Home Ad trends Halloween Marketing Ideas: Crafting Spooky Promotions 

Halloween Marketing Ideas: Crafting Spooky Promotions 

by Chisom Maduonuorah

Halloween is a popular event that takes hold on October 31st of every year. It’s a celebration in remembrance of the dead observed in many countries, especially North American ones. 

Every Halloween celebration is accompanied by a consumerist boom. People spend billions of dollars annually on Halloween-related activities, presenting an opportunity for businesses to get high sales. This article will explain Halloween marketing ideas that you can adopt for your business and capitalize on this opportunity.

Stats to help you plan your best Halloween campaign

Do people still wait for Halloween? When is it reasonable to start your campaign? Do men shop less than women on Halloween? Here are important statistics to note about Halloween marketing:

  • Total Halloween spending for the U.S. alone topped $10 billion in 2022, up 5% from the previous year, including $3 billion for Halloween candy and $3.6 billion on costumes. The average American had a $100.45 budget for Halloween-themed supplies in 2022.
  • 35- to 44-year-olds are the biggest-spending cohort for Halloween, budgeting an average of $149.34. Celebrants aged 65 and older were the least likely to spend money on Halloween.
  • 148 million Americans celebrate Halloween every year.
  • According to the National Retail Federation, the leading budget allocations for Halloween are Costumes at 34%, Decor at 31%, Candy at 30%, and greeting cards at 5%.
  • Depending on your target audience, September is usually the best time to start your Halloween marketing, but don’t be afraid! You still have time till the night of October 31st.
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When should you start marketing for Halloween?

When it comes to marketing holidays, we like to work with data. So, let’s go straight to the source to learn when the Halloween “rushes” begin.

For Halloween blog posts and general interest

When it comes to Halloween marketing, people have different “intents.” Some people are looking for ways to raise awareness and attract seasonal traffic. Food or family-style bloggers, authors writing articles, and other categories of publishers fall into this category. This will take longer to prepare, get on people’s calendars, or get indexed in search engines like Google. According to Google, Halloween searches begin at the end of August and early September. Pinterest says it starts in August and ends in November.

For lead generation (Sweepstakes campaigns)

This niche is the closest to the “deadline.” It is better to catch users when they’re pre-warmed by Halloween sales and taken aback by the mood of the holiday.

For software and utility ads

Halloween won’t be a flagship event here, but you still can engage users to install your apps and partake in free trials by Halloween-izing your ads and making them totally captivating (see all tricks further on).

Adsterra is well-suited for software and utility ads. Our platform gives you access to hundreds of high-quality publishers in this niche, letting you reach the perfect audience.

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For eCommerce and Halloween shopping

If you’re selling Halloween decorations, costumes, or food, you’ll want to be visible when people make plans for the holiday. The search term “Halloween Costumes” peaked in September rather than August, whereas “Halloween Decor” started in August but peaked in September and October. Knowing this information for a specific product type is useful for determining when to promote your items and drive traffic to your website.

Tips for Halloween season sales
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For services business

Service businesses will enjoy Halloween as well, but don’t expect a huge increase in sales as a result. It’s more about personalizing your brand and connecting with your customers. You can “record” your enjoyable activities as you prepare for the holiday. Make some Instagram or Facebook stories about your holiday costume selection. Take a quick photo of you taking your child pumpkin shopping or your house designed with witches and pumpkins!

Halloween marketing ideas and examples

Halloween Hashtags

Pinterest, X (Twitter), and Instagram are the three most popular social media platforms that heavily use hashtags (LinkedIn appears to be among them, so it’s worth putting them in there).

  • #halloween
  • #halloween2023
  • #happyhalloween
  • #halloweendecor
  • #halloweencostume
  • #halloweenmakeup
  • #trickotreat
  • #pumpkin
  • #scary
  • #spooky
  • #halloweenparty
  • #jackolantern

Halloween graphics for social media

Using alt tags in your social media Halloween posts is a good way to appear on people’s Explore feeds. You may not be aware that algorithms read our posts and use our words and hashtags to decide what to show our followers. The best part is that you can pick a fun, obviously “Halloweeny” picture to “celebrate” Halloween.

Launch a user-generated campaign

You can host contests to get free marketing from your customers. For example, if you sell Halloween costumes, you can start a campaign for users to show off your costumes on social media. The winners will get additional free costumes or a gift card to buy any item on your website. 

These contests help spread the word about your brand organically, and you can get many more customers.

Example-of-a-Halloween-themed contest from a cosmetic-brand
Example of a Halloween-themed contest from a cosmetic brand
Source: ShortStack
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Write Halloween-themed blog posts

You can write blog posts relating your niche to Halloween celebrations. For example, a cookware brand can write about recipes for Halloween-themed dishes. The idea is to rank high on search engines when people query for Halloween-themed foods. Search engines can drive people to your blog posts, some of whom will convert into customers.

In the above example, the cookware brand can link to its utensils and kitchen equipment in the article. For example, “Put the mix in a blender,” where “blender” includes a link to a specific blender the cookware company sells. This idea applies to other types of businesses and brands.

