Win hearts, boost sales: Valentine’s Day marketing ideas for 2024
Can we all agree that the timing of Valentine’s Day is less than ideal? Not only does it fall right after Black Friday and Christmas when everyone’s broke and fresh out of ideas of what to get each other (thanks a lot, Cupid), but it’s also one of the most challenging sales periods in terms of ecommerce.
Marketing gets pretty aggressive around Valentine’s Day, with companies inundating their customers with marketing messages and promotions, making it harder for small businesses to cut through the noise.
The good news, though, is that there’s never been a better time to be a print on demand seller. In an era where cliché gifts and impulse buying are being eclipsed by personalised products and intentional spending, moving to a print on demand model is a smart move.
In the UK alone, the ongoing cost-of-living crisis resulted in a 19% year-on-year decline in Valentine’s spending, compounded by a growing fatigue among consumers regarding the throwaway nature of traditional Valentine’s Day gifts.
So, other than signing up for a Prodigi account, what else can you do to win hearts and boost sales this Valentine’s Day? Keep scrolling for our guide on effective Valentine’s Day marketing ideas to try in 2024.
Target niche demographics
In the immortal words of Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation, Galentine’s Day is the day before Valentine’s Day where “ladies celebrate ladies”. And, in fact, gal pals are celebrating each other to such an extent that social media data reveals an almost 50/50 split in mentions when it comes to the two holidays, with Galentine’s Day claiming 48.05% of the share of voice, which just goes to show that you should never underestimate the power of female friendship.
Of course, Valentine’s Day doesn’t always have to be about someone else, regardless of whether you’re single or spoken for. After all, why gift someone else when you can gift yourself? Self-gifting is becoming increasingly popular, particularly among the Gen Z crowd. According to a 2022 study by consumer analytics platform, CivicScience, they represent the largest percentage of self-gifters compared to other age groups.
Targeting niche demographics like these, in addition to the mainstream Valentine's Day audience, can be a strategic approach to maximise engagement and tap into evolving consumer behaviours.
Add a personal touch
If you look at the evolution timeline of Valentine’s Day gifts, it’s fair to say that flowers and chocolate aren’t in danger of extinction just yet. However, there is a growing demand for personalised products. The personalised gifts market is predicted to be worth $11.19bn by 2025, and what better excuse to capitalise on that than Valentine’s Day?
Take brands like mytype_, for example, whose website features a word art generator that enables users to create their very own typographic print. Customers have complete creative control over the finished product, from the words displayed on the print itself, right down to the font style, colour and positioning.
This particular product is perfect for anyone looking for unique Valentine’s Day gifts. Think about it — all those couple in-jokes and pet names immortalised as a piece of custom word art that can be cherished for years to come? Priceless. A bunch of flowers or box of chocolates just doesn’t have the same staying power or sentimental weight (although we are prepared to give the chocolate a pass ‘cos it’s delicious).
Selling your original designs as print on demand products gives your customers the opportunity to buy unique Valentine’s gifts instead of settling for generic options. And if you have a Shopify store, then be sure to try out our product personalisation feature. Available exclusively through our Shopify app, it allows your customers to add their own text or imagery to your products.
Try TikTok marketing
As well as self-gifting, Gen Z also happen to like hanging out on TikTok, making up more than 60% of the short-form video app’s user base. Studies also show a positive correlation between scrolling and shopping which makes sense considering that the platform is often associated with the phrase, “TikTok made me buy it”. And with ecommerce channels like TikTok shop, it’s essentially a virtual shopping mall packed full of potential customers.
The great thing about TikTok, aside from all the addictively good user-generated content you can scroll on its FYP (For You Page), is the ability to piggyback on viral trends to promote your products. The beauty of this type of marketing is that it doesn’t feel like that generic advertising that makes your eyes instantly want to glaze over. A lot of TikTok ads are funny and relatable, blending seamlessly into the background alongside funny cat videos and GRWMs (Get Ready With Mes).
Take this ad by cosmetics brand, Flower Knows, which jumps on the popular trend of unboxing and has over 200k likes and thousands of shares. Unboxing is where brands, influencers and consumers film themselves opening new products, allowing the viewer to share in the excitement and preview the products for themselves. Bonus points to their marketing team for incorporating the equally popular ASMR trend, too (no more acronyms now, we promise).
@flowerknowsglobal Utterly magical!!😍 Unbox our new Little Angel Collection👼🏻🏹#flowerknows #makeuphaul #unboxing #asmr #satisfying #littleangelcollection #flowerknowslittleangel #makeup #cosmetics #newrelease #aesthetic #aestheticmakeup #angelcore #angelcoreaesthetic #angelaesthetic #angelaesthetics #baroqueaesthetic #baroque #newmakeuplaunch #makeupcollection ♬ original sound - Flower Knows Cosmetics
Check out TikTok’s guide on Valentine’s Day marketing ideas for small to medium businesses for more helpful hacks on how to market your products on TikTok this Valentine’s Day.
To sum up…
There’s more to Valentine’s Day than cookie-cutter sentiments and stock photos of overly smiley couples.
While there’s still plenty of money to be made from conventional Valentine’s Day marketing, niche trends like Galentine’s Day and self-gifting are increasingly getting a lot of love from consumers during Valentine’s season.
Selling personalised products in your store and leveraging TikTok are also highly effective strategies to explore this February 14th, especially for small to medium businesses.