As Canadian businesses begin to focus on the 2014 holiday season, Halloween is often overlooked. It’s a lucrative holiday that warrants more attention than theme sales, however. The opportunities presented by Canadians searching the internet for Halloween topics can make it well worth promoting online, and the earlier the better. Just about 78% of Canadians who dress up will start planning as much as two months in advance, according to the 2014 Value Village Halloween Survey, and the 40% who decorate will want to get an even earlier start.
Halloween is a Big Deal in Canada
“Halloween has quickly become one of the largest shopping seasons of the year, with individuals spending upwards of $60 just on their costumes,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, Executive Director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.
Halloween Statistics from Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada:
- Seven out of ten Canadians celebrating Halloween planned to spend more in 2012 than the $1.5 billion they spent in 2011.
- More than 40% of Canadians will decorate their yard for Halloween.
- Almost half of Canadians will dress up in a costume.
- 11% of Canadians will spend up to $59 to dress up their pet for Halloween.
- $8 will be spent on Halloween greeting cards in each residence.
If your target market is households with children, note that 3,734,401 Canadian kids were at prime trick-or-treating age (5-14) in 2012, according to Statistics Canada.
Grab that Traffic
You don’t have to sell Halloween-specific items to cash in on the number of people hitting the search engines for Halloween topics. Half the battle is getting people to your website, where your brilliant seasonal sales tactics can grab their cash. One of the best ways to find creative ideas for this is to ask your employees.
Following are a few ideas to inspire your creepy creative side:
Information is a big traffic draw. Virtually any sector can come up with related topics that bring in searchers. For example, if you sell electronics you could have an article explaining how to set up a DIY Halloween light show, or fashion businesses can feature orange and black products in a Halloween fashion tutorial. You can also come up with unique costume ideas that are related to your products or services, such as a computer repair guy or organic chef. Your blog is your best friend when it comes to creating Halloween content. If you don’t have one, consider adding a holiday section to your website.
Keyword tools can help you create content around popular search terms. You can find ideas and keywords by using the free keyword planner offered by Google Adwords or other keyword tools.
Social Media attracts Halloween shoppers who are looking for ideas, from decorations to costumes. For example, Value Village’s 2014 Halloween statistics for Canada show almost 60% of those who dress up for Halloween look to social media for costume ideas. You can come up with angles for all social media networks, but you may do best with a focus on visual networks, including Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube. Half of those surveyed said they’ll find costume inspiration from their personal social media news feed (such as Facebook). Social image is important on Halloween too, with 30% of participants saying they will dress up in a different costume every year just to avoid posting the same costume on social media. A social media bonus comes from people who will post “selfies” of their costumes or photos of their decorations. There’s a good chance they’ll mention where they bought everything.
Add a Halloween twist to your products and services. Do more than post products and seasonal sales, share images or video of your business or service being used specifically for (or at) Halloween. Bundle products or find local merchandise to bring something uniquely spooky to Canadian consumers.
Remember Pets are People too! 22% of pet parents will select coordinating costumes for their pets and 14% will enter their pet in a costume contest. 17% will take their pets trick or treating, although we discourage the practice for a number of reasons.
Freebies are one of the most popular searches on the web and they don’t have to cost a fortune. Try offering an original, free printable pumpkin carving pattern that somehow relates to your products or services, for example. Dig up some clipart, and blow up the picture to pumpkin size for the template. Use the example you carve to decorate your office. You can also offer a Halloween freebie with orders for the month of October.
Halloween contests are always popular and it’s easy to stay within your business budget. Have contests on your website, promote smaller contests on social media, or do both. Keep the cost low and the interest high by using truly unique prizes, such as Halloween decorations made by local crafters or a trick-or-treat bag full of sugar-free candy.
Affiliate programs offer two opportunities. If you don’t carry Halloween-specific products, you can promote a non-competing affiliate that does and create a new revenue stream. If you’ve been thinking about launching an affiliate program of your own, this is an awesome time of year to put the plan in motion. Opting for a network like Share-a-Sale gives you immediate access to thousands of affiliates who want to promote your products and services on their website. You’ll have visitors who are ready to buy landing on your website through links all over the Internet.
Charities are always present in search terms revolving around holidays. Promote their Halloween campaigns on your blog and include great images for social media & photo sharing sites. For example, I designed several branded digital posters for All Natural Pet Care, all revolving around black cat adoption and superstition.
With Halloween falling on a Friday this year, sales will probably be up due to more participants and parties.
“Halloween continues to be a celebration for all ages and this year will be no exception. Last year with Halloween falling on a Thursday, sales grew nearly 10 percent – with this year’s observance on Friday, we anticipate even higher growth,” predicts Ken Alterman, CEO of Value Village.
How do you grab Halloween fans online? Please share your ideas in the comments below.
✔ You may also be interested in reading:
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