Whether you like Valentine’s Day personally (or loathe it), there’s no denying that this ‘Hallmark holiday’ brings in loads of dough to savvy retailers each year.
In fact, Americans spent over 19 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2017, according to the National Retail Federation. That’s right. 19 billion.
And guess what?
You don’t have to sell champagne, roses, or sexy lingerie to get in on the Valentine’s Day marketing action. (But it sure as hell doesn’t hurt.)
This post will show you how to spin nearly any item you sell into a V-Day moneymaker.
Ready to get started?
Step 1: Stalk Your Stock (But in a Loving Way)
OK, first things first, you need to put on your rose-colored glasses and your thinking cap.
What items do you currently have that could (in any way) be marketed to Valentine’s Day?
Nothing? I don’t believe you!
Gift Giving Goes Beyond Significant Others
- Do you have any products that could fall into a ‘gift’ category for significant others? Great. But don’t stop there.
- How about gifts for friends, teachers, children, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, stepparents, sister or brother-in-laws, etc.? (Valentine’s Day isn’t just for lovers — it’s a day to show someone — really, anyone — that you care.) So capitalize on all this caring like the business-minded person you are!
- Now how about pets? We all love any excuse to spoil our four-legged friends! Do you make pet treats, beds, toys? P.S. In 2016, a reported 19% of people bought Valentine’s Day gifts for their furry friends for a total of $681 million.
- February 13th is “Galentine’s Day,” — a non-official holiday where “ladies celebrate ladies.” Capitalize on this with gifts for BFFs.
Getting All Dolled Up for February 14th
- Do you sell clothing, shoes, or accessories for women/men/children? I’m talkin’ hair bows for little girls, ties for men, dresses for ladies — anything along those lines?
- How about makeup, skincare, beard oil, perfume, cologne, soap, lotion, hair products, bubble bath?
Decor, Decorations, and More!
Picnics, Dinners, Desserts, Oh My!
- Do you sell literally anything that could be used to make a romantic dinner, breakfast in bed, or take on a picnic?
- Think wine glasses, olive oil, desserts, picnic blankets and baskets, kitchen utensils, food of any kind, and so on and so on.
If you have anything that falls into any of the categories above, you’re now ready for a little Valentine’s Day marketing love.
Step 2: Think Pink (And White, And Red)
Now that you have an idea of what types of items you can promote for V-Day, let’s talk about customizations you can make.
(While most products can be promoted for Valentine’s Day, not all can be dyed, scented, or created just for February 14th. If that’s the case, don’t worry — just move onto step three!)
- Say you sell handcrafted candles — release a new scent leading up to February 14th called ‘Love is in the Air’ or ‘Love Stinks’ to cater to singles.
- If you sell bath products, create a pink bath bomb that releases red glitter once dissolved or new bath bubbles that smell like a chocolate-covered cherry.
- Maybe you sell home decor — make a V-Day-themed wreath, or a cute heart-shaped garden sign.
- Create cupid-shaped dog biscuits or an organic catnip-filled plush heart for a cat toy.
Step 3: Mix in Some Valentine’s Day Marketing Magic
Here’s where things get fun — and creative.
Keep in mind that it’s not what you sell, it’s how you sell it.
Here are some examples:
- If you sell beard products, try writing something like this: “This Valentine’s Day, the beard is BAE. Get 25% off our entire collection of oils, balms, and shaving soaps using code: BEARDISBAE.”
- If you sell coffee: “Who needs a box of chocolates this Valentine’s Day when you can drink our velvety chocolate-mocha coffee instead?”
- If you sell pancake mix: “Knock her socks off with breakfast in bed this Valentine’s Day. Our delicious mix turns into perfect, fluffy pancakes with minimal effort. But go ahead, take all the credit. And get 15% off if you buy today, too. Use code: FLUFFYAF.”
- If you sell clothing: “Got a hot date for V-Day? Wear this little red dress and all eyes will be on you, all night.”
- If you sell flower seeds: “Enjoy a romantic garden all year long. Get 25% off flower seeds throughout the entire month of February!”
- If you sell art of any kind: “Flowers die, but art is forever. Get 14% off all our handmade items until 2/14 using code SHOPLOCAL.”
See? You can put a good ole Valentine’s Day marketing spin on just about anything. But we’re not done quite yet!
Make gift giving easy on your target market by putting a few of your best sellers together as a bundle, and slapping a fun name on it.
Be sure to discount so the bundle is less than they could buy each product individually.
