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From Hearts to Dollars: Help customers fall in love with your small business this Valentine’s Day

Not everyone celebrates, or is even enthused by Valentine’s Day however recent research by Roy Morgan, in conjunction with the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has shown Australians are set to spend $415 million this Valentine’s Day with an average spend of $111 on gifts, flowers, chocolate, jewellery and other popular items. With figures like that, there are plenty of opportunities for your business to turn hearts into dollar signs and if your brand doesn’t offer products that are exactly romantic, that doesn’t mean you have to sit the holiday out.

Whether they’re planning a romantic gesture or celebrating ‘Galentines’, it’s hard to ignore the marketing efforts associated with Valentine’s Day. Building Valentine’s Day buzz is all about knowing your customer audience and finding strong ways to engage your customers with offers and content, not only to delight but also drive sales. Below outlines 5 Valentine’s Day strategies to help you ‘show the love’ to your customers this February.

Add some romantic flair to your social media

All holidays generate a lot of conversations on social media so given it’s going to be trending regardless, there’s an opportunity to find new customers and get in front of them. We know social media remains a powerful marketing tool, however no matter what the campaign, it’s important to be authentic to your brand. 

  • Remember, the audience is different for Valentine’s Day so look at who is likely to buy your product as a gift and create a social media campaign that speaks to the buyer, not your normal customer (most likely the recipient). 
  • Creating emotion around this day is key. Not everyone jumps on board with Valentine’s Day but creating an emotive post is more likely to gain traction
  • Create a social media competition to drive engagement. You could ask your followers to share your post and tag their friends to win or ask your audience to share their love stories, finding a way to tie in the question with your brand, create a trending hashtag and build user-generated content to repurpose.

Show your customers some love with a promotion or discount

  • Run a Valentine’s Day sale which could include free shipping, 2-for-1 deals or offer discount promotional codes
  • Offer your customers an additional percentage off if they sign up to your loyalty program. This not only allows you to capture data but is also building your customer base. If they are already a loyalty member, offer double the points!
  • One idea is a Valentine’s themed gift with purchase – even something small like a little heart shaped chocolate or treat goes a long way with customers when it comes to receiving a thoughtful something “extra”
  • Urge your customers to spread the love by earning extra referral points when they share offers with friends and family. Loyal customers and brand advocates are your best tool when it comes to spreading the word about your business so why not leverage this power for your Valentine’s Day marketing?

Create a Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

For many customers, one of the challenging parts of Valentine’s Day is knowing what to give a loved one but you can help overcome this by creating a gift guide. This is also a great way for you to highlight products in your business that customers might not normally purchase.

  • Offer gift guides in the lead up to Valentine’s Day and deliver these through digital channels such as your landing page or pop-ups on your website, social media and email marketing
  • Another approach to a Valentine’s Day gift guide idea is to create gift bundles instead. This encourages people to make a purchase without having to decide which items they want to buy
  • Depending on your business products, you can arrange gift ideas:
    • traditionally – gifts for her, him, couples, friends
    • thematically – gifts for outdoor, lifestyle, musical, food and wine lovers etc
    • by price point – gifts under $100, gifts under $50 etc

Redefine Valentine’s Day

These days, more customers are looking to celebrate Valentine’s Day with their friends and not just their partners creating a perfect opportunity to market to many audiences. If your business doesn’t overly resonate with ‘love’ or Valentine’s Day, consider focusing your marketing efforts on friendship instead and even create a ‘Galentine’s Day’ campaign for all the female friendships and bonds out there!

Secondly, not everyone is in a relationship, and it’s important to keep that in mind during any Valentine’s Day campaign. In addition to addressing couples or ‘Galentine’s’, you could also send some love to your single followers by offering special deals that apply to everyone – no matter what his/her relationship status is.

Partner with another small business

Valentine’s Day can be good for business especially if you’re having a lull period post the busy Christmas season, however given it’s a one off day you’re also contending with other businesses regardless of the type, for the share of customers. So, you could try partnering up with another local business to help you reach a bigger audience.

  • You could create a community gift guide to encourage shopping locally which will help all of the businesses involved to gain new customers
  • You can promote each other’s products or offer them collectively in a gift bundle, however your partnership should be one that benefits you all mutually
  • Choose a business that is not a direct competitor but one that complements the products/services you provide.

Seasonal campaigns such as Valentine’s Day are great boosters for a business’s bottom line. Adopting any of the above strategies and showing your existing customers ‘the love’ this Valentine’s Day will help to create a successful campaign but hopefully allow you to also tap into new consumer segments to expand your customer base.

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