See how social media influencers are creating content around Halloween costume ideas to grow their followings and make some extra money.
The scramble for the perfect Halloween costume can be overwhelming—especially if you want to DIY. After brainstorming and finally nailing an idea, then you have to figure out how to make it. This year, however, influencers on Instagram and TikTok are using their platforms to do all the hard work for you: coming up with Halloween costume ideas for the season and telling you exactly where to buy the materials for them.
Influencer marketing tool Keyhole found that in 2020, costume ideas were by far the most popular type of Halloween post from influencers, compared to other Halloween categories like decorations and makeup. In fact, Halloween costumes received 9.3 billion impressions across social media last year.
It’s no surprise, then, that creators who spoke to Linktree said that once they started posting about Halloween costumes, they saw their followings increase. As a result, they were able to monetize their costume ideas by encouraging audiences to purchase the items through Amazon links, where they can earn up to 10% commission, depending on the product.
The key to a viral Halloween costume, according to 25-year-old creator Michelle Tamar, is to come up with new ideas based on trending topics, or lean into the nostalgia of cult movies and celebrities. Google recently released data on the most popular Halloween costume searches in 2021 so far, which include characters from Netflix’s “Squid Game” and Britney Spears. On top of that, The Shelf says that 2021 is the first year that per-person Halloween spending will exceed $100 USD, meaning this is a major opportunity for creators to earn money from their followers this spooky season.
Ahead, here seven influencers share the ways they’ve found success on the Halloween costume grind.
27-year-old Jaz, who does not share her full name, is a full-time content creator based in Ohio with a focus on budget-friendly fashion. She’s had a longtime love of fall her whole life, so it’s no surprise her seasonal and Halloween-inspired content consistently overperforms on her platforms, most notably Instagram where she has over 37,000 followers.
This season, Jaz has churned out dozens of “easy Halloween costume ideas” on Instagram Reels, earning tens of thousands of views per video. Using clothes and accessories already found in your closet, many of Jaz’ ideas are perfect for last-minute costumes when you don’t have time to shop.
Jaz uses Linktree to share affiliate discount codes to places like Fabletics and Pink Lily for her audience to use when purchasing her fashion and costume content. She also uses Linktree to display her Amazon Storefront and directly embed her most recent YouTube video in-app, giving easy access for visitors to consume her content.
”My audience really enjoyed my DIY easy costume ideas!” Jaz says. “I think something a lot of us realized in 2020 is that there are so many creative and fun ways to do a lot of things from home and I think that will continue to be popular as the world picks back up again!”
Claire, Instagram & TikTok
Claire shares an Instagram Reel with ideas for a Dua Lipa Halloween costume.
Recent college grad Claire, who does not share her full name, is a full-time content creator on Instagram and TikTok with 27,000 and 64,000 followers, respectively. Her Halloween costume ideas, like Kendall Jenner, Hailey Bieber, and Britney Spears, performed particularly well on TikTok, and Claire cross-posts the content to Instagram to maximize reach.
“My Halloween costume idea content initially blew up on my TikTok page with over 3 million accumulated views,” she says. “I decided to post the videos on Instagram Reels as I do with most of my popular TikToks, and started seeing great results from it.”
At the end of her costume videos, Claire directs viewers to her Amazon Storefront where they can purchase all the costume elements mentioned, and she receives a “small” commission.
“I think making the entire costume available within a few clicks from seeing the video definitely contributes to the success,” she says.
Claire says the most popular costumes so far this year are of female singers.
“I have seen a lot of requests for Brittany Spears, Dua Lipa, and Olivia Rodrigo,” she says.
MJ Hedderman, Instagram
Fashionista MJ Hedderman is so dedicated to the Halloween inspo cause, she’s been posting a new look on her LIKEtoKNOW.it every day of October. From Scooby Doo to Cruella de Ville to Kill Bill, her outfits are the real deal. She shares links to all the pieces on the site, where creators can make around 10% commission on all sales. That means for every one person who buys, say, Hedderman’s “Clueless” costume picks, she makes approximately $10.
That commission adds up, especially when you consider that Hedderman has over 200,000 Instagram followers (and links out to her LIKEtoKNOW.it in her bio), plus tens of thousands of views on her Reels.
Lina, TikTok & Instagram
Lina dressed as “Jennifer’s Body” for Halloween, shared on her Amazon storefront.
Lina, who does not share her full name, posts fashion and beauty content on all major social media platforms, but it’s her TikToks and Instagram Reels featuring Halloween costume ideas that have been particularly successful. For instance, her video of pop culture-inspired Halloween ideas received over three million views on TikTok, where she has 66,000 followers.
On her website, Lina provides Amazon links for costume accessories used in her social media videos. For some of her costumes, like “Coraline” and “Jennifer’s Body,” Lina displays them on her Amazon Storefront.
Aside from commission, Lina also earns money from her Halloween posts thanks to brand deals. Most recently, she partnered with Spirit Halloween for a sponsored video using the brand’s makeup and costumes to dress up as the Corpse Bride.
Like other content creators, 21-year-old Briohni, who does not share her full name, was surprised to see her Halloween content get so much attention on TikTok. Thanks to these videos, she now has over 20,000 followers.
“I never really had a specific direction I was going with my TikTok videos so I started posting my costume content in September as we were slowly creeping up to the spooky season,” she says. The videos, like “Halloween costumes for trios (villain editions)” and “Halloween costumes for quads,” consistently received hundreds of thousands of views.
Briohni puts a lot of work into her creations, looking for old nostalgic TV shows to recreate, or even making custom costume ideas for followers who make requests in the comments.
“A lot of people will ask me for specific hair colors and I’ll click on their page and think ‘oh I definitely have a good one for you,’” she says. “I love giving them different options that they can relate to.”
Michelle Tamar, Instagram
Michelle Tamar uses Instagram to promote costume ideas from her online store.
Tamar, the Argentina-born, Switzerland-based creator, has her own online vintage store called Michelle Tamar. She posts nostalgic Halloween costume ideas on Instagram to promote her store and inspire people to purchase the pieces on her website.
Tamar says her Halloween videos have an average reach of 55,000 accounts and around 1,450 saves, proving there’s an appetite for 90s and Y2k clothing this Halloween season. Tamar says fairy goth, y2k, fembot, and 90’s cowgirl-inspired costumes are most popular this year, as well as late 90s/early 2000s style inspired by Paris Hilton, Mean Girls, Clueless, and Bratz.
“I use the [Instagram] content to showcase and promote the vintage items that are dropping in my shop that particular week,” she says. “I then cross-post it to my Stories with a link to my shop once the clothes are available.”
Like other influencers, Tamar finds that posting Halloween content has helped grow her following, as well as strengthen her community: “People come to me looking not only for individual pieces they can buy, but [also] for styling inspiration, original outfit ideas and sustainable ways to reuse clothing.”
Carolina Freixa, TikTok & Instagram
“Every Halloween video I’ve done since then has been very popular,” she says, adding that she’s gained “a lot” of followers since she started posting costume videos. To monetize her videos, Freixa directs followers to her Amazon Storefront, where her audience can purchase all the fixings for costumes like Disney princesses, Tinkerbell, and Olivia Rodrigo, earning herself commission.
“I find that costumes that are cute, affordable and easy to recreate are the ones that my followers love the best,” she says.
For influencers looking for steady content inspiration and a reliable income stream year after year, Halloween content has a guaranteed audience with ample opportunities to get creative. From affiliate links to paid brand sponsorships to increased audience engagement, these social media influencers say Halloween season can be a boost to both followers and income. So lean into platforms like Instagram and TikTok this season—you’ll never be stuck with a boring Halloween costume again.