In 30 seconds:
- For 2024, you need fresh Valentine’s Day marketing ideas. We’ve got the latest advice to generate sales.
- How is V-day looking this year? We’re diving into consumer habits and what to expect.
- When should you be creating your loved-up campaigns? We’ve got the before, during, and after run-down.
How can you come up with Valentine’s Day marketing ideas that aren’t stale for the current market? What can brands do to make original Valentine’s campaigns? How do you stand out in a sea of marketing love this year? The marketing equivalent of a last-minute bunch of flowers just simply won’t do, considering the amount of cut-throat contenders competing for the consumer’s hand in gift-buying.
You need to find creative, apt ways of showing love, driving ROI, and ultimately wooing your customers. That doesn’t just mean sales, sales, sales. It’s essential to utilise the full marketing funnel from awareness to conversion to maximise on Valentine’s Day this year, especially as people are spending less.
With a significant 19% year-on-year decrease in spending last year, you must curate creative Valentine’s ideas for customers that will encourage them to indulge if they are on the fence about it – and convince others that you are a better match than your competitors.
The romance is definitely not dead for 2024. You just need to know how to tap into it.
Valentine’s Day 2024: an overview
V-day in 2023 had some serious challenges. There was less consumer willingness to spend hard-earned money on chocolates and roses. It’s no surprise, considering this was in the wake of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. People were spending less, too. Fifty per cent of consumers confirmed that they would be investing less and buying fewer gifts than in the previous years. More importantly, people were also actively cancelling and returning purchases just before the actual day.
But there is a ray of hope for 2024. As businesses gear up for Valentine’s Day, with the easing of inflation in the latter half of 2023, people are more likely to be open to indulging in some feel-good gifts. We expect a shift to more mindful and meaningful consumption, 63% expressing a willingness to spend more money on high-quality and long-lasting products.
The 2024 Valentines Day theme will weigh heavily on community and feelings. With all that is going on in the world, people may be looking for a more personal, meaningful message. Not just a buy-one-get-one-free promotion.
Chocolates and flowers will warrant a positive emotional response, but only if you bring something with them. It’s not enough to just promote your product plainly. It will be key to consider why your product will add value to their lives and bring joy, then tap into this with authentic, targeted campaigns with killer creative.
Social media + Valentine’s Day = the right match
Social media is a driving force for V-Day. But social channels can be used as more than just a platform to shout about your product. They are a place to build brand community, drive brand sentiment, and spread joy on special holidays like Valentine’s. In fact, along with “Valentines”, “love”, and “gift”, “happy” is a leading word used on socials.
Valentine’s Day is also bigger and more inclusive than ever in 2024. Cupid has brought out a wider range of different arrows, and it’s not just love with romantic partners that they’re targeting.
Social Media has a strong influence on the development of how and who is celebrated, and if you want to tap into that broadened audience, you need to think outside of the box and develop your Valentine’s Day marketing strategies accordingly. This year, it’s not just about that special someone, it’s about talking to people who want to feel a bit more love in the world no matter what their relationship status.
There is an additional piece of the puzzle that goes hand in hand with social media in regard to marketing – influencers are a building block that you definitely don’t want to discard.
Influencer marketing isn’t a nice-to-have anymore. It’s a must-have. Eighty-three per cent of marketers find influencer marketing to be effective, with 67% planning on increasing their budget for it over the course of 2023, and 23% allocating over 40% of their marketing budget to influencer marketing.
With the rise of scepticism in regard to ads, businesses need to lean into influencer-led and user-generated content to bring credibility and transparency to their brand. The top brands recognise that collaborating with influencers means authentic and relevant promotional content that will boost sales and secure a strong customer base. But how you partner with them is key. Working with creators on a deeper level will help you gain real brand loyalty and secure future sales. Not just a few extra conversions on 14th February.
After all, influencers rely on community marketing the most, and you should, too. Carefully building rapport and trust with your consumers means loyalty. It means they will come back for more because they want to support you and your business – show them you care, and they will return the sentiment. Top brands are going community first on socials, so don’t get left behind.
When should you start marketing for Valentine’s Day?
Valentine’s Day is on 14th February (mark it in your marketing calendar), and depending on your Valentine’s Day marketing strategy, you should be aiming to start your strategy at least 6 weeks before the big day. Past experiences show that there are elements that may help you determine when to send out your love letters. Here are some good rules of thumb:
First come, first served – getting a head start can be great to be inclusive of people who like to start their preparations early. Keep in mind that you will want to leave room for your campaign to develop as the weeks progress to keep it fresh and interesting all the way through the Valentine’s Day buzz.
People like to procrastinate when it comes to Valentine’s Day. Conversation increases the closer it gets to the day and disappears right after. Last-minute shoppers are also common, and you should plan your marketing strategy and deals accordingly.
How do you market for Valentine’s Day?
The first thing to consider is who the target audience is for Valentine’s Day. Originally, it was a holiday for couples to celebrate time with their significant others, but has wildly evolved over the years.
For the love fest, it means that social media has encouraged people to celebrate all kinds of love over the years, including friendship (Galentine’s Day was a big hit in 2023), familial, and self-love. Even pets feel the love with campaigns catered to the furry family members.
