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Using Valentine’s Day to Market Your Business
Using Holidays to Build Your Brand
After the busy holiday season of October through December, you may find your business marketing in a rut. Once people stop rushing to make sales for their holiday gifts, it can be difficult to think of creative ways to leave your customer coming back for more. While January can be a great time to plan your marketing and branding strategy for the upcoming year, there is no better time than February to get that plan off the ground. Consider Valentine’s Day as a prime marketing opportunity, and best of all, you can cater your marketing accordingly. Whether you want to appeal to the romantic or the forever-alone single friend, we share some of the tricks that can help you get ahead after the holiday slump!
- Email: Personalize a message to your users and followers that give a reason for your users to open the message. Are you offering a deal or want someone to check something new out? If you can include an interactive element that can encourage shares, even better!
- Social Media: Get your branding ready for the holidays! Change your social banner to something Valentine’s Day related, or incorporate elements of love (or singleness!) in your profile photo. Offer a prize for users that share a post or enter new “likes” into a raffle for a free product or service. One idea is offering 50% off to everyone brought in through a “love-referral”.
- Offline: Some of the most common things that are purchased on Valentine’s Day include greeting cards, a night on the town, candy, flowers, and gift cards. Can you use any of these to your advantage? Think outside of the box! Run a bakery? Make heart-shaped cookies. Run a consulting firm? Run a “What a Relationship Costs” promo on services. Consider your single friends by offering a deal to those without a special someone in the lives- no need to neglect these people!
Companies That Have Done Valentine’s Day Marketing Right
Uber: In 2013, the startup allowed for users to request that roses be delivered through their app by a suited driver. Since the drivers were already on the road, this involved little effort on Uber’s part and allowed a higher profit margin for Uber. Using the hashtag #RomanceOnDemand and developing special deals and partnerships for users that utilized this service allowed Uber to create a brilliant inbound marketing campaign with low cost and creativity!
IKEA: The furniture company came up with a brilliant, and potentially irresponsible, campaign in 2013. For babies born on November 14, 2013 (exactly nine months from Valentine’s Day), IKEA offered a free crib with proof of birth. If that’s not an excuse for some people to take full advantage of the holiday, what is?
Starbucks: A 2015 campaign partnered Starbucks with Match, a dating service. The app included a “Meet at Starbucks” button that allowed users to meet up with one another at a nearby Starbucks. Users that took their online dates to Starbucks were greeted with special menu items at their locations- and encouraged single coffee drinkers to find a loved one!
Pilot Pens: Lamenting that hand-written love notes have fallen off the wayside, Pilot combined digital and traditional. If a user shared their valentine’s name on social media with the hashtag #PilotLoveGuru, the company sent a handwritten and personalized love note to that user on the platform.
Not all companies used grand gestures for promotion and branding on Valentine’s Day. In 2015, Snuggle fabric softener launched an online, customizable video message aimed at sharing through Twitter, Facebook, and email, and Revlon had a similar idea of using GIF e-cards for promotion. Even Waffle House sets the stage by setting out white tablecloths and using candles on their tables for the day to encourage customers to visit their restaurant where they may traditionally choose another. If you want to perform a grandiose marketing scheme- great! It will surely be appreciated but even taking small steps can help you stand out from the crowd.