The Ultimate Guide to Halloween Marketing and Campaign Planning

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Halloween marketing often gets overlooked in the excitement of planning campaigns for the winter holidays. But don’t skip past the spooky festivities.

Over 175 million Americans are thought to have engaged in Halloween festivities last year, collectively spending $9 billion, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). That’s the second-highest Halloween spend since the NRF began its survey in 2005.

Where does all that money go? To candy, costumes, and decorations, of course. (The most popular children’s costume is a princess and the most common adults’ costume is a witch, in case you were wondering.)

Halloween consumerism is alive and well (unlike vampires and zombies, which are the next most popular adult costumes). And to reach the right audiences, advertisers must be super vigilant with their Halloween marketing.

To help you build the most effective creative around candy, costumes, and decorations, we dove into Taboola Trends — pulling out the top insights for food, fashion, and home content. And, we picked out the biggest opportunities for engagement, where demand for content is high but supply is low.

Here’s what we found to fuel your Halloween marketing campaigns across each category:

Halloween candy marketing

Data about food-related content reveals some sweet, sweet opportunities for reaching candy buyers.

Opportunity #1: Launch ads at the start of the week

Halloween falls on a Thursday this year. That’s good news for marketers who want to reach last-minute buyers. Why? Because Sunday to Wednesday provides the biggest opportunity for engagement around food-related content.

Get your content in front of people during the working week when they’re making their party and holiday plans.

Opportunity #2: Reach consumers on tablets and mobiles

Halloween consumers are like consumers across other industries — they engage with content on mobile. Marketers have a major opportunity to launch their food-related ads across tablet and mobile devices.

After all, Halloween candy buyers may research their purchase options while they’re on the go and away from their desktops at work or at home.

Opportunity #3: Create video content

Food and recipe videos historically drive viral levels of engagement on social platforms and websites. And that engagement isn’t dying down. According to our data, there’s still plenty of room for marketers to reach food lovers with video content.

Marketers, for example, might create recipe videos for Halloween candy or guides to the most popular candies of the holiday.

Opportunity #4: Build images without text and people

People want food! Don’t muddy up your images by throwing extraneous elements in there, like text and people. Food-related images without text see a 154% higher clickthrough rate (CTR) than those with text. And images without people see a 41% higher CTR than those with people.

Meanwhile, if you do include people, try close-up shots (151% higher CTR) and use photos (32% higher CTR) instead of illustrations.

Opportunity #5: Use keywords such as ‘cake’ and ‘tasty’

While there’s strong competition among ads with keywords such as ‘kit,’ ‘get,’ and ‘delivery,’ there are still opportunities to reach sweet-toothed consumers with keywords such as ‘cake,’ ‘tasty,’ and ‘all-you-can-eat.’

Here’s what your Halloween candy ads might look like across different stages of the marketing funnel for example.

Halloween fashion marketing

Data from fashion-related ads shows how marketers can reach audiences looking for Halloween costumes this year.

Opportunity #1: Distribute content on Wednesday and Thursday

As with food-related content, the biggest opportunities for driving engagement around fashion-related content occur during the week. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, in particular, clicks are high, but supply is low, leaving room for marketers to reach audiences with Halloween costume content.

Opportunity #2: Launch campaigns in October, November, and December

It’s not surprising that fashion-related content drives clicks during the fall and winter months, as consumers prepare to buy clothes for holiday parties and gifts. But this is good news for Halloween marketers, too — they might reach last-minute costume buyers or people looking for a post-Halloween sale.

Opportunity #3: Create text-based content

While video is all the rage in today’s digital marketing landscape, when it comes to fashion-related content, don’t write off text-based articles. In fact, you’d be wise to write them into your marketing plan. They provide the biggest opportunity for reaching consumers interested in apparel.

Opportunity #4: Build images with animals, food, and people

Were you hoping to launch ads with puppy Halloween costumes and buckets of candy? You’re in luck, these elements drive more engagement among fashion-related images. Images with animals see a 137% higher CTR than those without animals and images with food see a 55% higher CTR than those without food.

Black-and-white images also drive more clicks than color images. It’s the perfect time to create those spooky Halloween images inspired by old scary movies.

Opportunity #5: Include women in your videos

According to our data, videos across categories that include women see a 52% higher CTR than those that include men. Also, while fashion-related images with animals and food drive more clicks, videos across categories perform better without those elements. So launch Halloween costume videos for ladies and leave those puppy costumes and candy hauls out.

Halloween decoration marketing

We pulled data from home-related content to source the biggest opportunities for driving engagement from your Halloween decoration ads.

Opportunity #1: Reach audiences on Sunday and Thursday

The day before the work week begins and the day before the weekend begins are the best days to reach consumers of home-related content. This is likely when people are planning their projects or parties for the coming days and looking for inspiration.

Opportunity #2: Launch campaigns across tablet devices

You can reach audiences on desktops while they’re at work and on mobile while they’re on-the-go, but the biggest opportunity for engagement around Halloween decor is on tablets.

Tablets also provide an opportunity to engage audiences with bigger creatives — such as images and video — than you could on mobile devices.

Opportunity #3: Invest in video ads

Speaking of video, publishers of Halloween decoration content must harness this tool to share their messages. According to our data, text-based articles flood the home-related content space, but audiences are hungry for video.

This Halloween season, consider turning your article ideas into videos and creating more immersive content experiences for your viewers.

Opportunity #4: Use images with close-ups and people

If you do decide to use images, keep in mind that home-related photos with close-ups drive 91% higher CTRs than those taken from a distance and images with people generate 87% higher CTRs than those without.

That is, don’t just include photos of Halloween decorations. Try capturing people interacting with those decorations too.

Opportunity #5: Include keywords such as ‘glam,’ ‘pics,’ and ‘dazzling’

Images and video aren’t the only ad features that impact CTR; keywords do too. Diving into those home-related keywords, we found opportunities for marketers to use words such as ‘pics,’ ‘dazzling,’ ‘glam,’ and ‘surprisingly’ to boost engagement.

Need some more inspiration? Using these keywords, here’s what Halloween decoration ads across the marketing funnel might look like:

The tricks and treats of Halloween marketing

If 2018 was any indication, 2019 will be a big year for Halloween spending and engagement. Break out the candy corn, stir up that bubbling cauldron of ideas, and start strategizing.

Whether you’re looking to share content about candy, costumes, or decorations, use Taboola Trends for real-time insights on which ad creatives get the most bang — and boo! — for your buck.

Create Your Campaign Today!