- A ‘Love Me Tinder’ bundle might appeal to singles and include a sexy dress, necklace, and earrings. The same bundle could also be called, “Hot & Haute” for those going on a date night on February 14th.
- A ‘Shower Him With Love’ bundle might be a few bath products or a beard-oil sampler.
- A ‘Be Mine’ bundle might include two wine glasses, a blanket, and chocolates. This could also be called, ‘Netflix and Chill.’
- A ‘We ❤️ Teachers’ bundle might include a hand-painted coffee mug with candies and a scarf.
Step 4: Don’t Forget About Singles
While consumers give V-Day gifts to just about anyone they care about — which makes Valentine’s Day marketing fairly easy for any business owner — don’t forget about the power of marketing to singles too.
And singles have money to spend! According to Entrepreneur, “On average, a single man will spend $71 during Valentine’s Day and a single woman will spend $40.”
- You can take the ‘love stinks’ approach and make funny gift bundles your target market can give to themselves or to a friend. If you sell clothing, wine glasses, mugs, or anything else you can customize, you can put funny messages on these items that would appeal to this crowd, like “Wine is my valentine” and “Cupid is a soul-sucking demon.”
- Or you can take a softer, more ‘treat yo self’ approach by encouraging people not to wait for a guy or a girl to buy the item for them. Use the term “Singles Awareness Day” in your marketing and use content along these lines: “You’re single… the single most awesome person I know! So treat yourself to something nice this Valentine’s Day and get 25% off while you’re at it using code: LOVE.”
Of course — the actual words you choose and the tone of your content will change depending on your target market — so you’ll want to modify depending on those factors.
Check out these posts on improving your writing skills:
Step 5: Add a Valentine’s Day Marketing Deal They Can’t Refuse
People like a good deal — and there’s a lot of competition out there when it comes to V-Day.
You can help your business stand out by offering:
- Percentage off
- BOGO deal
- Get $10 off when you spend $60 or more
- Free gift card with X purchase
- $5 off $30 or more
- Free gift with every V-Day purchase (specify what it is or give it an air of mystery if it’s a surprise)
Step 6: Promote the Hell Out of Your Deal
Now that you’ve put a little Valentine’s Day marketing magic into your products, it’s time to relax. Just kidding!
It’s time to promote your deal(s) like they’re going out of style.
And, actually, they are, since you’ve got a pretty small timeframe to work with till February 14th. (P.S. you can always do a post V-Day sale extension to keep the love flowing throughout February.)
- This should go without saying, but hit all of the usual suspects that you have a solid presence on, from Instagram and Pinterest to Twitter and Facebook
- Try Facebook advertising to create highly targeted V-Day-themed ads (here’s a post to help you create your first ad if you haven’t yet)
- Email your subscribers using V-Day themed content and subject lines
- Dabble in Snapchat’s ephemeral marketing to put a sense of urgency into your V-Day specials
- Make gift guides on your blog and target specific keywords
I conducted a little keyword research for you — so feel free to steal any of these keywords for your gift guides (before anyone else does):
- “Cheap Valentine’s Day gifts,” gets 1,300 searches per month and has low competition
- “Good Valentine’s gifts” gets 880 searches per month and has low competition
- “Valentine’s Day ideas” gets 74,000 searches per month and has low competition (Keep in mind that people searching for this might be looking more for date ideas than anything else, but what you could do is pair a date idea with a matching product of yours for an engaging blog post idea!)
- “Cool Valentine’s Day gifts” gets 480 searches per month and has low competition
- “Special Valentine’s Day ideas for her” gets 720 searches per month and has low competition
- “Creative Valentine’s Day ideas for him” gets 1,900 searches per month and has low competition
- “Singles Awareness Day” gets 6,600 searches a month and has low competition.
- “Galentine’s Day” gets 40,500 searches a month and has low competition.
BTW: It’s not essential you start promoting your deals super early. (Procrastinators everywhere rejoice!)
Unlike Christmas and birthdays, people don’t plan that much in advance for Valentine’s Day. So rather than spending your marketing bucks towards a month-long campaign, just focus on the one or two weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day. 46% [of those surveyed] say they’ll start shopping in early February.
For the Love of Money ❤️
Valentine’s Day is loved by some and straight-up hated by others. But no matter where you fall in that spectrum, there’s nothing wrong with getting your V-Day hustle on so some of that consumer spending comes your way this year.
And if you need help putting a V-Day content-marketing spin on something you sell that wasn’t covered here, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll see if I can whip something up for you.
But if I can’t, be nice to me. It is almost Valentine’s Day, after all.
Will you try this Valentine’s Day marketing strategy out this year?
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