Five tricks to improve your marketing strategy for Halloween

VB Hospitality marketing manager Amy Spooner offers advice for drawing in the horror-loving crowd.

Halloween has long since spread from its confines of America, now being enjoyed universally by people of all ages. Despite not quite being the rambunctious display of haunting frivolity that you might find on the night of October 31st in the US, Halloween is still celebrated by many here in the UK.

Whether that’s by children donning the classic bed sheet, excitedly trick or treating around their neighbourhood, or by the older generation, enjoying a spooky night in with a few horror films and some Halloween themed popcorn, our fascination with all-things scary has only become more prominent.

No matter who’s celebrating, and what they’re doing, it’s undeniable that a huge proportion of the hype experienced in the month leading up to Halloween is due to the various creative marketing strategies implemented by businesses. Some simply doll up their shop window with classic cobwebs, pumpkins and cackling faces, providing a little more interest in their wares for the passing shopper.

Others take to social media, creating appropriately festive hashtags whilst advertising their exclusive Halloween themed goods to the world. Meanwhile, hospitality businesses will feel added pressure to incorporate this holiday; we’re all obsessed with Halloween food so if that’s your focus, you’re in for one hell of a ride!

Halloween decorating should not be overlooked; this can creatively set your business apart from your competitors.

1. Interact with your following
Social media has already been established as the quintessential method of spreading your spooky word across the nation, and indeed, the globe! However, it’s important to remember that social media is a two-way street; it’s the best way to engage with your following and create a buzz, meaning you too need to interact with your followers. Not only should you advertise any festive feasts, treats, deals or products that you produce, but you must engage with the public! Perhaps by hosting an online ‘free meal’ contest to give but one example. An idea like this can spark a lot of excitement from the public, especially if the opportunity to win a prize is presented.

Be sure to develop some appropriate hashtags for any online campaign you create. Something memorable, catchy, and maybe with some clever word play that links your business during the spookiest of seasons will boost your target audience’s interest.

2. Offer Halloween deals and discounts
Nothing gets the public more stirred up than the opportunity to jump on a good deal! Sometimes all you need to stir the crowd up into a frenzy is a 2-for-1 deal on selected drinks, but you could go further than that by collaborating with local event organisers to create Halloween-themed opportunities for your patrons. This strategy will spread the name of your brand throughout the local area, you can also advertise it across your social platforms, tagging anyone you collaborate with! You’ll soon see your business naturally reaching a larger audience.

3. Focus on email marketing
It’s imperative to focus on your email marketing, proving to your already loyal subscriber fan base that you hold them in high regard. Such high regard, in fact, that you’re prepared to offer them an exclusive Halloween package deal; for example, a unique Autumnal feast for the family, or a comfortable night’s stay in your hotel, with room service and Halloween activities included!

Release a steady flow of engaging content to your following and make sure to end the thread of elite advertising with a final call-to-action; making it clear that this exciting and limited offer is about to end.

4. Branded treats without the trick
A simple, but no less appropriate and effective marketing strategy, that’s perfect to implement around Halloween, is the distribution of small treats or festive souvenirs emblazoned with your branding. This kind of freebie is sure to cause a positive buzz, and the addition of your branding will keep it memorable, getting the public intrigued about what else you have to offer.

5. Give the public what they want
It isn’t difficult to judge what Halloween fanatics will respond to, so whilst it’s important to be independently creative and stand out in your marketing strategies, it’s also paramount to represent the horror-fuelled holiday in a way that spook-fans will appreciate and relate to. Perhaps incorporate the faces of some iconic and current horror icons into your baked goods, or integrate some classic Halloween decorations into the decor of your lobby.

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