Special Days

Halloween ideas: Meet the Monstrepreneurs

These monstrepreneurs are killing it online on this Halloween. Here’s how they're using Over to bring their content to life.

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October 5, 2020

Scared of going unnoticed this Halloween? You’re not alone. Missing this fang-tastic marketing opportunity is every entrepreneur’s biggest nightmare. Meet the monstrepreneurs who have faced their fears and found the answers to spooktacular content.

Stand out in style

For Frank, the journey to creating standout ads began with experimenting. ”My father was a scientist – and an eccentric one to say the least. He always knew that if you wanted to bring something to life, you have to make it electrifying. Everything changed when I kept this in mind.”

“Honestly, if I see one more pumpkin I’m going to puke. This year I’ve opted for something unique and eye-catching, guaranteed to grab attention” says Frank. “I tried out a 3D effect, paired with some texture. The result is very contemporary, but harks back to the age of old 3D movies, where the monsters jumped right out of the screen. Well, sort of."

The 3D effect has worked wonders for Frank – his Halloween sale posters have been his best performing posts this month, and his customers are loving the fresh look.

“Some of my favorite portrayals have been the ones made for 3D theaters,” he reminisces with a monotonous, baritone drawl. “The ones with the blue and red glasses, old school. Call me old fashioned, but the computer stuff they’re doing today just isn’t the same.”

Here’s how he gets the 3D horror movie aesthetic in Over:

  1. Pick an image – either your own, or one of the spooky photos in our curated Halloween selection in Unsplash. You can find all of these in Over by searching ‘Halloween’, or download them to your device for free here. High contrast images work best.
  2. Now add a rectangular shape, cover your entire canvas, and make it deep blue.
  3. Use the Blend tool, in Multiply mode to colorize your image.
  4. Export this image as a PNG or JPG to your device.
  5. Back in edit mode, change the color of your rectangle to vivid red.
  6. Import your saved ‘blue’ version, and layer it on top with Difference mode in Blend.
  7. Line it up… imperfectly. The point is to get the two images slightly out of sync, to show up the 3D effect.
  8. Optional extra: to add some texture, pick a ‘concrete’ graphic, and use Screen mode with Blend tool to superimpose it over your final image.

It’s a pretty similar process to the Duotone look, which this video will take you through, step-by-step.

The analogue textures trend has been huge this year, so there’s another retro route you might want to try… except this one dates back quite a lot further. As in, 15th century further.

“That was really the golden era for monsters, in my opinion,” Frank adds. “Dracula was at the top of his game, werewolves had taken over much of Eastern Europe, and books had just become a thing, so our tales spread far and wide… It was a much, much darker time. Kids today tend to forget that.”

To add some old world Transylvanian flair to your Halloween designs this year, try out a basic collage – including antique maps, ink splatters, and bits of paper collage. Blackletter fonts are the perfect pairing for this look and feel. In fact, any kind of heavy, gothic font is a winner for Halloween content.

Some font and graphic pack collections in Over for an antiquated Halloween look.

Lure them in with a story

“Looks were never my forte," Dracula admits. "I would captivate my victims with my irresistible charm, and then… I’d strike! The switch to digital threw me until I mastered speedy storytelling using PAGES”.

If you’re going to be telling stories or designing lots of content this Halloween, using Pages will save you tons of time. This short video shows you exactly how it works:

The prince of darkness has had centuries to work on his narrative technique, and reckons Instagram Stories and Carousels are the foundation of his content strategy. He definitely has a point – storytelling, done right, hooks us in as we turn the page (or tap the screen) eager to see what happens next.

Here’s a little technique to turn a horror story into a sales opportunity this Halloween:

Problem: Create a creepy scenario with the problem that your brand solves.

Agitate: Stir it up...

Solve: Solve it with a delightful reveal: Your product offering.

Here's another example:

Try this out with paper graphics, paired with handwritten fonts, and scuffed up with some texture and ink splatters. Or, you could go a more visual route, and use photographs with some of our Halloween display fonts. In this case, don’t forget to download some free images on Unsplash from Over’s curated Halloween collection.

