Right when you thought the spending season had ended with New Year’s Eve – hold up, there’s another holiday just around the corner. It’s time to bust out the candles and wine – along with Hallmark cards, flowers, jewelry, and other big-ticket items to show your partner just how much you love them. That’s right, folks! Valentine’s Day is coming, and it’s the perfect time to run an influencer campaign.
Ah, it’s the day some adore and others dread. Whatever stance you have on Valentine’s Day, as a brand or marketer, you know you can’t ignore the magnitude it has on consumer spendings. In fact, the National Retail Federation (NRF) reported Valentine’s to be the 6th biggest shopping event. It’s the perfect (and crucial) time to run an influencer campaign that makes your customers fall head over heels with your brand.
The power of love
But first, we need to understand the true buying power that Saint Valentine holds. (Talk about an influencer!)
According to the NRF, 51% of U.S. consumers celebrated Valentine’s Day in 2019. The 51% who were celebrating were expected to spend up to $20.7B – averaging each person’s spending to $161.96.
What did people splurge on? The same report shows that top gifts were cards, chocolate, dinners, flowers, and jewelry. It also reports that men spend more than twice compared to women on this special day of love: $229.54 for men versus $97.77 for women, per person.
The NRF also reported that there’s a slightly higher percentage of people between 25 – 44 who celebrate Valentine’s Day compared to the older generations – but the gap is not outrageous. Turns out people of all ages celebrate love the same way! But, get this – people between 25 – 44 can spend nearly 3 times more than those above 65 on gifts: $279.14 versus $91.34. Wowza! Important numbers to consider for your campaign’s target audience, folks!
Not the romantic type? No problem!
Let’s revisit our first number: 49% of consumers don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, but that doesn’t mean they completely ignore the date. 46% of people between 18 – 24 who don’t celebrate with a partner still plan to mark the occasion by celebrating “anti-Valentine’s Day”, treating themselves (true love!), and planning a get-together.
Valentine’s Day is not just for lovebirds. Quite a chunk of people also purchase gifts for their parents, children, friends, and as many as 20% of Americans purchase Valentine’s Day gifts for their pets. So truly, jewelry and candy brands are not the only ones to thrive during this season. Stay tuned and explore how your brand can stand out with an exciting influencer campaign!
Why influencer marketing for Valentine’s Day?
Since we’re talking about love… do you know what people don’t love? Ads. Especially intrusive and irrelevant ads that we see popping up everywhere we go… in real life and online. 45% of Americans have ad-blockers on – while on the flip side, 55% of people say they are more likely to buy from authentic, real-life user-generated content.
Moreover, 83% of online responders trust their friends and families’ recommendations, according to Nielsen Global’s study. In order to replicate this effect, influencers need to closely reflect the element of trustworthiness and authenticity – just like one’s friends and family. Not only do influencers give an authentic recommendation for your product, but they can also act as an expert in what’s trendy to gift during this holiday, or how to save on V-day gifts.
And believe us, a lot of people will wait until the last day and still don’t know what to get their loved ones.
With that said, an influencer marketing campaign should not only be about sales – it’s about content. Since Valentine’s Day is all about that mushy-gushy, sentimental, personal, pulling-on-your-heart-strings type feel, make sure you have that special angle in whatever campaign you’re running.
The thing is, it’s really hard to manufacture a successful emotional ad (unless you’re Jolibee with their viral heart-warming Valentine’s commercial.) The beauty of influencer marketing is that you don’t have to make up anything, just let the influencers create amazing, authentic, heartening content for you to have, and for consumers to enjoy. It’s a win-win-win!
Step-by-step guide on building a Valentine’s Day influencer campaign
Start with the right product
As we mentioned above, gone are the days of just jewelry and wine, there is literally no end to the list of possibilities for brands to capitalize on Valentine’s Day. However, your product still needs to make sense. Some brands even come out with seasonal products just for Valentine’s Day, like Lush, who offer a range of bath and body care products with a cheeky nod toward all types of love.
Other brands rebrand their products – so essentially, it’s the same product but it has been shot by Cupid (or a by really good branding team.) A great example of this is Dunkin Donuts: They’re probably not the first brand to come to mind when you want to get romantic with your partner, but who can resist an adorable heart-shaped donut slathered in sugary, pink icing and sparkles? On top of that, they ran a social media contest featuring #DunkinLoveContest, where a lucky couple will receive a year’s worth of coffee, donuts, and $2,500.
If you’re lucky enough to have products like lingerie, wine, candies, or flowers, then it’s already a low-hanging fruit! However, keep in mind that your competitors are also planning their own campaigns. For this reason, give your brand an edge to stand out from the rest!
Have the right campaign elements
Now that you have the perfect product, the next step is the right influencer campaign elements to highlight your product features. As with planning any influencer campaign, you will need to consider:
- Which social media platform? Each platform has its strengths in terms of audience demographics and content formats. Is your product highly visual with an ideal audience of Millennials? Choose Instagram. Is your brand trying to tap into older generations who look for Valentine’s Day gift guides? Maybe Facebook or a blog post.
- What angle? As mentioned above, people celebrate Valentine’s Day in many different ways. Is your product meant for couples? Or would it make an amazing self-love treat? Or should your customers give this product to their peers, parents, or pets? Make the angle very clear, and watch customers rush to your website and spend money in the name of love!
- What is the delivery? The beauty of influencer marketing is that it offers endless content type possibilities. You can have the quintessential product review, or let influencers include your brand in their must-have gift guide, or DIY videos featuring your product, or invest in an influencer Valentine’s Day skit.
With the right platform, content, and delivery in place, all that remains is to find the right people to send out your message to the world.
Find the right influencer
The campaign elements outlined throughout this post will help you find the perfect influencers. If you’re branding your product as the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for women, you might want to find male influencers to promote. If you’re branding your product as a self-indulgence item, find influencers who closely resemble your target customers. Don’t forget to check out our blog post “How to Find the Perfect Influencers for Your Niche” for a few extra tips to nail your influencer campaign!
Now you know that Valentine’s Day is the 6th biggest buying holiday of the year – it won’t alarm you to know that thousands of brands and agencies are running their own campaigns at the same time. Unless you want to wait until the last minute and panic (and who wants that?), you need to act quickly: Calendars are filling up, payment rates are increasing…. there really is no time to waste. For that reason, start early and start strong with a stunning outreach email – catch your ideal influencers before they start working with someone else!
Brands who succeeded in their Valentine’s Day influencer campaigns
Blue Apron x Male Youtube influencers: Home-cooked meals as a romantic Valentine’s Day gift
As men across the world are frantically looking for a last-minute Valentine’s Day gift, Aaron Marino – a Youtuber with 5.73M subscribers – shares top tips on meaningful and affordable gift ideas in one of his videos. Of course, Blue Apron appears as one of the ideas: cooking a cozy, romantic dinner for your date, without having to be a top chef or even kitchen-savvy.
Marino’s Youtube channel covers topics like lifestyle advice, fitness tips, grooming trends, etc. Marino’s collaboration with Blue Apron resulted in almost 900k views and 10k likes on that video alone, as of Jan 2020.
Garnier’s x Instagram Influencers: Celebrate Galentine Day with #GarnierGirls
The beauty brand Garnier took advantage of the Galentine Day trend (on February 13, when girlfriends celebrate their love and support for each other) to host a meet-and-greet with influencers in selected Walmart locations.
Customers, of course, can bring their besties along to meet Instagram beauty influencers like @sierrafurtado or @joelle_fletcher, and experience Garnier’s new Soothing Rose Water Mist.
Remi The Black Lab x Three Spoiled Dogs: The perfect Valentine’s giveaway for your fur friends!
What’s a purer love than between us and our fur friends? Three Spoiled Dogs partnered up with the adorable Remi the Black Lab (@remi_theblklab) to host a giveaway for their special Valentine Bandana. Well, there’s not much we need to say. Just look at that little face! Boop!
So what are you waiting for?
Finding the right influencer is very similar to love-at-first-sight, except you don’t really need to wait around for them to come to you anymore. With Upfluence, you can easily and quickly find the right influencers, outreach at scale, manage your campaign, and track the performance all-in-one.