Will Blunt is the founder of Sidekick Digital by Will Blunt - B2B Marketing Expert - Sidekick Digital, a publishing business that launches, manages, and grows brands with content marketing.
With Halloween right around the corner, it’s time to prepare your spooktacular marketing campaigns.This year, Halloween will look a little different than usual. Social distancing has changed the way we all interact and the way you need to connect with your customers.Of course, the current world environment is complex, and in-person events, parties, and pop-up stores won’t look like they used to this Halloween.But you can still let this fantastically scary holiday take over your marketing. You just need to get creative… and digital. Here are 9 Halloween marketing ideas with social distancing in mind.
If you can’t recreate that Halloween feel in-person, why not opt for an online experience?There is a range of things you can do in the online world that mimic the traditional experiences people love about this holiday.
#1. Website or social media takeovers
Take a Halloween brush to your brand and let it take over your website and social media pages.Consider using interactive effects such as dropping spiders or scary-looking chat assistants on your website. Or, create a Halloween-themed version of your logo and social media banners.Google is a brand that regularly use special events to spice up their brand and logo. Google Doodles are “fun, surprising, and sometimes spontaneous changes that are made to the Google logo to celebrate holidays.” It’s no surprise that Google uses the inspiration of Halloween to adopt this concept every year:
Google's Halloween Brand Takeover
#2. Virtual events
Virtual events are all the rage at the moment with many people spending extra time at home and looking for ways to engage with others.While webinars and online conferences may not be a good fit for Halloween marketing, live videos or off-the-cuff hangouts may be just what your audience is looking for.Consider a virtual Halloween Zoom party, a live unboxing with a spooky twist, or a virtual tour of a haunted house. All are great ways to connect with your audience at a distance this Halloween.
#3. Interactive quizzes
Personality and knowledge quizzes are a fun way to entertain your fans and customers this Halloween. They can also help you collect leads!The unique thing about quizzes is that, once someone starts taking one, they naturally want to see it through to the end and get their results. This makes quizzes perfect for capturing customer data, preferences, retargeting information, and simply increasing brand memorability.When it comes to Halloween, you could quiz your audience on their knowledge about famous haunted houses, or ask them a series of questions to discover which Halloween character they are most like. You are only limited by your imagination.It’s super easy to build an interactive quiz using the ShortStack templates:
ShortStack Personality Quiz Template
To align with your Halloween brand takeover, you could spice up all of your content for the month of October with orange, black, and a touch of Halloween fear.
With over half of consumers wanting to see more video content from brands, Halloween inspired videos are a natural choice.While I mentioned earlier that Live Video is an interactive way to connect with your audience this October, you can also create professionally edited product videos, behind-the-scenes staff videos, or any number of creative video types that will get your social feeds moving.Some cool ideas for Halloween videos include stop-motion pumpkin carvings, how-to recipe tutorials, or even fully-fledged ad campaigns, like this one from Burger King.
#5. Instagram theme
If you’ve redesigned your logo and vamped up your website, you could also revitalize your Instagram feed account with a month-long Halloween theme.It doesn’t take much innovation to turn your usual photos and videos into something that your audience associates with Halloween. Perhaps you could add a little touch of orange to all your posts or a darker and more mysterious color filter. You could even release a Halloween-themed product line and launch it strategically via Instagram.Pottery Barn, for example, began a Halloween inspired Instagram strategy in early September to kickstart the excitement.
Pottery Barn's Instagram Halloween Theme
#6. Blog Posts
Don’t miss the opportunity to extend your Halloween-themed brand to your website’s blog. You could repurpose some of your video content, live streams, or Instagram posts on your blog. Or, alternatively, create some one-of-a-kind content that gets your audience acquainted with your brand story and product line.For example, you may like to share a historical Halloween office party story or a spooky tale about your founder. Another option would be to put together a Halloween gift guide or list of essential accessories your customers need.Wag!, a pet caregiving service, shared a blog about making the most of Halloween with your dog.
Wag! Walking's Halloween Blog Post
Social Media Contests
This wouldn’t be a Halloween marketing guide if I didn’t mention social media contests. They’re the perfect vehicle for connecting with your audience, rewarding loyal customers, or acquiring new leads this holiday season. Especially seeing they are 100% online and not affected by social distancing.Here are some social media contests that suit Halloween to a tee.
Submission contests that require participants to submit a video, photo, or text-based entry are extremely popular at this time of year. Not only do they inspire your audience to get creative, which makes your brand memorable, they also enable you to capture leads, user-generated content, and a whole lot more awareness.Some fan favorites for Halloween-themed submission contests include before and after decoration photos, costume voting contests, and spooky videos.Dunkin’ Donuts ran a Halloween dress-up contest to encourage user-generated content that heroed its brand, for example. Here is one of the entries:
The Dunkin' Donuts Photo ContestIt’s easy to get started with ShortStack’s multi-photo upload contest template that allows entrants to submit a before and after photo as well as vote on the best entries.
ShortStack Photo Contest Template
I felt the need to mention a points-for-actions contest - it’s one of my favorites.Basically, you give entrants extra chances to win in exchange for completing actions, such as sharing the contest with others, following your Instagram profile, or visiting your website. This gamifies the contest experience and injects virality into your campaign. Points-for-actions contests, by design, are the most likely contest format to go viral organically.You could have participants earn points for voting on Halloween costumes, video submissions, decorations, or simply by encouraging their friends to enter, too.
If you’re not up for managing a full-blown photo contest and just want some quick leads and attention, you could run an instant-win Halloween contest.This type of contest allows you to distribute prizes or unique coupon codes to winners immediately after they enter. The coupon may be for purchasing a new Halloween-inspired product line, a branded costume, a bag of candy, or any number of incentives that grab your audience’s attention.The ShortStack Prize Manager makes the process of distributing instant-win coupons and enticing entrants to share your contest with their friends easy and non-technical.
ShortStack Instant Win Giveaway Template
How will you engage and excite your customers this Halloween?Sure, social distancing has changed the way we live day-to-day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of online experiences and social media to ramp up marketing efforts.In fact, social media activity and contest participation has increased with people having a little extra ‘creative’ time on their hands.Have a little fun with your digital presence this Halloween. Take the opportunity to connect with your customers. Reward loyalty. And don’t forget to be a little spooky, too!
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