Check out our curated collection of free Halloween images on Unsplash...

...and pair them with one of our many Halloween fonts.

Dress up for the occasion

“I’m proudly Monster, so I think it’s worth marking this special day on the calendar. And the proof is in the pudding, my fans always engage more when I put some effort into revamping things.”

As is her tradition, Corpse Bride uses the week before Halloween to give her brand a ghoulish look and feel, which has the knock-on effect of getting customers into the spirit of things. “When I see other brands just completely ignore this global celebration, all I think to myself is: What a curse on their sales figures!”

Despite being dead, Corpse Bride clearly loves to live a little at this time of year. She keeps things light and humorous with cute stickers, graphics, and fun Halloweeny fonts. “I may be 526 years old, but most of my target market is much younger. Like, five centuries younger. So I consider things that will add delight to their lives. Life’s scary enough as it is these days, right?”

'Halloweenifying' your social designs in late October can increase engagement.

Here are some of her personal favorite graphics for Halloweenifying her social platforms  – (including our custom collection of Monstrepreneurs).

All these – and so many more – are available in Over.

If you’d like to know more about adding illustrations to photographs, this short video will walk you through the very quick and easy process.

Grow your audience

“It gets tiring, you know? All the endless chasing,” She-Wolf explains from the comfort of her sofa, mug of blood in hand. “Social media has really changed the game in that regard. I discovered soon enough that I could reach far more people via Instagram than prowling small villages all night.”

The switch to digital has clearly paid dividends, and her audience continues to grow steadily with every new post she puts out. Is it sorcery at play?

“Not at all!” she chuckles, fangs exposed. “It’s basic stuff once you understand it.  For me, the key is to always try new ideas that really focus on offering something to my customers. I’ve wreaked so much destruction over the centuries, so my focus right now is giving back.” To this end, She Wolf incentivizes others to follow her brand with frequent giveaways, competitions, and events.

It was trick or treaters knocking on her castle door that sparked some marketing insights.

“The first couple years kids started coming around looking for candy I’d either chase them away, or just, you know… devour them,” she says with a twinge of remorse. But the penny soon dropped. ”I realized… hang on, that’s exactly what I can offer my customers at this time of year. Tricks and treats… but the kind I know they’d appreciate”

This culminated in a series of virtual events, sales, competitions, and brand collaborations, all geared towards offering something in return for a quick follow, or a sneaky share.

She-Wolf was kind enough to share 5 secrets that have worked for her in the past:

1. Host a small workshop, and share a unique skill.

Teach your audience a useful trick – ideally something that relates to the Halloween season: making decorations, baking treats, carving pumpkins, creating an outfit. It’s never been easier to host an informal virtual gathering than right now.

2. Run a pop-up sale

Unlike some holidays, Halloween is a one-day-only occasion. So, to keep attention focused on your brand at this busy time, why not offer a scarily good discount on certain products or services… but only until the clock strikes midnight.

3. Generate some UGC, with a prize

Halloween is a time of increased creativity, where folks are makin’ and bakin’ their hearts out to get in the spirit of things. With the right incentive (i.e an irresistible prize), it’s easy to get people to share their efforts with you, creating content for your brand. Engage your community by letting them decide who’s Deadpool outfit or Pumpkin Pie looks best.

4. Join forces for a collab, with a giveaway

Merging a promotion with a likeminded brand is a great way to gain some exposure to a whole new crowd with overlapping tastes. The simplest way to approach this is to pool your resources, and offer a much bigger giveway to one lucky person, in return for sharing content, or following your accounts. More prize = more eyes.

5. Add a surprise gift

Suspense is a prevailing sentiment on Halloween… but it needn’t be a bad thing. Why not use the occasion to boost some sales, by adding a surprise gift to any orders made within a specified time? The not-knowing is all part of the fun, and you could really play up the element of mystery.

Ready to create beautiful Halloween content that will get your small business noticed? Download Over today, and unlock your creative potential!

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