Valentine’s Day Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses
Valentine’s Day is the first major sales date of the year for retailers so we want to make sure you’re prepared for the next few weeks of increased demand.
Valentine’s Day has become an essential holiday for businesses both big and small. It’s time to turn those haphazard, half-hearted marketing tactics into robust Valentine’s Day campaigns.
According to various studies, Australians are expected to splash some serious cash for Valentine’s Day this year.
Commonwealth Bank’s latest spending data has revealed Australians spent more than $23 million on Valentines Day.
In 2017 we dropped $13.6 million on dinner, $7 million on drinks and $3.2 million on flowers — a 60 per cent total increase in spending across these three categories compared with an average Tuesday in February.
And unsurprisingly, florists experienced a whopping 500 percent increase in sales on Valentine’s Day compared with an average Tuesday that month.
Figures from CommBank have revealed which state sell the most Valentine’s Day roses in Australia
People in NSW buy the highest volume of roses — but they don’t spend the most on the flower. Source: Commonwealth Bank.
Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to launch some quick holiday marketing campaigns to turn those haphazard, half-hearted marketing tactics into robust Valentine’s Day campaigns.
First and foremost, understand your store’s inventory and identify which products may be well suited for Valentine’s Day purchase. Once you’ve figured this out, you now have a list of products to push with your marketing campaigns. Here’s a short list of key product categories that very much identify with Valentine’s Day.
Key Product Categories:
· Greeting Cards
Valentine’s Day shopping trends have changed quite a bit over the years. Valentine’s Day is no longer just for romance. Consumers will spend money on family members, children, co-workers, pets, and even themselves. For example, consumers plan to spend just over $26 on their pets during Valentine’s Day. Even if you don’t sell traditional Valentine’s Day products, use the opportunity to reach out to leads and past customers.
However, also spare a thought for the lonely hearts. CommBank said that dating app subscriptions, to the likes of Tinder and RSVP, remained steady throughout January but then spiked in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day.
In the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, men will be far the biggest downloaders of dating apps.
Unlike birthdays and Christmas Less planning goes into Valentine’s Day shopping which means that nearly half of shoppers plan to shop in the lead up to Valentine’s Day. You’ve still got plenty of time to get your marketing plans in place.
Now here are few Valentines Day promotion ideas that you can use when creating your Valentine’s Day online campaign:
Run 2-for-1 Deals
Valentine’s Day is the holiday that’s all about couples, so play on this idea with a “two-for-one” deal. If your company is able to offer a “buy one, get one free” offer, write copy that plays on being coupled up. Even if you don’t offer physical products, find a way to offer special deals on your services, and connect them to Valentine’s Day by using the relevant language. Promote your deals on social media for optimal impact.
Put some effort into selecting your deal so that they are appealing to your core demographic, and relevant to Valentine’s Day and couples. It should not feel like a generic “buy one, get one free” offer, and you should also drive it with appropriate marketing both in-store (for physical locations), and online.
One classic Valentine’s day custom is card-giving. Traditionally signed by a ‘secret admirer’ and given anonymously, the gesture has now evolved into a holiday necessity. With nearly 6.5 billion greeting cards sold on and around February 14th, it’s clear that people understand the significance of giving something small and understated, but that represents something bigger than themselves.
Channel this kind of energy into creating coupons specifically tailored to your business – whether it be an online offer redeemable in store, or a physical coupon given in person or by mail. Make each customer feel loved. Say thanks and express your appreciation for their business by giving them a seasonal discount (preferably drawn up in pink or red ink). The coupon, of course, is beneficial to customers regardless of the occasion.
Hold a contest
As with any commercial holiday, each customer you reach out to will likely be bombarded by similar giveaways by competing companies. Keep their attention by holding a contest, whether it be a grand prize given away on February 14th, or small gifts given leading up to the day itself.
‘Sharing’ the contest on social media and tagging ‘the person you love’ is one example of how a contest could result in further engagement. Position your contest so that it is able to be shared widely. And while social media is an obvious choice in terms of reach, another great way to hold a contest with limited effort on your end is by creating a themed landing page on your website (which will, of course, garner more leads as well).
