February 14th marks St. Valentine’s Day. A whole day dedicated to love and romance, where we all make an effort to spend time with loved ones and exchange sentimental gifts. However, Valentine’s Day also serves as one of the most significant commercial opportunities for your brand’s marketing. In fact, it is predicted that Brits will spend an astonishing £1.37 billion for Valentine’s Day this year, so it’s imperative that you include this into your eCommerce marketing strategy.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best ways to market your brand this Valentine’s Day across a variety of channels, as well as some of our favourite Valentine’s campaigns we’ve seen to date.
It’s important to think outside of the box – literally!
You may not sell fancy boxes of chocolates, pretty flowers or fine jewellery, but that doesn’t mean you can’t capitalise on Valentine’s Day for your marketing strategy. Along with creative ideas, and the right channels and messaging, you can market anything.
It may go without saying, but we should be celebrating all kinds of love – beyond romance. Whether it’s the love for our friends, colleagues, pets or a bit of self-love, we should be inclusive of all forms of love.
As a brand, this poses an opportunity to relate with your niche market and create an authentic connection with your audience. For instance, if you sell pet products, you could run a campaign that focuses solely on the relationship between pets and their owners. Not only is this relatable content, but adorable, too! Check out what Pooch & Mutt have been up to on Instagram:
Alternatively, you could use Valentine’s Day as a way to show your appreciation for your company, giving thanks to your team members, suppliers and stockists, and reflecting your brand values and positive company culture. Equinox Kombucha does this well in it’s recent, heart-warming blog ‘A Love Letter to Calderdale’.
You could even take it one step further and take a bold stance to redefine Valentine’s Day with an anti-Valentine’s Day campaign, particularly if you sell products for singletons. However, ultimately, the angle you take will depend on your brand values and the products you sell.
When you think of Valentine’s Day, you think red hearts, glitter and roses. This makes it distinctive from other seasonal holidays and a great selling point.
Even if you don’t have specific Valentine’s products, you can flick through your existing product catalogue and handpick relevant items that fit the bill.
Again, Pooch & Mutt is a great example of this. They’ve taken their pink-packaged, heart-shaped treats, which are good for your pup’s heart health, and promoted this for Valentine’s Day.
When promoting products on social channels, don’t forget to include the right hashtags and a link to shop your products online!
You should also be promoting these products on your homepage by creating a dedicated landing page. Landing pages are essential for turning site visitors into paying customers. Using keyword research, you can optimise these pages for search engines and increase your online visibility. Moonpig does this well:
Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to make the most of two-for-one deals or other promotional offers. For instance, if you buy something for yourself, you can get one item for free to give to a friend – perfect for Galentine’s.
Here’s an Instagram post from up and coming flower delivery service, Freddie’s Flowers. They’ve decided to spread the love this year and offer a free bouquet of flowers – no strings attached. This is a great tactic to use your existing customers for referrals, and win over new customers by offering a free sample.
Another factor to take into account is last-minute shoppers. You will need to accommodate forgetful partners who leave ordering their gift at the last-minute. This could be through offering next day delivery or clearly publishing your Valentine’s Day order cut-offs to ensure delivery on time. We suggest using a temporary banner on your site so that this information is easy to find.
Here’s an example from Bloom & Wild
And, Funky Pigeon:
User generated content (UGC) is any type of content created by your audience, not your brand; this could be text, image or video, for example. UGC is great at positioning your brand as authentic, and building trust with your audience. It can be used as part of an ongoing social strategy, but also works well for seasonal content.
Take Nutella for example. This year, they are running what they call ‘the most delicious video chain ever’. They challenge their audience to film themselves grabbing a knife, showing how they spread their Nutella and passing the knife back to continue the loop. The idea is to ‘spread the Nutella’, a play on words of ‘spread the love’, and will be sure to generate a buzz around the brand and increase social visibility. To top it off, participants are in for the chance to win some prizes, which is an incentive to join in.
