halloween marketing ideas for small businesses.
1. Dress up your store
You don’t have to be selling costumes to deck out your store for Halloween. Try spooking things up with a Halloween-themed window display. If you’re a retail store, for example, style your window with orange-and-black outfits. If you’re a hair salon, put up a cutout of Elvira or Wednesday Addams with a Happy Halloween message. A bit of Halloween goes a long way in letting your customers know you have a sense of whimsy, which helps make your brand more endearing.
And don’t forget the pumpkins. Venture away from the generic jack-o-lantern and instead carve something related to your business. If you’re a beer hall, for example, maybe you do up an “I love beer” quote. It’ll require skills, yes, but impressive pumpkin art is social media candy for passersby (hey, free marketing).
2. Host an event
The question “What should we do for Halloween?” will soon be on people’s minds. Answer their call by hosting an event at your shop. A costume party is always a no-brainer (don’t forget the dry ice), but you could also do something a little more creative. If you’re a nail salon, maybe host Halloween-themed nail art lessons. If you’re a makeup studio, do the same with costume-themed makeup.
But whatever you do, be sure to get the word out early so people can plan for it (and invite their friends). Promote your event via Square’s email marketing tools, and also trumpet it from social media. Getting the event on people’s radars may also land you on one of those “What to do for Halloween” lists that local media outlets will no doubt be publishing in the coming weeks.
3. Halloween-ize your store items
The start of chilly weather means that fall flavors are on people’s minds. (Evidence: pumpkin-spiced latte mayhem). Think about what types of items you can offer to help people get in the Halloween state of mind. If you’re a bar, spice up your drink menu with Halloween cocktails (witches brew, anyone?). If you’re a restaurant, offer a Halloween-themed dinner (here’s some inspiration). If you’re a bakery, whip up some Halloween cookies (think office parties).
This is especially important in the days leading up to Halloween (and day of), since people are in a festive mood. Be sure to let people know that you’ll have these things on tap. Social media is a great way to promote your Halloween-themed product offerings. Snap a picture of your item and post it to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. A fun hashtag gets you bonus points (aka more likes). You can also let people know about your Halloween items through Square Customer Engagement, which has a built-in email marketing template for announcements.
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4. Offer specials or deals
Halloween-themed deals are a perfect opportunity to get more foot traffic and clients. An enticing, timely offer gives people a reason to choose your store over others. Think about offering discounts for items or services that will get people Halloween-ready. Square’s email marketing tool has a template specifically tailored towards discounts and promotions, which makes this easy.
5. Dress up
Another photo op ripe for social media: a dressed-up staff. To take it to the next level and do it around a theme. If you’re a salon, for example, it’s time to do up some crazy hair. Marge Simpson, Cher, and David Bowie (that is, Labyrinth David Bowie) are always solid options. If you’re a bakery, maybe get your employees to dress up like the Swedish chef from The Muppets.
6. Trick-or-treat it out
Now is the perfect time to bring the neighborhood together. Families (especially in cities) are always on the lookout for fun and safe places to trick-or-treat. Make your block the go-to destination by banding together with other stores to host family-friendly neighborhood trick-or-treating. Get spirited, though — decorate the street in a creative way and ensure that all participating stores have something fun and different to offer. Well before the festivities, market the event to your customers with Square’s email marketing tools.
Hopefully these ideas get your creative juices flowing. But we want to see what you’ve got. Post a picture of what your store is doing for Halloween (be sure to tag us), and we’ll give you a shoutout.