This year, it’ll be about being mindful of world events. It’s the perfect time to bring people together and add a sense of community to our campaigns. How can brands show real love to their audiences? How can they talk about love in more wholesome and inclusive ways? It doesn’t have to be about selling singledom; it can be about bringing families, communities, and online niches together.
Self-love, especially, has gained increased momentum over the last few years and is still a hot topic. It has the potential to target a huge portion of your audience, even people in happy relationships.
With all of this in mind, it’s time to ask the question – what marketing ideas can brands come up with to bring more joy to their audience and ultimately generate more sales?
7 creative marketing ideas for Valentine's Day
We’ve put together the top Valentine’s Day promotion ideas, and best practices for the big day to make sure you’re genuinely charming your consumers in 2024. We’re also adding in the best Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns that show you how it’s done.
1. Tell the right story
Storytelling is no new idea. But bringing in the right story for Valentine’s Day can turn heads. Remember when we told you about the emotional value you should pack on for 2024? This is where storytelling can help.
There are many ways of incorporating stories into your campaign and V-day is the perfect opportunity for brands to showcase their creative prowess. Focusing on real ones can really take the cake. Don’t be afraid of building stories around real life. Call out Valentine’s Day for what it is. Hone in on your own brand love story or the stories of your consumers. This is where creators can play a vital role, too. On social, creating influencer-led campaigns based on stories can build trust and increase brand sentiment. In fact, 68% of consumers say that brand stories influence their purchasing decisions. Ninety-two per cent of people want ads to feel more like a story.
You can also utilise stories in your Valentine’s Day marketing strategy by looking at your stories from members of your brand community. Include your customers in creating the campaign by encouraging them to interact with you and share their love stories – ask them what Valentine’s Day means for them. Engage in social listening and see what your community is talking about when it comes to all things “love”. Learn from this data and sentiment, and build campaigns around it. Engage with them even further and make it into a contest with Valentine’s prizes in the form of gifts or discount codes.
A great example of this was when lingerie e-commerce brand MeUndies truly killed it in the interactive department: sharing stories about when couples knew they were right for each other, encouraging and reposting pictures of couples in matching sets (even pictures with your pooch-soulmate are welcome), just to name a few. Additionally, they offer special discounts on their online store for single people to make everyone feel special.
This not only drove UGC (user-generated content) but also brought meaning and warmth to the holiday. Something that brands will need to be tapping into again this year. Make sure any product landing page you create to drive sales is easy to navigate and user-intuitive.
2. Think about before, during, and after the big day
The early bird gets the worm. Ideally, you want to start your Valentine’s day campaign early so you can grow it out as the big day approaches – you want to be able to cater to the early birds, the normal shoppers, and the night owls popping things in their basket at midnight the night before. You need to be working across the whole Valentine’s Day Season.
The hype around Valentine’s Day notoriously rises the closer it gets, but there is potential for some enticing offers early on that might motivate the masses to invest sooner than they usually would. Create a Valentine’s Day gift guide or other resource to help customers get ready to share their love. A special offer, limited-time offer, Valentine’s Day sale, Valentine’s Day event or even just some new and hot collections work really well to create a sense of urgency and are something that can be easily hyped up more and more throughout the campaign. Don’t forget last-minute buyers too. Create irresistible campaigns that take you up to the day before V-day.
Like many other e-commerce sites, Etsy starts the Valentine’s Day hype right after Christmas, giving plenty of time for sellers to reveal and promote their special items and sales. They believe in showing love to local businesses, something that we foresee being popular this year too. This means that there will be an increase in products throughout the weeks leading up to the special day.
Thinking about Valentine’s Day during the holiday is one thing, but brands need to be tapping into community marketing before the big day even arrives. The best way to build momentum is through social listening. Getting to know your customers through socials will help you understand the right promotions and campaigns to activate. Think about your fans and make an exclusive offer for the special day just for them. When you are looking at marketing ideas for Valentine’s Day, don’t just think of the date itself. Think about the before, during, and after.
3. Make killer creative
Brands need to lean into innovative, new, and exciting creative this year. Their Valentine’s Day campaigns can’t feel dusty. If they do, people just won’t feel smitten.
Whether you are building a TV ad campaign, social media campaign or promotional emails for your email list, you need to be able to nail your creative. Use storytelling to your advantage, create meaningful content, and spread joy with what you create. Better yet, let a pro do it for you.
Creators on socials are notoriously brilliant at, you guessed it, creating. What your brand mustn’t do is micromanage their campaigns. When you partner with an influencer, you need to allow them to do what they do best and create original content that works with their audience. If you dictate what they do too much, your content will come across as staged and inauthentic.
A good example of this is when Nars Cosmetics partnered with TikTok star @mrjohnnyross to bring a V-Day campaign that got people laughing as well as buying into the brand. Because Johnny did a post that was completely him and within his style of content, it gained tons of traction (we’re talking 1 million views and over 215.8k likes). If Nars had asked him to change things or dampened his creative freedom, it would not have worked so well.
