3 Major Valentine’s Day Marketing Ideas That Are Customer-Focused

Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is one of the most celebrated days of the year. Not only is it a day for love but it is also arguably the time people spend the most. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF) in a 2019 report, Valentine’s Day spending will hit the record-breaking US $20.7 billion – despite the decline in the percentage of consumers in recent years. 

Valentine’s Day History

Yearly on this day, couples share their love and affection for each other in the form of gifts. We also remember how Valentine’s Day went in school for many of us – hoping to get roses, chocolates, and candies from secret crushes. 

Why is February 14 considered the day of love? How did Valentine’s Day begin? 

The history behind Valentine’s Day is murky – there are a couple of legends surrounding the day. While some stories suggest that Saint Valentine was a priest who secretly performed marriages for young soldiers, others claim that Valentine sent the first-ever “Valentine” greeting to a girl before his death. That explains the expression – from your valentine! Whichever story resonates with you, Saint Valentine is now the patron saint of love. 

How Has Valentine’s Day Changed Over The Years?

Searching for candy shops, flower arrangements, gifts for him or her, and quotes to write in cards are representative of how Valentine’s Day influences most Google searches. There are several products, especially candy, that are significant to the consumerist culture surrounding Valentine’s Day.

You could be eating dinner at a swanky restaurant or having a home-cooked gourmet meal. Regardless of how you celebrate Valentine’s Day, candy is synonymous with the holiday. Shelves of the famous Hershey’s Kisses and Necco’s Conversation Candies in supermarkets are enough proof of this. 

Over the years, Valentine’s Day has evolved to become a holiday that people celebrate with – not only their lovers – but with family, friends, and even pets. As the consumer base begins to include millennials, spending attitudes are gradually shifting as well. No longer just a holiday for couples, Valentine’s Day is a day of love for all. 

What Does This Mean For Valentine’s Day Marketing Campaigns?

Now that spending for Valentine’s Day gifts, cards, and candies has expanded to include family and friends, marketing and advertising campaigns are also changing in terms of how what and to whom they are marketing. 

Valentine’s Day is your chance to ramp up your sales by incorporating some innovative and unique promotional ideas that appeal to the masses. Your Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns need not always centre around physical products – the holiday of love is perfect for a marketing campaign focused on driving engagement numbers up too! 

Get started on your Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns with our customer-focused ideas. 

1. Valentine’s Day Specials: Run Promotional Campaigns

As February 14 approaches, there will be high Google volume searches (322k for global volume) for the best dining deals, gift ideas or guides, and fun activities available. Valentine’s Day offers a great platform for businesses to use promotional campaigns to ramp up sales during the holiday. 

A. Curate A Gift-Guide (For Him & Her)

The yearly occasion is a popular gifting season for everyone, not just couples. Friends might give each other chocolates, others may treat their pets to toys and partners may have a romantic dinner together. A gift guide that communicates the idea of love for all markets to a wider audience is the way to go for modern-day Valentines. 

Set up gift guides for both him and her. Pick romantic or love-themed products and services available and market them through a video on social media, e-brochure, or a microsite (Microsoft has a great one!). 

You could get gifts for:

  • For him and her 
  • Adventurous dates 
  • Personalised gifts
  • Food-lovers 

Gift guides are often lifesavers in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. Curating a gift guide allows businesses to play to the needs of last-minute shoppers.

B. Run 2-For-1 Deals 

Though Valentine’s Day today is more inclusive, it would still be known first for a romantic holiday. This is perfect for companies that provide goods and services that easily fit into the “2-for-1” deal. For instance, restaurants, massage parlours and musicals can optimise the holiday to run “2-for-1” deals for couples. 

The “2-for-1” promotional campaign can be flexible – it can be used to couple up deals and offers on services. To successfully market the promotion, organisations should also build up anticipation by promoting the deals on social media platforms in advance. 

 C. Run Card-Making Stations

Running a card-making station for Valentine’s Day is a feasible option for brick-and-mortar businesses, not so much among online retailers. The option to personalise your card and see it being made for you right in front of your eyes is an attractive option for customers to continue shopping in your store.

2. Drive Engagement Goals With Valentine’s Day Campaigns

Apart from running advertising or promotional campaigns, Valentine’s Day presents businesses with the opportunity to engage with their customers

Engagement-based marketing campaigns are another way to promote your business, connect with your customers and increase sales. Plus, seasonal marketing is the best way to build upon the loyalty of your customers and form stronger customer-brand relationships. 

 A. Set Up A Photo Contest

A simple photo contest on Facebook or Instagram will encourage your followers to share photos of themselves and their significant others or friends. Everyone likes a little limelight so photo contests on social media are great for building emotional connection with your customers. 

 B. Run A Love-Themed Social Media Poll

Another similar idea to boost engagement would be to capitalise the tools provided by social media platforms such as Instagram to host a Valentine’s Day themed poll. 

Using the Instagram Stories Poll Sticker, businesses can host a series of questions revolving the day of love. What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? What is the best gift for Valentine? Chocolates or Roses? These are just some light-hearted ways you can connect with your loyal customers and be a brand that cares. 

C. Encourage User-Generated Content

User-generated content is an inexpensive and creative way to experiment with a little bit of influencer marketing for Valentine’s Day. Influencer marketing works because customers these days (about 49%) are much more likely to purchase after hearing a recommendation from someone they follow on social media. Encouraging your customers and influencers to reshare your brand products can go a long way in strengthening customer-brand relationships.

Let your customers be the brand ambassadors! 

3. Cross-Promote & Celebrate All Kinds Of Love This Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day should not be reserved for just lovers. Expand your target audience this Valentine’s by celebrating love in all its wonderful forms – platonic, romantic and self-love. 

Some creative ways you can draw attention to the different ways we can celebrate love are:

  1. Host a pet adoption party
  2. Hold a giveaway for friends on your social media 
  3. Offer singles promotions to emphasise the importance of self-love 

Remember, how you market yourself as a business on this day lends importance to the image and customer base you are building as a brand. 

Spread All Forms Of Love This Valentine’s Day Through Your Marketing Campaigns!

Be it through the promotion of physical goods, marketing of services or connecting with customers on social media, Valentine’s Day (just like Diwali and Christmas)  is an opportunity for businesses to cash in on seasonal marketing campaigns.

There are endless possibilities for small and big companies to leverage the annual holiday to boost sales. Some methods may cost more than others, but a well-thought Valentine’s Day strategy will help to reaffirm your relationship with your customer base. At the heart of it all, a solid marketing campaign on Valentine’s Day is memorable, inclusive and freshly creative.