Have an awesome promo video and push face book. Every like you get will put that promo video on hundreds of ppl's news feeds.
Bobby Arel's "parade advertising" how much hype would you generate by walking two zombies around with chains through a mall? Or a local young bar scene?
The groupon would be awesome for new haunts, set on specific nights, early in the season. Think of the low ticket revenue as advertising costs. My mother told me about a haunt in the area she saw on groupon, so you never know who they will tell.
Target your marketing. If you're after kids and families, don't use bloody savage zombies for your parade, use a cute cuddly mascot creature, and hang out around the kiddie play area of the mall (just be sure somebody is with you so you don't end up looking like a perv lol)
People remember things they see in person, so make a huge impression and you'll be remembered.
I meant to say ppl remember STRANGE things they see in person. When I was in my early 20's, I saw a guy at the mall walking around with a dildo strapped on his forehead. I asked him what the hell that was about... apparently it was some confidence building thing to talk to hot chicks while wearing that, so he could be more confident while not wearing that, and pick up hot chicks lol. That was at least five years ago... but I will NEVER forget that!
While at universal Hollywood horror nights, I could barely tell you all the scares in the houses, not even 50%. But I can tell you tons of details about the scare zones. I believe that is because you are in more of a normal frame of mind when walking to the next house. Some times I got the crap scared out of me in those zones... THOSE are the moments I remember. Hit ppl when they are in "normal" mode, thinking about regular things... that is the way to create lasting impressions.
In my massage practice I give bizcard magnets, not because I want them to have my number (which is what I tell them) but toestablish a presence in their everyday lives. I can't count the times ppl have called because they were reaching for ice and saw my card!
I plan on going as far as scaring ppl on the street (well my actors at least) then saying when's the last time yi7 were really scared at a haunted house, as I give them the card/flyer. These days everybody is so numb and self absorbed, it seems like you have to ingrain yourself into that selfishness, or snap them out of it for a second. Preferably both.
* . . . tears of pride welling up . . . I'm feeling a little verklempt . . . *
Originally Posted by scottylmt
It requires cultivation!
Facebook and Twitter were key for us this year, but the banner in the front did most of the work. I also sent the wife to a Harvest Festival in the neighboring town on one of the nights to pass out flyers. That had great results as well. I might do a few radio spots only because we are in a really rural town and radio is all they have out here (and its cheap - $10 for 60s spot). I posted something fresh on FB and Twitter every day (sometimes twice a day) to draw new followers. There are great apps out there to assist with that. A friend of mine that does consulting showed me one I am adding this year called TweetAdder that actually helps you find others tweeting about Halloween, and helps you narrow your focus to specific areas.
Be religious about your posting and make it interesting. Not just stuff about your hours, etc. Tell stories, carry news about the holidays, post facts about Zombies, Viruses, etc. Soon you will build a following. And it will continue to grow year after year. Yeah, I did say year after year. It has to be cultivated so if you thought you were going to make a big profit year one, sorry. Even though we had a 600% increase in revenues this year, I am still far from a profit, and still in my growing stages (growing meaning both in attendance as well as building the haunt to be bigger and better every year).
Isn't running a business fun!
I seen a lot of people mention Google. The whole local search is huge now. We are out in California and we have our door person ask where people found out about the haunt at and the majority of them came from generic Google searches for haunted house. We did some work to get the haunt so it showed up on page 1 of Google for local search terms and we saw about 70% of our visitors coming from that work and once you get it all up there it is fairly affordable depending on who you go with. Look to make sure you have your Google Places listing properly optimized along with Yahoo, Bing and Yelp. We saw great results from those listings and those are one time setups if you pay someone. If you have any questions feel free to hit me up, I did it all for the haunt this year and do this stuff for work so will be more than happy to help anyone with any questions.