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Display Halloween-themed discounts on your website

You can insert Pop Ups advertising Halloween-themed discounts for your website. This method mostly applies to businesses that don’t directly sell Halloween-related products yet want to take advantage of the festive season. The Pop Ups advertise to your website visitors that you want to help them celebrate the Halloween season, fostering a stronger relationship in the long term.

Example of Halloween Pop Up
Example of Halloween Pop Up
Source: Adoric
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Plan Halloween-themed online events

You can plan online events incorporating the Halloween festivities. For example, you can invite customers to a virtual Halloween party hosted via video-conferencing software. This party can include trivia games, puzzles, and jokes. You can also take virtual tours of Halloween-themed attractions together with attendees. Such an event will help foster a long-lasting customer relationship, which generates higher sales.

Example of a virtual Halloween-themed-event
Example of a virtual Halloween-themed event
Source: DrinkManila
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Build a spooky landing page on your website

You can create spooky-themed landing pages for your products. The products don’t necessarily have to be Halloween themed, but you can still use the relevant colors, text, and pictures to make the landing page Halloween-like. Whenever a visitor sees the ad, they’ll instantly recognize that it’s connected to the Halloween season, which increases their chances of responding. You can use dedicated landing page builders to make this task as easy as possible.

Source ModCloth
Source: ModCloth
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You can work with popular brands to generate buzz for your Halloween-themed products. For example, if you sell jewelry, you can team up with a popular Halloween costume maker to advertise your products. The costume maker will suggest your jewelry to go along with their costumes, and you’ll give them a percentage of each sale. You can build significant buzz by attaching yourself to already popular brands. 

Drive more sales with referral marketing

You can encourage customers to refer their friends, family, and colleagues to buy your Halloween-themed products. In exchange, you’ll give discounts, free gifts, and other perks. For example, anyone who successfully refers a new customer to your store can get a discount on their next purchase. Referrals are a great way to build organic traffic for your business.

Halloween-ize your products

If your business doesn’t sell Halloween items, you’re probably wondering how to increase revenue this holiday season. Don’t worry! You can still celebrate Halloween.

Even if you’re not into Halloween, you can “Halloween-ize” your products or services to attract Halloween shoppers. Offer Halloween desserts if you run a restaurant. Launch a line of Halloween-themed shirts or items if you sell clothing online. A gym can host a fitness event that raises money for local charities and requires costumed participants.

If you’re a tech company, make stylized content (for example, with vampire bites on it) and hold a Halloween photo contest to see who can use your products best. The only limit is your imagination.

Halloween isn’t just about masks, candy, costumes, and harvest. You can easily adapt the holiday to your products and business to get people involved and excited!

A Halloweenized restaurant menu
A Halloweenized restaurant menu
Source: Pinterest
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Organize a themed social media campaign

Changing your social media branding requires changing your social media marketing strategy to include a Halloween-themed campaign. That goes for other major holidays as well. If you haven’t already done this for Halloween, then now is the time to do so.

Again, since Halloween is a less significant holiday than Christmas, you don’t need to make every social media post Halloween-themed, but one or two posts per week in October is great. Prepare posts highlighting your products that can be used to defend against zombies, vampires, and witches. Depending on your target market, you can be edgy or humorous. Retailers can share mini-tutorials on how to make a Halloween costume.

Unique Halloween treats or popular baked goods can be modified for Halloween and shared on social media.

Source: Boulder Loucavore
Source: Boulder Loucavore

Grocers can share Halloween treat recipes and pumpkin carving supplies using ingredients they sell.

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Organize a themed email campaign

Halloween-themed changes to your email campaign can boost sales or drive brand awareness, especially for service-related businesses. Connecting your services to a holiday like Halloween is difficult for many. Still, at the very least, you can share valuable content that has a slight Halloween theme with your audience.

Health websites can post about the dangers of eating too much Halloween candy or the types of candy your children should avoid. A security website can post about staying safe while participating in a scavenger hunt or hosting a trick-or-treating event.

Include an image for sharing on Facebook or Instagram that features one or two of these tips, making it easy for people to share with their family, friends, or neighborhood group.

Just remember to incorporate some branding. Give an exclusive discount offer for one or more of your products or services in your Halloween-themed email marketing if you want to do more than raise brand awareness.

A sample Halloween-themed email campaign from Blue Apron, a mealkit company
A sample Halloween-themed email campaign from Blue Apron, a mealkit company.

However, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t change the frequency of your email marketing or introduce new mailing lists suddenly.

People who signed up to receive your email marketing did so with the expectation of a certain level of frequency, and abruptly changing that could turn them off rather than encourage them to continue supporting you.

