Seasonal shifts in business are the norm for much of the retailer and restaurant industry. Summer tourism and winter holidays result in revenue spikes for seasonal sensitive products and services.

For most, Black Friday or the day after Thanksgiving, marks the lead off for holiday advertising. However, with digital marketing becoming more of a focus for larger brands, Cyber Monday has stolen all of the glory. Cyber Monday also kicks off the beginning of the e-commerce Christmas season.

History proves Christmas has always been huge for business, but what might fly under the radar is exactly how huge the Halloween holiday is.

In 2015, it is estimated that more than 171 million Americans spent $82.93 per person on candy, costumes and home decorations. The result sends the total spend on Halloween well north of $5 Billion, a truly phenomenal sum.

Paid social media posts offer a tremendous way to engage your target audience and turn your marketing efforts into a conversation or better yet an experience. This is especially true for Halloween, which the majority of your audience will celebrate in some form or fashion. Halloween provides a perfect opportunity to get your target audience to talk about and engage with your brand and product line.

To guarantee you reach a level of success it is important to consider a very strategic approach. Here are 6 ways you can incorporate Halloween into your paid media marketing.

1. Run A Halloween Photo Contest

For millions of Americans, Halloween means exactly one thing: dressing up. Costume parties and trick or treating is not just popular among families with small children, but adults of all ages — in fact, an estimated 157 Americans dressed up for the day last year. So how can you tap into the excitement? You could start by running a photo contest on social media. Encourage your viewers to submit their costumed photos for a brand-new brand-related prize. If you would like to scale this approach you could formulate a landing page that allows users to vote for the winner, which will maximize engagement by prompting additional social shares.

2. Join In Popular Hashtags

As October 31 approaches, more and more users will begin to share their thoughts on the day, spooky movies, or costume parties under popular hashtags like #Halloween, #oct31, and so on. Your goal should be to join these hashtags with tweets, posts, and updates related to the countless relative and on-brand conversations. That last part, though, is crucial. Arbitrarily inserting yourself into conversations if your content doesn’t match up can actually drive negative attention toward your business. Instead, only seek out hashtags and post content that fits your brand.

3. Take On New Angles Regarding Visuals

What makes traditional scary movies so recognizable? More often than not, in addition to the music, it’s the camera angles and lighting. The flashlight-from-below example of that statement is iconic, and instantly gets viewers in the right mood. To be successful with paid media, visuals matter. During the weeks before Halloween, begin to experiment with angles on these visuals that closely relate to popular spooky movies. Handheld, shaky videos, low lighting, and off angles can all have a spooky effect that position your images and videos for the season.

4. Deploy A Mysterious Count Down

Countdowns are a great way to get your target audience excited about an upcoming event or product release. If you do it just right, you can generate attention and engagement simply by leveraging curiosity. This could be a special sales event, a new product release, or anything else your audience may get excited about. Don’t tell them about it as the countdown starts, but give them continuous clues that encourage guessing.

5. Create a Video

Custom video production can be costly and time-consuming, but Halloween marketing could be the perfect platform to generate a significant ROI.

6. Don’t forget about the power of visual content

Once you’ve gathered all of that visual content from your competition, put it to good use and create some images and collages to share on each of your channels. Visual content is a big deal on the free side of social media.

Holidays like Halloween offer marketers the perfect opportunity to engage an audience with timely messages and promotions on social media — but to be successful, you have to carefully and strategically plan out your efforts well ahead of time.

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