Halloween Search Engine Marketing

Photograph of womem in Halloween costumes


Experian Hitwise

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Searches for variations of “costume” and “costumes” are up about 3% over 2010.

THOUGHT: I like seasonal/holiday marketing because it’s predictable and you can plan for it. We’ve been planning communications campaigns around seasons and holidays in public relations for decades. Same goes for advertising. And the same goes for the relatively new field of search engine marketing.

The difference with search marketing, though, is we’ve got proof of demand based on the volume of search queries people perform and the keywords they use in their searches.

But while search demand for “costumes” works like clockwork, rising in August, peaking in September and plummeting in November to remain flat the rest of the year, when you dig deeper you find variations and anomalies.

So, knowing when search volume for costumes typically occurs, when you do further research you find that people search for types of costumes like Adult, Toddler and Baby costumes, Couples costumes; Fairy, Angel and Pirate costumes; 50s, 60s and 70s costumes; and Pet and Cheap costumes.

My favorites, though, are popular culture costumes. Star Wars, Batman and Disney costume searches are pretty standard and consistent across the years. The Classics, if you will.

But it gets tricky when you get to the transitory pop culture searches. Lady Gaga may or may not be a musician with staying power but we know that this year’s pop star may very well be forgotten the following year. More importantly, though, is getting a handle on what will be popular this year in time to plan for it. And that typically requires paying close attention to pop culture throughout the year so you have an inkling of what might strike people’s fancy when it comes time to dress up.

Using Google Insights for Search, for example, I tracked searches for “Lady Gaga Costumes,” “Katy Perry Costumes,” and “Nicki Minaj Costumes.” [SEE CHART.]

While the search volume for each is as you would expect, with Lady Gaga dominating and with Katy Perry more popular than Nicki Minaj. If you were paying attention to pop culture, you could confirm her popularity through Google’s search tools. When you dig into regional search data, though, you’d find that while demand for Lady Gaga costumes is relatively uniform across the United States and the same is true for Katy Perry but to a lesser degree, Nicki Minaj costume searches volume is restricted to New England, the rust belt, Illinois, Georgia, Florida, Texas and California.

If you’re a retailer in Minnesota, do you want to promote Minaj or should you stick to Gaga and Perry?

MINNESOTA MONDAY: Careful with that Tweet, Bernard.

Thank you for the touchdown pass I threw Saturday. It was awesome.


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