Ryanair Ltd., a famous Ireland-based airline company, launched a Valentine’s Day competition on Twitter with the hashtag #loveRyanair. The competition was about encouraging people to post their pics with their loved ones, soul mates and asking them to choose their romantic dream destination, they ever wanted to visit. The winner was to get a chance to win free air tickets to his or her dream destination.
Add Some Romantic Flair to Your Company’s Social Media Accounts
Help your followers get into the spirit of love by adding some romantic flair on your social media profile images and cover photos (Hint: if you’re running a campaign, you should match your art to any other pieces of marketing collateral). Otherwise, just make sure it’s a Valentine’s Day tie-in that allows your brand to still be recognizable but also celebrates Valantines Day!
Switching out your in-house decorations, online profile image, header, or background to something Valentine’s Day themed for a limited time will give your campaign a unified look. Given that the holiday falls in the middle of the month, February 1st to February 14th at 11:59 PM should be dedicated to capitalization on the building Valentine’s Day frenzy.
Remember to, set a reminder to revert back to your regular, non-themed content schedule on the 15th.
Here’s an example from Chambord
Ask Your Followers to Share Their Love Stories
Active on social media? Ask your audience to share their love stories, finding a way to tie in the question with your brand. Be clear that not every story has to be romantic in the traditional sense. (You don’t want to alienate members of your audience). Ask for all types of love stories, including romantic, friendship etc. Offer a prize for the best story, but make sure you have the guidelines clearly outline before launching your campaign! Keep in mind that you shouldn’t explicitly ask your audience to like and share your post for extra entries as Facebook is cracking down on these types of posts.
Posts like this don’t only encourage engagement, they are also more likely to be shared, promoting brand awareness.
Just remember that Facebook is clamping down on engagement baiting, so refrain from explicitly asking for likes and shares.
Promote gift cards
While chocolates, flowers, jewelry, and dinners account for the bulk of Valentine’s Day spending, gift cards amount to a large percentage of total sales. A staple of the last-minute shopper, the gift card is an excellent item to push during the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. Customising gift cards to the holiday theme will also help to boost profits before February 14th.
Charm Your Audience in Your Email Marketing
Valentine’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to captivate your customers with a themed email marketing campaign.
Start with an irresistible subject line that:
· either plays on the theme of love and romance, or explicitly mentions Valentine’s Day. Think “We’re in ❤️ with these hot February fares”, or “Valentine’s Day treats for you and yours”.
· hints at the actual contents of the email, but be clear about any special offers.
· includes emoji’s where appropriate. Emoji have been shown to positively increase open rates, as long as you don’t use too many at a time.
Next, make sure the content of the email is appealing enough to drive customers to your website, and conversion.
Uber’s 2017 campaign focused on encouraging customers to take at least one trip for a chance to win great prizes.
But the email was also designed around a Valentine’s Day theme, from the header graphic, through to the wording of the copy, and even a slight modification of the CTA.
Create a last minute Valentines Day gift guide
For those who don’t necessarily know what to buy aside from the typical ‘chocolate and flowers’ combination, creating a gift guide specific to your business is a great way to get your customers to familiarize themselves with your products while garnering ideas at the same time. Share the guide widely, and don’t forget to be creative! Nothing’s worse than a gift guide that is a repetition of everything that’s come before.
We all know those people who wait until the last minute to buy gifts. Play to their needs by offering a last-minute Valentine’s Day gift guide that includes your products/services and a few others from different sites (non-competitors). Pick romantic-themed and self-love items and showcase them in a PDF, YouTube video, microsite or Snapchat story.
Whatever you do this Valentine’s Day, make it about making your customers and potential buyers feel special. Invest your digital marketing efforts into creating Valentine’s Day campaign that brings you closer to the consumer, and use the tactics above to create a well-rounded, enticing package.
Then seize the opportunity to capitalise on the next big holiday!
If you need help with your next holiday online marketing campaign then get in touch for an obligation free chat to see how we can help improve your holiday sales.