Halloween for Gen Z: 7 Top Tips for Brands

What does Halloween look like for Gen Z? Here we're diving into our top tips for brands to win over younger audiences while celebrating spooky season!
Fanbytes | Gen Z Halloween

In 30 seconds:

  • It’s that time of year again: like zombies towards the Winchester Tavern, Halloween is creeping up. What does that mean for brands marketing to Gen Z?
  • You don’t have to be a Halloween brand to boost sales right now. In fact, the more inventive you can be, the better!
  • Winning Halloween for Gen Z? Brands should make the most of the spooky features that social media platforms offer.

Autumn is approaching, and that means…Halloween!  

But what about Halloween for Gen Z? On TikTok, this time of year delivers a dramatic rise in video views on Halloween-related hashtags as the excitement around the event grows. That’s because 97% of Gen Z search for inspiration on social media – and Halloween is no exception. It’s no surprise, then, that both brands and content creators are gearing up for and celebrating Halloween.  

In 2021, Halloween spending hit an all-time high at $102.74. Spending was forecasted to increase this year, but the cost of living crisis means consumers will likely be more interested in halloween sales and discounts instead – or cheap ways to create halloween costumes or host a Halloween party.

This is especially true for Gen Z – who are particularly cash-strapped, but also led the charge in the return to social events after pandemic-induced lockdowns lifted last year.

So, if you’re the owner or marketer of a brand, creating Halloween content for Gen Z is about helping them have fun – despite the hurdles. Below, we’ve outlined our top tips to get started. 

Halloween Gen Z content ideas for brands

Gen Z expresses their love of Halloween through immense consumption of Halloween content, from makeup tutorials and Halloween costumes, to Halloween party ideas, DIY Halloween decorations and Halloween recipe inspiration – all from social media campaigns.  

We’ve previously helped H&M create an effective social and influencer marketing strategy for Gen Z , including promoting their Halloween-themed collection featuring Billie Eilish merchandise. We achieved a massive 1.8million views as well as 151K likes and a 17.3% engagement rate. So, we know what works! 

If you’re stuck for ideas on your Halloween content this year, read on for Halloween ideas that every brand can take on board, no matter what industry you’re in. 

1. Post Halloween-themed visuals for each platform

Gen Zers are searching for Halloween inspiration right now, and they’re predominantly doing this on social media platforms including TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. It’s therefore a good idea to post on multiple social media platforms to maximise your reach. Make sure to focus on producing highly engaging content that feels ‘right’ for each of these. 

Gen Z responds more to visual content than any generation before them, so the best Halloween marketing ideas and marketing campaigns are those that leverage Halloween visuals for the best promo. Can you tie in a haunted house, trick-or-treating or halloween movies? If your content looks instantly recognisable as Halloween-inspired and provides great entertainment value, you’ll be sure to get the clicks.

If you need to prioritise one platform though, we recommend TikTok. Last year, TikTok influenced 59% of users’ Halloween costume purchases and 42% of their sweets and chocolate purchases, so if you want Halloween to drive sales for your brand, TikTok is your answer! 

2. Find & follow Generation Z trends

How can you see if your content is ‘right’? Get inspired by searching for Halloween ideas yourself!

Social media app TikTok is pushing into search engine territory: in fact, for Gen Z, TikTok is the “new Google”. This means young users are searching for halloween inspiration on the platform – and you want them to find your brand when they do so.

From pumpkin spice recipes to dressing up inspiration and clever halloween decoration ideas, you can bet Gen Zers are using the TikTok search bar to level up their Halloween game. Read our article on TikTok SEO to learn how to optimise your TikTok content, so that your product are what they find – and to turn attention into sales for your brand. 

The other way to get noticed? Join TikTok trends! Most young people go to the app to discover what’s “in” – and the highly personalised TikTok algorithm means they often don’t even need to actively search to find it: it’s already on their ‘For You Page’ (FYP). The best way to make sure your brand reaches the FYP is via TikTok trends.

In the past, you could see which of the Halloween-related hashtags were trending on the Discover page, but TikTok has done away with this. It’s now harder for brands to see trends easily – but that’s no matter. Our award-winning in-house data and insights tool, Bytesights helps us spot TikTok trends early on – including the best Halloween TikTok trends to join. It’s what we use to make sure all our campaigns hit the right note – and bring revenue to our brand partners.

TikTok Trends, made easy

With the billions of views, likes, and shares that trending and meme content receives, it’s the perfect way to gain new followers – and sales. Gen Z loves it if brands can make them laugh and show that they understand them.

Each week, we showcase exactly how to do this via our TikTok trends newsletter. It’s free, and it shows you the best trends and how your brand can use them.

Fanbytes TikTok newsletter

Even if your product is not directly Halloween related, it doesn’t mean you can’t promote it. If you’re not a Halloween makeup brand or Halloween clothing brand, you can find fun and creative ways to incorporate your offerings into Halloween content to reach millions of consumers searching for inspiration.

Hit the button below to subscribe to the newsletter, or get in touch to learn more about our data insights tool and how we use it to level up every brand campaign.

3. Create your own spooky social media challenge

Creating your own Halloween-themed challenge is a great way to get your audience more involved in your campaign while gaining their trust. In fact, 70% of Gen Z find user-generated content (UGC) useful in helping them make purchasing decisions, so the more you can encourage social media users to post content about you, the better!   

