Happy (almost) Halloween! Last year I collected some advice for taking advantage of the holidays for marketing, and this year I wanted to go even further! Read last year's tips here, then read on for brand new tips!
Costume inspiration. Make inspiration images (like this) for each character's "costume." Mention any important props or wardrobe notes so that fans can look as accurate as possible.
Character candy recommendations. What is the preferred Halloween candy of the characters in your series? Where do they all fall on the endless candy corn debate? Share insights throughout the day and encourage fans to retweet the ones they agree with.
Halloween headcanons . What would the characters themselves dress up as for Halloween? Share the thoughts and reasonings throughout the week leading up to the holiday. Points if you get your actors to dress up as their characters in costume, or have some sort of terrible but funny Photoshop job.
Pumpkin batch. Get your cast/crew together to carve pumpkins! If you can swing it with everyone in the same room, do a live stream and answer audience questions while you carve, and if not, share individual images over the course of the day, shouting out each artist and their role on your production.
National Sandwich Day (November 3rd)
Make me a sandwich. If there was a diner that only sold sandwiches inspired by your characters, what would each sandwich be composed of? Extra points if you actually make them and get the actors to pose!
Do you really need a second idea here? Make me a sandwich!
If sandwiches aren't your thing, there's a handy food holiday list here so you can select your preferred edible marketing pairing
Get handsy. Have your cast and crew make their own hand turkeys! This is a simple way to get everyone involved and creative without needing to have everyone in the same room. If your cast wants to make hand turkeys for their characters, even better!
Wishbone wish. Randomly pair up characters and release a series of polls on Twitter or Facebook or another platform that allows polling and have fans vote on who would win a wishbone wish! Once the results are in, reveal the character's wish!
Giving back. What are the favorite charities of your characters (or would be, if your characters existed in our universe and not a fantasy one)? Throughout the day or week of Thanksgiving, share why the character loves the mission statement and a link for fans to donate.
Computer Security Day (November 30th)
Passwords. What would each of your character's passwords be? Something charmingly basic like Password123 or something with deep cut Easter eggs where all the seemingly random numbers can be matched to an important story point?
Desktops. A person's desktop reveals a lot about their soul. What do your characters desktops look like? Cluttered with the default background image? Neat with a vacation photo background? A series of folders with different emotions of reaction GIFs ready to go?
Do you want to build a snowman? If it snows where you live, make a character (or several characters) out of snow! If it doesn't snow where you live, design custom character snowmen on a computer or by hand drawing them.
Gift-giving guides. Gift guides are highly specific and often insane 1, so get in on the fun? Make gift guides either aligned with character archetypes (Gift Guide For The [insert character name] In Your Life) or your show itself (Great Gift Finds For Fans of [show name/show theme]!). Whether you're sincere or satirical, it'sbound to be a lot of fun. You might even be able to make some money out of it.
Resolved redux.Last year we recommended you set New Years Resolutions for your show or production company. This year, tell everyone how you did! Then make new ones- be always, always moving forward.
Midnight kiss. Are there some swoon-worthy couples or OTPs in your series? Get a cute shot of the characters kissing (or a screenshot!) and schedule the photo to post exactly at midnight to ring in the new year with some romance and warding off of evil.
Groundhog Day (February 2nd, 2019)
Weather poll. Which of your characters (or cast and crew IRL) would prefer 6 more weeks of winter? Pit them against each other and have your audience vote for which side they agree with. When it'sofficial, post a pic of the losing team looking miserable in either spring fashions or bundled up against the cold.
On loop. This idea comes from our pal @SnobbyRobot! "Put your episodes on repeat" he suggests- either by uploading an ultra-long file that's just the same episode or season over and over again, or by uploading the same episode throughout the day and tweeting the new links with identical language.
Earth Day (April 22nd, 2019)
Highlight outdoor scenes. Do you have a scene, or many scenes, filmed outdoors for your series? Share the best screenshots and production stills from those days with a map alongside to pinpoint the location! Bonus points if there's a particularly well-aligned environmental charity you can support and promote at the same time.
Recycled content. Release deleted scenes and call them "recycled"! This also works for things in your script that never got filmed or even an old prop giveaway contest.
[Community] History Month/Week/Day
Do you have a plethora of awesome female characters, or African American characters, or LGBT+ characters, etc? Highlight them during their respective heritage/celebration periods! Go with a simple message, like-
"This Women's History Month, we're highlighting [web series name]'s amazing female characters. Today: [character name], a [short, catchy description of character]! Check her out in action: [link to series/episode]."
Make sure you include a picture!
February- Black History Month
March- Women's History Month, National Irish American Heritage Month
May- Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month
June- Gay Pride Month
September 15 to October 15- Hispanic Heritage Month
October 11th- National Coming Out Day
Obviously I'm missing some- if you know of any more, let me know!
Perhaps a more specific holiday is better suited to your web series- perhaps it'sabout parenthood and you can piggyback on a Mother's Day or Father's Day, or it'sabout siblings or grandparents or hippies or any number of kinds of people. There are literally thousands of random holidays you can capitalize on so as not to overburden your marketing brain with reinventing the wheel every week.
Do you have any holiday-themed ideas to promote your web series? Let us know, and let us know what you're going as for Halloween!