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Get engaged this Valentine’s Day

Riley Cullen's Layout avatar

It feels like we just exited the holiday season, but nevertheless, there’s another one on the horizon. 

Valentine’s Day is one of the top 10 spending holidays as outlined by the National Retail Federation. In fact, if the back-to-college and back-to-school spending categories had been combined, Valentine’s Day would have broken the top 5!

Products and industry sectors that tend to see a spike in sales in the lead-up to Valentines Day include floral, candy and confections, personal care (massages, manicures, etc.), food service, jewelry, toiletries and grooming, clothing, and experiences like movies and other date-night activities. However, anyone looking to make an impact online can harness the power of holiday fever.

Make your audience fall head over heels for your brand using these quick tips. The ideas in the list below will help you engage with the ones you can’t be without this  Valentine’s Day—your customers!

Emphasize your (existing) assets

The images you choose for your site—especially header images—will immediately influence your visitors. That said, a seasonal update doesn’t have to be some loud, overt change full of gaudy hearts and flowers. Simply subbing in a new image that uses a Valentine’s-appropriate palette can be a subtle enough nod. 

Sort the products in your ecommerce store so that red, white, and pink products show up first when a user navigates to the shop. If you sell online courses, ebooks, or other downloadables, try releasing it with a red overlay on the cover art and bundle together a “Love to Learn” package. 

You can even reuse email templates from past holiday messages and sub in Valentine’s-friendly phrases. There are plenty of ways to reframe the assets you’ve already created through a rose-colored lens.

Go full anti-Valentine

When there’s just absolutely no way to get Valentine’s Day to work with your brand, try a subversive angle. Your audience may simply respond better to anti-Valentine’s Day messaging. 

Some brands choose to express fierce independence or angst, or even outright—but amusing—disdain (like naming a cockroach at the San Antonio Zoo after your ex or entering a Valentine’s essay contest about why your ex deserves a vacation in a dumpster).

If anti-Valentine’s Day feels a little too harsh, there’s also a middle ground. The World Wildlife Fund’s “Love it or lose it” campaign was released the week of Valentine’s Day last year. The implication behind the message is that we need to take care of our environment now—to love it—or risk losing vital parts of the ecosystem. It was a much more somber take on traditional Valentine’s content.

Give a heartfelt gift

Everyone loves a free gift, and contests are a great way to drive engagement. Whether your final gift is a physical prize, consultation, audit, or piece of downloadable content, make sure it’s valuable enough that users are incentivized to enter. 

Valentine’s discount codes are another great way to incorporate some holiday zest into your marketing efforts. Use your Valentine’s discount code as a standalone method, or give them to the rest of your contest entrants after you’ve chosen a winner.

Contests are a great way to urge your customers to spread the love by sharing your content or creating content of their own as their “entry.” User-generated content (UGC) can help you drum up excitement, and because the content won’t look as curated as your regular feed, it’ll lend some authenticity to your posts as well. Once your audience has started submitting selfies or sharing their experiences, you can use that UGC for our next tip.

Show up when it matters

If your Valentine’s celebrations will show up on your company’s social media channels, use a plugin to incorporate your recent Instagram or Facebook posts on your homepage. A well-crafted email will help bring more eyes to the seasonal marketing efforts you’re making elsewhere.

You could send automated SMS messages to your previous customers. A short message saying thank you for their previous purchase or interaction is a great intro before providing a discounted incentive to buy again. Holidays of almost any kind are a timely reason to show up in new ways for both potential and existing customers.

Publish sweet nothings

If you’re not a person who sells any of the wares or experiences we outlined in the intro, that doesn’t mean you’re out of the love game this Valentine’s Day. From gift guides infused with your own products to a quick blog naming all the things you love about your customers, creating applicable Valentine’s content is a great way to attract more eyes. 

Listicles are like directory sites of information, and they’re a great tool lots of users turn to during holiday seasons. Leaning into the language of Valentine’s Day can help you create unique value that sets your piece apart from similar posts on the topic.

Follow your heart

At the end of the day, creating a new Valentine’s look for your website, new content, and new campaigns is all about doing what feels true to your business or client’s brand. If you feel like you’re forcing yourself to come up with a concept, put a pin in the idea. If your Valentine’s marketing campaign isn’t ready for 2022, don’t worry. It’ll come around again next year!

Instead, spend your time prepping for other upcoming holidays to ensure you have enough time to flesh out and execute your plan. 

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