Candy, simple home costumes, candy apples – these were the things that used to mark Halloween. Today, however, the holiday has become a significant opportunity for people to go big – and for businesses to cash in on the hoopla. For many shoppers, looking at Halloween paraphernalia happens well before the holiday event. Party decorations and costumes are just a few of the things on their lists.
Is your business ready for the billion dollar holiday that is Halloween? According to research, around 158 million Americans will get in on the holiday action, spending over $75 on average per individual. The bulk of the spending takes place over the two weeks leading up the event. Here’s how to get ready:
- Know where search takes place. Before consumers make a purchase, they’re spending lots of time online hunting down costume ideas, party themes and gift ideas. More than a third of all search starts on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Make sure your business is prepared to get noticed on these sites and create ads to attract traffic.
- Know for what people are searching. Focus on top-performing search terms like “Halloween,” “Halloween decorations,” and “Halloween costumes.” Keep in mind related search terms that can also lure people to your ads. Heat map studies show that combining words like “kid costumes,” “cartoon costumes,” “variety” and “delivery/shipping” scored high.
- Get mobile. In 2014, Bing Ads grew over 1,000 percent, bringing in revenue dollars on costumes for people and their pets. And more, 41 percent of customers researching purchases on mobile devices will click over to a product they see in ads. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, people searching for Halloween fare will abandon your site quicker than you can say “scary costume.”
- Get ahead of the competition. The good news is, if you don’t yet have a mobile presence, now’s the time to get one. Research shows that many businesses aren’t using mobile yet. With 80 percent of customers using mobile to make purchases, it’s the way to go with Halloween marketing.
- Turn to social media. Another savvy marketing tool, use social media accounts as a tool to show off inspirational costume ideas, party themes, and all things Halloween. This kind of strategy will not only attract people to shop on your site, but it will also lure in new fans to like or follow your brand page. These new followers will actively follow your page throughout the rest of the year.
- Engage fans. Get into the spirit of things on social media, your blog and email newsletter by kicking off a virtual costume party, best-dressed-pet costume or idea for theme parties. This way, you’ll be engaging fans with your brand, introducing them to your products and services, and getting more people to follow – and ultimately – buy from your business. This is the time to start an account – if you don’t already have one – on a highly visual platform like Instagram or Pinterest. This is an especially effective strategy if your business lends itself to images of products or services.
- Create a promotion. Use promotions, specials or discounts to entice customers to buy, once they click through to your site via a social, mobile or paid ad. Free shipping, an upsell or a percentage off can set your businesses apart from the competition.
Worried your business can’t cash in on the scary holiday? Your brand doesn’t have to be strictly Halloween related to get in on the action. Creative businesses get their share of revenue by thinking out of the box. Click on over to get some inspiration.