4 Spooky October Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses, And Then Some!

These October marketing ideas promise to make your brand stand out during this spooktacular season. Keep reading for more!

2021’s fourth quarter is upon us, and October begins the yearly festivities with one of the most quirky holidays: Halloween! Even if you don’t dabble in costumes and all things scary, Halloween is a broad enough event that almost any brand and business can join in on the fun. It’s a prime opportunity to attract customers with eye-catching marketing that will entice them to come back for more. Get inspired with these four October marketing ideas for a spooky Halloween.

4 October Marketing Ideas for Halloween

Halloween only comes once a year, so why not embrace the holiday and give yourself an excuse to play around a little? Show your consumers and community that you are creative and socially involved with these simple October marketing ideas.

1. Hold Your Own Trick-Or-Treating Event

Who says trick-or-treating is just for kids? Show your business’s fun side by holding your own version of trick-or-treating that will leave a lasting impression and help foster a positive relationship with your customers. 

If you have a physical business, you can set up an in-store game of chance — like roulette or drawing lots — that gives them either a trick (perhaps a simple dare to do before they can check out) or treat (a gift card for their next purchase). Online, you can leverage different post formats to play games with your followers on social media or embed games directly into your website. 

trick or treat sign with pumpkins for october marketing ideas


2. Leverage Community Activities

Check if local groups are doing anything to commemorate the holiday, and see if there’s an opportunity for you to help out. You may want to sponsor a pumpkin carving contest or sign up to give goodies to trick-or-treaters. The key is to find a relevant and meaningful community activity that is in line with your business and brand identity.

This may be tricky for some businesses, so think out of the box and get creative. For example, a local coffee shop can host Halloween-related workshops in a private section of the store and serve drinks to attendees. Or a retail clothing store can partner with a local designer to repurpose old inventory into Halloween costumes.

3. Encourage User-Generated Content

Halloween costume contests are a classic, tried-and-tested way to engage with your customers, build relationships, and gain user-generated content. Here’s an example of simple contest mechanics: Have your followers and patrons share photos of Halloween costumes on social media with your contest hashtag, and the top three entries with the most likes win a prize.

This will help create buzz for your business and, with permission from the contest participants and winners, give you content to repurpose on your social pages. 

Aside from Halloween costumes, you can run other types of contests like pumpkin carving contests, Halloween decoration contests, the best original scary story contests, and more! If you have an existing loyalty program, incentivize members to join by offering extra points or special members-only prizes.

4. Get Festive!

With a few changes and out-of-the-box thinking, you can take part in the holiday festivities and showcase your business’s spooky yet playful side.

In-Store

Nothing like some fake spiderwebs and plastic bugs to get you into the Halloween spirit! It doesn’t have to be too elaborate if you’re just working in an office, but it can go a long way in lifting spirits and adding some fun to mundane workdays.

But for store-based businesses like retailers and convenience stores, an attention-grabbing Halloween-themed storefront shows that you are proactive and involved, and can make shopping a bit more entertaining for your patrons.

broom and eat, drink, and be scary sign


Online and Social Media

Halloween-ify your website and social media pages by incorporating some spooky elements into your posts and graphics. Use a dusty, cobwebbed logo on your social media accounts. Have a pop-up “Happy Halloween!” greeting on your website using spooky fonts. Publish Halloween-specific content that is in line with your business and brand identity. Here are some ideas for inspiration:

  • Fashion and clothing brands: Tutorials on “Last Minute DIY Halloween Costume Ideas”
  • Food establishments: Halloween-inspired dessert recipes
  • Cafés and coffee shops: Step-by-step guide on pumpkin spice lattes or Halloween latte art
  • Craft stores: Tutorials on pumpkin-carving or face-painting, addressing parents with young children

Products

Depending on your business type, you may have the flexibility to tweak your products or services to fit the season or offer limited-edition season-specific items. Restaurants and cafés may offer Halloween-inspired menu items, like vampire-designed red velvet cupcakes or web-shaped latte art.

Clothing brands might come up with some quirky or cheeky Halloween costumes.  You don’t have to overhaul your entire menu or product list; just a handful of time-bound offers done well can make a splash in your favor. 

halloween cookies with eyeballs

coffee drink with ghost art for october marketing ideas for cafe


Other Marketing Ideas to Try in October

While Halloween is arguably the biggest and most popular holiday in October, there are other ways to make a splash during the month. Because September marks the end of summer and November is for Thanksgiving and pre-Christmas, October is the only month that exclusively embodies autumn.

Here are a few marketing ideas to celebrate fall and other events in October:

Support a Cause

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and charitable acts should be year-long goals for any business, but there are certain causes and social issues which are focused on in October. Find a cause that is in line with your brand values and identity, and get creative about how you can show your support. 

Female-led and female-focused companies would make great advocates for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and National Business Women’s Month. Wellness centers can partner with local doctors to celebrate Emotional Wellness Month. Fashion retailers can sponsor the merchandise of schools or sports teams commemorating National Bullying Prevention Month. 

breast cancer awareness month calendar


Leverage Relevant National Days

Similarly, there are many fun “National Days” aside from Halloween that you can leverage to generate buzz around your brand. Get To Know Your Customers Day, which is celebrated every third Thursday of the first month of every quarter, provides a fantastic opportunity to reason to engage with your customers. While asking for feedback is something you can do all year long, an official day makes it feel more special and legitimate, which might be more encouraging to customers than a standardized survey after a transaction. 

Depending on your business type, consider celebrating the following “National Days”:

  • National Boss’s Day
  • Sweetest Day
  • National Cake Decorating Day

Tease Your Holiday Plans

Because it’s the calm before the storm of the year-end holiday season, it’s a good opportunity for you to start informing your customers about your upcoming holiday promos. It might seem like a long way to go before the gift-giving season, but considering the challenging economic circumstances of 2021, it’s a good idea to get a head start so that your loyal patrons can plan ahead of time. 

Consider sending an e-newsletter with a calendar of activities for the quarter, or putting up an in-store poster with dates to watch out for. 

With smart and efficient marketing, you’ll have customers coming through the door or clicking “Buy Now” in no time. Make sure to stay ahead of the curve and keep your consumers happy with quick and easy transactions. Contact True POS today for a free quote.

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