4. Re-imagine Gifts
Forget basic gift cards. Almost one-third of consumers planned to give a gift experience in 2023. That’s set to be similar this year. The usual choccies and flowers are being reimagined time and time again. People are also splurging on relationships other than their significant other. More consumers than ever were celebrating friends, co-workers, pets, classmates, and teachers last year. In 2024, this will still be a trend, allowing people to celebrate the big day even if they aren’t doing it romantically.
Other gifts will have a reshuffle too. Think about how you can create new gift ideas or themed products that are surprising in some way. Or build upon some of your best-selling products for a new twist. This is especially effective if you have loyal customers. They know they want to come to your brand for a gift, so give them something new to try.
Getting flowers is nice, but what if you could gift flowers and not have to watch them wilt?
Lego added the fun of building your bouquet block by block, so you could not only enjoy looking at it but also proudly tell everyone that you made it yourself. They also had the great idea to use this concept on the well-known and loved “Build-a-Bear” where you build your bear. Literally. Stone to stone.
5. Lean into discounts and offers
People are still looking for discounts. Fifty-two per cent of UK adults consider price as the most important factor when buying food and/or drink gifts. With the cost-of-living crisis still on people’s minds, everyone is looking to save money wherever they can, even if they decide to indulge and buy Valentine’s Day gifts this year. Discount codes, free gifts with a purchase, and free shipping – coupons are always a good idea. Bring a certain urgency to these campaigns to drive action.
There are many creative ways you can include discount codes in your advertising. A great way of reaching an audience that may not be part of the usual crowd is through influencer marketing. If you play your cards right, you can use their community-centric approach to your advantage.
Knowing which influencers will bring the most traffic is key and can be achieved by using a performance loop based on recurring and fresh collaborations. Continuously collaborating with best-performing influencers will not only allow for better results, but also help you forge ongoing relationships with top talent.
Beauty brands like Maybelline find themselves pairing up with influencers all the time. Doing so to promote any special Valentine’s Day deals is a no-brainer.
6. It’s all about the trends
You need to jump on trends fast to ride their wave of influence. But trends can be more than just a “phase”. They can sometimes turn into cultural phenomena. So how do you know the right trends to get on and when to start?
Collaborating with influencers is key. These creators know what’s happening in their world and are quick off the mark. Following influencers will help you see trends rising, and partnering with them will allow you to be there before they lose momentum.
Look for trends that you could build into Valentine’s Day 2024. They don’t need to be directly related to V-day, either. Sometimes, using unexpected creative ideas can really turn heads. Helzberg Diamonds partnered with creator @fluellenfam and took the trend of choosing different things blind (this is something tons of beauty, lifestyle, and hair influencers have been doing) to choose the plans for Valentine’s.
7. Ensure full-funnel results with retail media
Catching the attention of your audience at every phase of the marketing funnel is vital. That means sparking the interest of new customers through brand awareness campaigns, nurturing that interest through campaigns in the consideration phase, and then converting that interest into actual sales. So, how do you stop any leaks at the point of sale? How do you ensure people are actually clicking the buy button? Enter retail media.
What is retail media? Retail media refers to advertising within retail environments, both online and offline. This includes targeted ads on e-commerce platforms, sponsored product listings, and digital banners on retailer websites, allowing brands to reach consumers at critical points in their buying journey, right where purchase decisions are made.
It plays a crucial role in the Valentine’s Day buyer’s journey, particularly in targeting and capturing potential customers at the point of purchase.
Influencers can effectively raise brand awareness and drive consideration by leveraging their followers’ trust and engagement. However, retail media steps in to address any potential “leaks” in the customer journey. It targets consumers at the very platforms where they’re making their buying decisions, ensuring that your brand stays top-of-mind during the critical moments of purchase.
Our own research shows that customers often come off social media platforms to buy through online retailers. By using data-driven insights, you can target customers with personalised offers and recommendations right when they’ve jumped off their favourite platform and are searching for that particular Valentine’s gift.
For instance, imagine a customer who has seen the perfect Valentine’s present on social. They’ve watched an influencer review it, show it off, and really love what that influencer has to say. They may then go online to explore options. Where can they get it for a better price? Where can they buy it to receive it faster? Your targeted retail media strategy can ensure your product appears in their search results or social media feeds, effectively guiding them through the final stages of the funnel.
To find out more about retail media and how it can change your Valentine’s Day strategy, visit our marketplace page.
Ready to woo your customers like never before?
Now that we’ve given you an idea of how to charm your way to the top this Valentine’s Day, you need to put it into action. Start strategising earlier rather than later, and ride the wave of social conversations around Valentine’s. They will be amping up as we get closer and closer to the day of love.
You’ve got a great opportunity to think about the bigger picture for this holiday. Activate full-funnel marketing instead of just creating a last-minute marketing campaign. Build a marketing plan that will bring influencers, ads, and retail media into the mix.
Not sure how to create a true love potion for this Valentine’s? Get in touch with us. We’ll help you build a strategy that engages, entices, and, most importantly, gets results. Let’s talk (no love letters required).
Looking for more insights? We’ve got plenty below: