It can be easy to dismiss Valentine’s Day as a small holiday when compared to Christmas, Hanukkah and the New Year just a month or two before. However, last year in the United States an estimated 19.7 billion dollars was spent on Valentine’s Day. And while that number should surely get you thinking about what you could sell, you don’t even necessarily have to be selling anything to wrap the holiday into your marketing efforts.
Here are four unique ways you can work the holiday into your marketing outreach whether you have the perfect thing for couples to buy, or just want to give your regular campaigns a festive angle.
Before we begin I had one rule about this list–no straight discount sales. We all know how to do this, and there’s just nothing unique about a discount code. Ok now let’s get started…

1. Run a Discount With a Twist

Let’s get the sale idea out of the way first. There’s honestly nothing that exciting about a percent off sale you can run any time of the year. Think about what you have to offer that can uniquely be sold for the holiday along with the discount. For example, you can pair your products into “perfect couples” and offer them at a discount together.

2. Make It a Client Love Fest

This is for all of you in a service industry that doesn’t necessarily have something you can sell for most holidays. Instead of sitting this one out entirely, think about it from a different angle. The theme is love, so why not throw some love to your clients. Use your email campaigns, social, and blog to shout out and reach out to your loving clients with quotes, case studies, and maybe even a sweet deal for them.
This approach is two-fold. On the one hand it helps nurture your clients and show them how much you appreciate their business. On the other hand it becomes an opportunity to shine the light on some of your star clients for potential clients to see.
Ideas to Get You Going:

  • Stretch your email beyond “Happy Valentine’s Day!” to include some love for client reviews, case studies, and more.
  • Don’t have any client feedback? Now’s the time to collect it. Offer incentives for clients’ “loving” quotes. Encourage them to review you online, or send them directly to you for use in sales materials for a discount or a small gift.

2. Host a Local Event

Holiday marketing doesn’t just mean running sales or selling something. Instead think of different ways you can get people together. Think about what your business does, and whether any activities align with your company’s’ values.
For example, a local party planning business in my Chicago neighborhood is hosting a Valentine making night. This event introduces their business and perfectly aligns with their handmade decorations esthetic. Plus, now it can be easier than ever to host an event by using Facebook events or Eventbrite for outreach.
Ideas to Get You Going:

  • Host something for the single crowd. This could be a dating experience, or it could just be a fun opportunity to give the rest of the population something to do.
  • If you own a restaurant, offer set menus or dinner specials for couples and single diners. Then promote via social media and email.
  • Have nothing to offer for an event? Partner with a local restaurant or business that does and be a sponsor to get your name out there.
  • Get your clients together to mingle in a meet-and-greet near Valentine’s Day. It can be a great way nurture relationships and help form new ones.

4. Create a Useful Piece of Content

If you don’t necessarily have something to sell for the holiday, it doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to offer at all. Consider creating a guide or larger piece of content around any themes related to the holiday. You can then offer that piece of content in exchange for the contact info of those trying to download it. It’s a great way to grow your email list and get involved in holiday promotions.
Ideas to Get You Going:

  • Create a local gift guide and recommend other businesses around you. Then during promotion on social media be sure to tag those other businesses for a chance to give your content more exposure.
  • Create a useful piece of industry content, just with a love theme. That’s right, you don’t have to go that crazy catering to the holiday. This could simply be “X Number of Industry Tricks & Tips You’ll Love.” The great thing is content like this can be reused all year long.

We hope some of these ideas have gotten your wheels turning about how your business can get involved in a smaller holiday like Valentine’s Day. Our point is, you don’t need to be a big national ecommerce brand to get involved.
Have your own ideas? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @LittleJackmktg.
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