Make sure to add a Halloween-related hashtag to your challenge so you can browse the content that your Gen Z audience is producing. Engage with their posts and leave encouraging comments to show your love. It’s the perfect opportunity to spark conversations with your target audience and start building long-lasting relationships with them. 

A brand who did this well NYX Professional Makeupwho smashed it with their 2020 Halloween content. They created a Halloween campaign named ‘NYX Professional Makeup Haunted Dollhouse’ and encouraged users to join the #DOLLHOUSECHALLENGE where users transformed themselves into creepy dolls using NYX products. The result? NYX became the most viewed makeup brand in the UK over Halloween with over 1.5bn global views.

4. Promote inclusivity

It’s important to emphasise diversity and inclusivity in your Halloween content to inspire audiences from every walk of life. Videos that promote an inclusive and ethical attitude are much more likely to be well-received by Gen Z on social media and offline.  

When you show that your brand truly cares about encouraging an accepting society, you can build a positive brand reputation that will, in turn, boost your customer engagement – especially amongst Gen Z

A great example of Halloween clothing brands promoting inclusivity is Target. They have made adaptive 2021 Halloween costumes that are perfect for all ages, genders and abilities. You can take inspiration from this by promoting halloween content in a way that includes and is accessible for everyone.

Remember that inclusivity is important all year round, not just for your Halloween marketing! Gen Zers will be put off by disingenuous brand activities – and with a high proportion of Gen Zers always researching brands before they make a purchase, there’s a high chance they’ll find out if your diversity campaign isn’t matched by inclusive business practices.

5. Create spooky DIY videos

What are halloween celebrations if not an opportunity to get crafty?

If you’re a beauty brand, you can use your products to create great Halloween makeup tutorials and encourage your followers to create their own. 

You can also pair up with beauty influencers. Send them a new product in return for some great, authentic content. They can use your items to produce fun and inspiring Halloween makeup looks that their followers can try for themselves. You’ll find our tips for finding the best influencers for your brand here.

But beauty isn’t the only kind of DIY inspo Gen Zers are looking for: Halloween costumes, party food recipes, decorations and even trick-or-treating pranks are on the up, so insert your brand into the conversation and you’ll see sales soar.

DIY Halloween costume ideas are especially popular on TikTok. #DIYHalloweenCostume has over 14.7M views, and #DIYHalloweenCostumes has 43.1M views on the platform. Don’t be afraid to push the boat out and create something wacky: if it’s funny, it’ll capture Gen Z’s attention – and make them remember you.

DIY videos in particular are great for reaching cash-strapped young people. TikTok is an ideal place to host these as the video-first format suits easy-to-follow demonstrations. Gen Z are extremely creative and they take inspiration from the things they see online. Halloween is the perfect time for your Gen Z audience to practice self-expression! 

6. Show off your 2022 Halloween costumes

If the number of DIY costume posts on TikTok sounded large, the sheer volume of searches and views for TikTok videos around halloween costumes and halloween costume ideas will have you resembling the Scream mask:#HalloweenCostume has over 5 billion views.

Research some scary movies (or even trending shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime video) and consider pop culture references young people will be looking to recreate. It doesn’t even need to be a scary costume: Bridgerton was a popular Halloween costume idea in 2021.

Even if you’re not a Halloween clothing brand, there are many costumes out there that your products could be perfect for. Get creative! Make try-on videos showing how you would style your 2022 Halloween costumes to provide some inspiration to Gen Zers

If you’re stuck for Halloween costume ideas, you can pair up with influential content creators to promote your products and raise brand awareness in an original and stand-out way. Why not partner with a sustainable fashion influencer to showcase how your Halloween look can be recycled into your everyday wardrobe? 

We’re experts at finding the perfect influencer for any campaign, so whatever your angle, get in touch. We’ll know exactly who’ll be best place to style it.

7. Turn the music up

Around Halloween you’ll find lots of ‘spooky remixes’ of various songs trending – and they make the perfect background audio for your Halloween content. 

Show off your inventive Halloween makeup looks or your how to put together your Halloween costume while playing a catchy Halloween song. Doing so will maximise the number of people that your video reaches, as some of the most popular songs reach billions of views- and everyone loves having a go at copying trending Tiktok dances! 

Food brands should take note too: if you share your Halloween recipe ideas with a trending halloween song, you’ll supercharge their potential. You’ll find more tips for Halloween marketing in our Food & Drink playbook.  

Your team might feel silly dancing in front of millions of people, but Gen Z loves it when you show your personality and have a laugh! This is the perfect opportunity to show the human side behind your brand. 

It’s important to note that for brands, there are some legal requirements for using music. Check out our article on TikTok Commercial Sounds for more info, or get in touch – our Music division has the right contacts to help, and we’ve even created new TikTok songs that went viral!

Final (spooky) thoughts

Halloween 2022 for brands is a time for fun ideas. Any brand is capable of using the Halloween season hype to their advantage if they’re inventive enough. Sometimes, it takes a little creativity to come up with unique Halloween content, but call upon your inner spooky self and have fun with it! Alternatively, call in the experts: we know how to tap Gen Z’s famously off-the-wall humour.

The younger generation loves when brands reveal their goofy side. Create lighthearted Halloween content that communicates your brand’s values and inspires your Gen Z audience, while promoting your products in an exciting and authentic way. Getting it right doesn’t just bring sales: it’ll make your brand memorable in the long term.

With Halloween 2022 creeping just around the corner, now’s the time to experiment with new kinds of content. Get in touch with us to find out how you can do just that – and turn your spooky experiment into revenue for your brand.

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