A gift guide is one of the most effective marketing tools for any seasonal occasion. Essentially, it is a list of gift ideas carefully curated for your target audience, who will be searching for gift ideas for their loved ones. You can publish your own gift guide on your blog or create a carousel post on social media platforms, either promoting all your own products, or incorporating some from other brands. Just ensure you choose from brands who hold similar values. For instance, if you are an independent, organic brand, you don’t want to be associated with a corporate giant with no environmental initiatives.
Another option is to outreach your products to relevant publications to include your product on their existing Valentine’s Day gift guides. It is essential that you choose publications with similar readership to your target audience. So, for example, if you sell makeup, the likes of Allure, Cosmopolitan and Prima are a good place to start.
Here’s an example from Country Living:
Social media contests serve as a great tool to build your social media presence, increase your follower count and create a close-knit community online. Giveaways provide a powerful incentive for your existing followers to share your posts with friends and family, by sharing it to their Instagram stories or tagging them in the comments. Who can resist a repost when freebies are involved? In fact, accounts who hold regular competitions on social platforms can grow their following up to 70% more than accounts who do not, and receive 3.5 as many “likes” than the average social post. How’s that for engagement?
You could even partner with another brand to tap into a wider audience and double your visibility – not to mention, offer an even better prize, too.
Here’s an example from Chilly’s and Joey Yu:
Spread the love to your existing customers this Valentine’s Day using email marketing. Email marketing is a fantastic way to connect with your existing customer base, as well as build relationships with potential customers. We recommend creating a Valentine’s Day themed email to showcase your seasonal products, offer promotional deals or provide valuable blog content. Don’t forget to include a call-to-action (CTA) to direct users back to your site, ideally funnelling them through to a Valentine’s Day landing page to promote your limited products or services.
Here are a couple of eye-catching emails we’ve seen in our inbox lately:
At this time of year, or around any seasonal holiday, one way to grow your email list is to use targeted pop-ups on your site. Pop-ups can be used to promote a free voucher code that is available in exchange for an email address and name. You can also request additional information as this could be helpful for email segmentation and future marketing plans. Remember not to make it an invasive and annoying pop-up, so have the exit button clearly visible, otherwise you may end up losing valuable customers who are struggling to get onto your website. This is a simple and sleek, yet effective, example taken from Astrid & Miyu:
Switch up your logo temporarily to suit the Valentine’s theme and catch your audience’s attention. We recommend sticking to the classic pink and red colours with hearts and roses, so that it is easily recognisable. This logo can be used across your social profiles, website and display ads. Here’s an example from Moonpig:
Valentine’s Day is just one day in the calendar that means your marketing for this period will last less time than other holidays, such as Christmas or Easter. As such, you need to drive this feeling of urgency to your customers. You can do this through highlighting your limited-time deals, writing page copy with an urgent tone or even adding a countdown to your website leading up to the big day. Here’s an example from Serenata Flowers:
Never underestimate the power of influencers. In fact, 60% of consumers would buy a product if they’d seen it used by an influencer. And, this doesn’t have to be traditional influencer marketing – which we all know can be extremely costly and out of the question for small businesses especially. Instead, brands have begun using ‘as seen on’ as an effective way to market their products. If you go for micro influencers, you may even get a re-post, which could open your brand up to a wider, hyper-relevant audience. You could also try gifting your products for an honest review, or they may even fall in love with your brand, earning you your very own organic, brand advocate!
Here’s an example from Asos:
If you’ve got the time and resources to pull off a PR stunt, then go for it! A PR stunt is any planned event, designed to attract as much attention as possible. A good PR stunt is memorable, reactive, visual and brave, and gets people talking about your brand. You will gain the share of voice both online and off. For example, if you sell chocolate, why not make the largest chocolate bar in the world? Or if you own a restaurant, you could create an unbelievable menu to shock the public and stand out in the market.
Here are some of the best Valentine’s PR stunts we’ve seen over the years:
An oldie but a goldie. IKEA offered a free coupon for a baby cot for exactly 9 months after Valentine’s Day.
“Will Delive-Roo Be My Valentine” – Deliveroo and KFC partnered on this shocking V-day campaign that offered consumers to surprise their Valentine with a limited-edition KFC bucket ring.
Do any of these ideas take your fancy?
If you’re looking for expert digital marketing support, please get in touch with our team for more information.