Four things we love about Halloween marketing, and four ways to apply them throughout the year.
We know what you’re thinking. Mustang, what do you mean Halloween campaigns can happen all year long? Stay with us. Halloween is topsy-turvy. People lower their guards and open their doors for masked strangers. Businesses experiment with fun outside-of-the box ads and imagery. Everyone lets a little loose, mostly so we all can have a bit of fun, right?
This doesn’t have to only happen on Halloween. Strategically experiments with campaigns and creative that test limits and audience reactions — while maintaining your brand integrity — are an excellent way to keep things fresh and engaging for your audiences.
So in honor of this ghoulish season, Mustang Marketing presents the features of Halloween marketing campaigns that make us want to (happy) scream, and how to scare up even bigger business, no matter the time of the year.
1. Step out of your comfort zone
Halloween is a time to try on costumes and step out of your comfort zone, and Mustang commends anything that gives businesses the freedom to try new things. While you may not try on literal costumes year round (or will you?), don’t let October be the only month you decide to get a little creative and insert those “wow” moments. Halloween, often, is all about the shock factor. Why not play off of what we know: people love to be surprised — and give them something to talk about?
Creative campaigns don’t happen overnight. Planning ahead is critical. This means setting time aside for campaign theme development, campaign messaging and determining which of your audiences (if not all) you’re targeting with your campaign. Understanding your audience(s) is a key factor when testing out new creative and pushing boundaries. Experimenting with an A/B approach to test responses to certain subject lines and creative concepts will help you hone in on the right look and feel of your campaign, while also helping you to develop a more thorough understanding of what your audiences respond to. That’s when the fun can really begin.
2. Dress up, but don’t hide your brand
For decades Mustang has been howling at the moon about maintaining a consistent brand.
Halloween steals our beating hearts because it has its own color palette, its own imagery, even iconic fonts, which can be challenging for brands to navigate. This is also the case when coming up with a new campaign. You’re wondering, How do we maintain our brand if you’re telling us to try new things?
Think about your approach to Halloween-based content or imagery. Like many companies, you may play off the holiday’s known phrases, e.g. “Have a BOOtiful Friday!”, but your brand’s look, feel and messaging are still consistent. It’s still you under the cape and bat wings! Developing campaigns is a bit like that. Your theme is where you get to have some fun and creativity, but you still need to incorporate a healthy balance between theme execution and your branding. It’s important to develop a strong identity throughout the year, so your company is recognizable even when it’s dressed up for the holiday — or rolling out a new marketing campaign.
3. Don’t limit your creativity to a season
Halloween opens up a goody bag of marketing tools for the taking. It gives you the chance to reach out and an excuse for new customers to give your product a try. You can consider:
- Events like parties, games or auctions
- Themed sales, gifts and giveaways
- Limited run items
- Decorations, including for your website or digital spaces
- Mail campaigns, or their intangible cousin, email campaigns
You could even summon a specter to haunt customers and whisper your brand name. But we recommend against it — specters are expensive. We always encourage clients to set measurable, attainable and realistic ghouls.
Why only treat your customers and prospects once a year? Everyone loves a surprise (of the good variety) and spreading out some of these “goody bag” items throughout the calendar is an effective way to keep engagement and create brand loyalty. One-off events are always fun, but if you don’t nurture your audiences throughout the year with helpful information, quality products, consistently good customer service, and fun deals … they may just ghost you.
4. Partner Up
No one likes trick-or-treating or attending Halloween parties alone. Half the fun is getting in on a creative costume with friends or work colleagues or family. We’d say that applies to creative brainstorming sessions as well. The more the merrier.
That’s where Mustang comes in. We love the chance for businesses to cut loose and enjoy themselves, and we enjoy the thrill of helping clients achieve their goals. For more of our “Serious, Fun, Strategic, Creative” outlook on marketing, follow Mustang on social media or contact us to schedule a consultation.