The summer is finally, ending which means that the weather is cooling down and that the fall's almost here, which also means it's time for companies to start thinking about their autumnal marketing efforts. One good occasion to inspire digital marketing for the fall is Halloween.
Halloween is a holiday that's full of color, fun, and spirit (no pun intended), and using it as a springboard for promotional efforts gives you a huge source of inspiration to draw from.
If you want to use Halloween as your inspiration for marketing campaign this fall, and you want your efforts to pay off big time, keep in mind the following tips. Companies have used these in the past to celebrate the spirit of the holiday and attract people who want to purchase from their brand.
1. Create a Holiday-Specific App or Platform to Improve the Celebration
In order to get into the spirit of Halloween, create a branded Halloween-specific app or platform that can entertain or engage people.
That way, people will be drawn to play with or use your Halloween app, and they'll be reminded to interact more with your brand.
Halloween is a particularly good occasion to create an app because the holiday is associated with fun and it easily inspires a game. Mobile games are popular, and they have accounted for 37% of all gaming revenue for game markets annually.
Alternatively, it's also an occasion that requires people to purchase or make things, which gives you an opportunity to create a useful platform that people can engage with to accomplish their goals.
Target did this well with their Treatster mobile site. They created an mobile website that allows people to submit information about the best houses for trick-or-treating in their neighborhood. The app is updated in real time, then kids can make sure they go to the house that will give them the best candy.
Another brand that created a successful holiday-related platform is Cheetos, who launched the Pumpkinator in 2015.
For each week leading up to Halloween, people could decorate a digital jack-o-lantern, then submit that entry to a contest via the website or using Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter with the #CheetosHalloweenEntry hashtag. Each winner received a chance to win prizes in a drawing.
2. Promote Discounts for the Holiday On Social Platforms and via Email
Create a promotion for Halloween that offers a discount for people who show up to your brick and mortar store in their Halloween costume on the holiday. Then, post about that promotion regularly on your social channels in the weeks before the holiday. This will encourage shares and visits to your social profiles.
One company that has done this successfully is Chipotle, who hosts an annually Boorito campaign. They post about the Boorito Campaign on Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms, which offers a $3 burrito any customer who comes into their store wearing their Halloween costume.
3. Spookify Your Ad Creative
When it comes to infusing Halloween into your ads effectively, you can do this easily by infusing Halloween theming into your ad creative.
There are specific visual cues that people associate with Halloween, and by incorporating these into your ad design or visual content, you can immediately evoke the season for people.
Here are some simple ways you can make your ad creative feel Halloween themed:
• Use orange and black for the major colors in the ad.
• Incorporate Halloween-related images, like a black cat, pumpkin, bat, vampire, or spider web
• If your ad is video-based or interactive, consider incorporating Halloween music, like "Monster Mash" or the "Ghostbusters" theme. (Make sure you get the rights to the songs before you use them!)
If you're looking for some simple, straightforward of Halloween ad creatives that work, check out these Halloween banner ads from popular brands that were used for Halloweens of the past.
4. Create a Costume Contest and Brand Hashtag on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter
People love dressing up for Halloween. Take advantage of that enthusiasm and host a costume contest via social platforms such as Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.
Create your own hashtag and then have people post their best costumes using the hashtag.
Set a deadline, then when the deadline passes, choose the costume that you like the best. Reward the winner with a discount, free item/service, or promotion on your own social pages.
PetSmart did this well – but for animals! Their #monstercute campaign in 2014 encouraged people to take pictures of their animals dressed as monsters, and it awarded the best with free goods from the company.
When October rolls around, people are ready to get into the Halloween spirit. Tap into that excitement and infuse Halloween theming into your online marketing.
You can use the occasion as an opportunity to get creative with your efforts, and you can create memorable ads campaigns about the holiday that will have people talking year-round, looking forward to see what you come up with next Halloween.