Valentine’s Day is the first big campaign of the New Year for brands and companies. Even if you don’t agree with the holiday itself (over priced meals, cheap flowers, tacky cards... no thanks), there’s plenty of ways for digital marketers to use it to their advantage and reach their target audience.


1 - Get Romantic With eCommerce

Valentine’s Day and eCommerce websites is a match made in heaven. There’s plenty of opportunities to freshen up existing offers or campaigns with a romantic twist. Try a “meet your match” style campaign to showcase products that work well together, or even single out the perfect gifts for guys and girls.

There’s plenty of opportunity as well to make life easy for shoppers, and tell them what the man or woman in their life wants as a Valentine’s surprise. Highlight your top trending products as the perfect gift and drive sales with a Valentine’s discount.


2 – Don’t Leave Out the Singletons

Valentine’s is a holiday for couples, but loved up folks don’t need to be the sole target of your campaign, especially if they’re not the target audience. Don’t forget that there are plenty of opportunities to promote “self love” campaigns. Implore your customers to love themselves and launch a campaign showing items customers would buy for themselves. Maybe soap, a bathrobe, a book.

Or you can promote gifts for pets, or even family members. Even those who don’t have a partner to share Valentine’s Day with might be convinced to treat their furry friends, or even show the love with a special present for a family member.

Data from Bing has shown that $681 million is spent on Valentine’s on gifts for pets in the US, and 19% of pet owners gift their lucky animals something special. Don’t rule out the benefits Valentine’s can have for your business, even if you’re not selling a “romantic” product or service. The perfect example of this is the Dogs Trust Microchippy campaign from 2016. Working with London cafe Bubbledogs, they put together a pop up cafe for owners to take their dog out for a V-Day treat with a new dog friendly menu. It was to highlight a change in microchipping legislation, and all dogs who came to the cafe would be checked to see if their microchips were up to date. If they didn't have one, their owners would be told where they could go and get their pet chipped for free ahead of the legislation change.

Not a hugely romantic event, maybe, but it was a clever way for Dogs Trust to leverage Valentine's Day to highlight the legislation change and a great way Bubbledogs to get themselves some positive PR, around a holiday where a great deal of people might be looking for somewhere special to eat. Win win!


Dogs Trust and Bubbledogs MicroChippy


3 – Give a Gift To Your Customers, With Valentine’s Competitions

Whatever your marketing aims, whether you want to increase your email list, or your social media following, or simply try to attract more conversions on your website... the right competition can provide a huge boost.

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time for this. It’s a great opportunity for a business to give away something unrelated to their day to day activities. A spa break, a weekend away, or even a meal voucher at a local restaurant is a great way to get people engaged with your brand.

If you want to increase social media presence, try prompting customers to tag their partner (or a friend or family member that they love) for a chance to win. If you’re hoping for a boost to your email list, use a sweepstakes app like Woobox to drive email sign ups. There’s perfect opportunity here down the line to offer these sign ups an exclusive voucher as a commiseration prize or to send them your specially tailored Valentine's emails campaigns - more than that later! Just make sure you put it in your terms that entrants are agreeing to join your mailing list and be contacted by you.

Baskets Galore has a great example of this for 2017. They've used Woobox to embed a competition on their Facebook page. You can enter via email, or through hashtags, with the theme of "Spread the Love" offering extra entries for sharing and so on. Woobox easily allows entering via hashtags as well as through a standard entry form which makes running these kind of sweeptakes very simple. 


4 – Target Couples With Social Media Campaigns

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all allow advert targeting based on location, gender, age, or interest. Facebook also allows you to target by Relationship>Relationship status, allowing you to focus ads to people who have marked themselves as In A Relationship, Engaged, Married, or Single. You can also target how long ago the people were engaged, within the last year or six months.

It’s the perfect chance to make sure your adverts are landing with your exact target audience. You can also get much more granular with this. For example, if you’re a trendy restaurant that skews a younger crowd, target couples between 18 to 30.

If you’re a local or regional florist, target men in relationships close to V-Day, when they might be panicking about the perfect gift. Or, tying into the ideas above, target singletons with Anti-Valentine’s Day type campaigns. If you run the ads well in advance of the big day it’ll give you a chance to A/B test your ads and optimise them.


Facebook Adverts Targeting By Relationship Demographic


5 – Say It Best – Optimise Your PPC

Don’t miss a trick with Pay Per Click on Valentine’s Day. Data from Bing shows the top 10 mobile searches between January and February 2016, revealing a heavy skew towards Valentine’s related presence. Bearing in mind this data is from US searches, there’s still plenty to chew on here. Tailor campaigns for the run up to V-Day. If you offer relevant services and products, make sure you up your bids on mobile and change up your keywords and ad copy to include Valentine’s related keywords.


Bing Valentine's 2017 Keywords


6 – Timing Is Everything

With more juicy data from Bing, it’s clear that Valentine’s Day is a holiday of short planning, and last minute panic, but we all knew that already, didn’t we?

What you might not have known is that 46% of V-Day related searches on Bing take place in early February, and 10% takes place on the day before the occasion. With searches and clicks skyrocketing up until the big day and on February 14th itself, make sure your ads are running. Also consider boosting your budget so you don’t run out in the middle of the panicked shopping spree. Ah, how romantic.

Bing Valentine's 2017 Peak Search Times


7 – Update Your Website and Email Marketing

Don’t forget about the traditional channels in your Valentine’s Day rush. Tailor email titles and content for Valentine’s Day themed campaigns. It’s the perfect opportunity to pull in gift buyers and give them all your Valentine’s products and campaigns in one place with a strong call to action.

The same goes for themed landing pages. Split your page into gifts for him and her, gifts for pets or singletons. Make sure you have something special going on for Valentine’s Day, and bring it front and centre so every visitor sees it.  Your mileage may vary depending on your business and what you offer, but there’s ample opportunity to get clever with your Valentine’s offerings, or take on an Anti-Valentine’s stance and garner some appeal with the single crowd.

It's an obvious one, but Interflora nail Valentine's Day with their landing pages each year by keeping it very traditional.


Interflora Homepage 2017

So whatever your market, there's a way to leverage Valentine's Day to make a campaign that will resonate with your customers and make the most of the love in the air. In the rush to craft the perfect Valentine's campaign, don't forget to get something special for your loved ones, your pets, or for yourself. Happy Valentine's Day!


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