Halloween is arguably the second most popular holiday in the US. Understandably so, given that it celebrates all things unusual, unconventional and weird in the thriftiest manner. All you need is a bagful of candies, the usual jackets, suits or dresses, and some wacky imagination. And magically you transform into one of those hideous nightwalkers from Game Of Thrones or mysterious Eleven from Stranger Things
Approximately, 9 billion dollars was spent by Americans last year in Halloween shopping. According to the National Retail Federation survey, the average per-person spend was at a record of $86.79. Halloween costumes, decor and of course, candy topped the Halloween sales chart last year. This year too the Halloween shopping trend is likely to trace an upward trajectory.
Halloween provides a ripe time for retailers to gauge customers’ buying behavior. Ahead of Black Friday and Christmas, Halloween acts as a precursor that helps retailers plan for the huge sales season that follows.
Traditionally email newsletter campaigns have provided the gateway for retailers to get their foot in the door.
But Instagram that boasts of 800 million monthly users is enticing online shoppers with visual storytelling. An increasing number of retailers are dusting off their photography skills to offer online shoppers an immersive brand experience that gently nudges them closer to purchase.
From heartwarming behind-the-scene stories to candid everyday-life photography, brands are redefining the way they are perceived by the targeted audience; Bold, unconventional and relatable. Instagram is the perfect platform to build a relationship with your customers. And Halloween gives you the opportunity to deepen the connection.
For what better way to narrate a bone-crushing hair-raising Halloween tale than through Instagram?
Let’s take a look at how popular brands been crushing it on Instagram for Halloween :
Build the Suspense
There is nothing that signals Halloween than the quaint depiction of gold, red and orange foliage.
That was until Starbucks introduced a once-a-year drink – the pumpkin spice latte. The spicy concoction was a massive success among coffee aficionados and teetotalers alike. So much so that the arrival of pumpkin spice latte marks the beginning of fall now. Starbucks’ Instagram posts have been cleverly curated to visually appeal to targeted audience’s taste buds. Not only that. The videos and posts are a mix of teasers of the indulgent drink that elicits curiosity and longing among coffee lovers.
Is it too soon to scream Halloween?
Not every retailer can afford an early Halloween announcement. Creating a buzz requires immense planning and preparation. Not all retailers have that luxury. A throwback of popular treats from the previous year is a great way to kick off your Halloween campaign too. Giorgio Demarini creates suspense by sharing pictures of abominably cute miniature pumpkin
Come up with Limited-edition
FOMO is real. Especially among online shoppers. Being waitlisted or receiving exclusive access to a product for a limited time increases the customers’ desire for the product. Fanta has been experimenting variants of the original flavors for Halloween. It’s_a_grape_thing, Fanta with a dark twist, has been gaining devilish popularity among Fanta Fans.
Whip up a delicious treat and add a spooky twist to the packaging. Hola! You have a limited edition Halloween themed item. This will not only make your product stand out but also tap into shoppers’ drive to collect all Halloween themed items around this time of the year. M&M’s creepy cocoa crisp is a classic example of combining intelligent packaging with innovative marketing.
Thrill your audience with exciting Halloween contests
What are festivals without a bit of fun? Running a contest that involves posting quirky pictures and big giveaways is a sure way to inject fun. Planning a contest around Halloween is an amazing way to connect with your audience. Much like other social media, photo contests works the best for Instagram. Firstly it brings out the creative side of your audience. Secondly, the brand credibility that user-generated content lends is almost priceless. Thirdly, it garners a lot of followers in a short span of time.
Make sure to follow the best practices to maximize the results.
Some of them include
- Getting the specifics of the contest rules right
- Having a timeline that details the start and end date of the contest
- Creating a hashtag exclusive to the contest
- Giving away valuable prizes
Dunkin hits the nail with their dress-up contest for Halloween.
Rope in an influencer
Collaborating with the right influencer helps you make huge strides in boosting your Instagram followers. Ever since the word-of-mouth marketing trend started gaining traction, Marketers noted that influencer marketing yields 11 times more ROI than other activities. It is crucial to leverage this marketing channel. However, deciding on the right influencer can be tricky. Investing in influencers with a huge following may not necessarily translate into more conversions for your brand.
Halloween is the perfect time to launch an influencer campaign. But before you jumpstart here are few factors to consider:
- Research the content that influencers post and its relevance to your audience
- Measure their engagement metrics
- Reach out and start building a relationship with the influencers
Kylie cosmetics beautifully carves a campaign with the help of an influencer to bring attention to their DOLL matte liquid lipstick collection. Also, note how they baked in the shoppable feature “Tap to shop Doll” in the post.
Amp up the aww factor
Images of babies and pets have been flooding the internet. Instagram is not any different. Pictures that capture the adorable antics and acrobats of babies or pets still bring Instagram users to their knees. Those heart-melting giggles or vulnerable purring videos slingshot your brand into the limelight.
If you are a pet store retailer or a baby care product seller, it is time to turn up the cuteness meter on your posts. Check out the Halloween makeover that petsmart gave an adorable pug
Setup a sales countdown
Including sales countdown creates a sense of urgency among buyers. Be it an offer that expires in 24 hours or an item that becomes unavailable after a certain time period. Both time-based urgency and stock urgency forces buyers to act immediately. Using Instagram’s countdown sticker for stories helps buyers set reminder notification or track the countdown to sales in real-time.
Regardless of the market being flooded with Halloween theme based items, there are always the procrastinators. Not until the afternoon of the party, the spirit of Halloween dawns on them.
If you have overstocked your inventory, do not fret. Design a campaign that calls out to all the last-minute shoppers. You can step it up and add an element of scarcity. Like how DavidChow includes “ only a few of these left” in his last-minute Halloween post.
The unconventional and affordable nature of Halloween facilitates building a host of fun marketing campaigns and activities. This festive season brings the opportunity for retailers not only make a splash sales-wise but also establish a real connection with the customers. Besides allowing your creativity to run wild, with Instagram you can make a lasting impression on your customers.
Have a spooktastic Halloween sales this year!