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Give your ads a Halloween makeover

Halloween is also a good time to tweak your ad copy for any active ad campaigns. Here are some tips for tweaking your ads for this Halloween:

  • Create Halloween promotional offers or even Halloween-themed products. Make sure to mention them in some of your ads. Convey a sense of urgency by stating the number of days until the promotion ends or including the expiration date.
  • If you haven’t tried an ad campaign specifically for Halloween, now is the time to do so so you can learn what works and what doesn’t. Try ad formats that can help you get in the spooky spirit and give visitors a chilly spine.
  • If you use ad networks to reach users, you’ve probably faced a lack of design capabilities. Well, there’s good news for you. Some ad formats have evolved, and now you can turn your creative power to full blast.

Here’s an example of Halloween-themed ads with Adsterra’s Social Bar:

ads a Halloween makeover

With these creatives, you pitch your offer before leading users to a landing page. They will boost your CTR and conversions when done correctly, sending you the most interested and engaged users.

You can create appealing Halloween-themed ads and target them to the right audience via Adsterra. Our platform provides many filtering options, including location, operating system, web browser, type of device, etc.

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So how do you create these types of ads with Social bar?

types of ads with Social bar
  1. After registering, go to Campaigns → Create.
  2. Find the AdUnit category and select Social Bar.
  3. Choose between CPM or CPC pricing (the Pricing type field).
  4. Scroll down to the Creative section.
  5. There are three main templates to choose from. Choose the one that most closely resembles your marketing objective. Each type has a brief description.
  6. After selecting a creative type, select a creative skin. If you first chose In-Page-Push, you can now choose Simple Bubble, Text Bubble, or Live Message.
  7. You must decide on the skin’s final style: user interaction, effects, primary colors, etc. This is where you upload images and text.
  8. Save the creative before switching skins and types.
    You can send up to 15 different creatives for the A/B test to pick the most fruitful ones.
After registering, go to Campaigns → Create.Find the AdUnit category and select Social Bar.Choose between CPM or CPC pricing (the Pricing type field).Scroll down to the Creative section.There are three main templates to choose from. Choose the one that most closely resembles your marketing objective. Each type has a brief description.After selecting a creative type, select a creative skin. If you first chose In-Page-Push, you can now choose Simple Bubble, Text Bubble, or Live Message.You must decide on the skin’s final style: user interaction, effects, primary colors, etc. This is where you upload images and text.Save the creative before switching skins and types.You can send up to 15 different creatives for the A/B test to pick the most fruitful ones.
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Make your mobile app spooky

Halloween, like Christmas, is an excellent time to add holiday season elements to your mobile app or Progressive Web App (PWA).

Consider giving your app icon a Halloween look as well. The slightest tweak to your app’s icon could entice users to open it and see what’s new. Of course, you shouldn’t just redesign your app. Include offers, promotions, and content for Halloween.

Halloween-themed content from email or social media can be adapted for your mobile app, as well as general promotions. But if you want to drive mobile app-specific business, include exclusive offers or promotions.

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Restore the fun with a Halloween Contest

While large corporations and brands have secured the power of UGC, it is ideal for small and medium-sized businesses with limited marketing budgets and resources. Running a themed contest is simple. Halloween is about dressing up, decorating, and trick-or-treating.

Encourage customers to enter your Halloween costume photo contest or send photos of their pets dressed up for Halloween. You can either give the top one to three entrants a prize or give everyone a discount coupon or voucher to use in-store or online. The idea is to get user-generated content for future posts and expose your brand to a new audience, which shared posts do better.

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The majority of the holidays celebrated throughout the year are focused on family and friends, but Halloween is for everyone. From small children trick-or-treating to adults dressing up for a Halloween party.

Keep this in mind for future Halloween marketing ideas: the goal is to bring in traffic and promote your offer, but being too aggressive in your approach will not win you any customers.

Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you should ignore big brands’ and multinationals’ Halloween marketing campaigns. You may not have the same resources or budget as they do, but you can still learn a lot from them and implement some of their ideas on a smaller scale and with a much lower budget.

Businesses of all sizes can promote their Halloween campaigns on Adsterra. Our platform gives you access to a network of 28,000+ direct publishers serving 32 billion monthly ad impressions. You can target your ads in detail and reach the right audience.

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Halloween marketing ideas — FAQs

What’s the best time for Halloween-themed campaigns?

September is the best time to start your Halloween campaigns because that’s the period when Halloween searches start exploding. The searches climb from early September to the last week of October when the event occurs; this time frame brings the best results for Halloween ads.

Is Halloween’s popularity reducing?

No, not at all. Participation did decrease in 2020 and 2021, but that was because of the COVID-19 pandemic that discouraged social gatherings to prevent contagion. However, participation recovered to pre-pandemic levels in 2022. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are waning, and Halloween participation remains ever-growing.

What are the advantages of Halloween marketing?

Halloween is one of the most popular festive periods, and people spend a lot of disposable income on costumes, decorations, candies, and miscellaneous items to celebrate it. Halloween marketing positions your business to take advantage of this bubble and get higher sales.

What do I start a Halloween campaign with?

You can start Halloween advertisements by using relevant graphics to advertise your participation, e.g., a spooky landing page. You’ll let customers know that you’re participating in the festivities, and they should expect perks from you. This way, they’ll anticipate your Halloween offers and likely take them. 

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