I read an interesting article that gave a few ideas and real world samples of e-tailers using various marketing tactics for Valentines Day. I liked the article because it went back to a few “basics” but more importantly pointed toward the use of social media channels to drive interest.
Let me say now that if you don’t have a social media marketing plan in place for your store, you really must consider one. The viral / word-of-mouth power of social media alone is something you can’t overlook.
Proper social media marketing can take time and it does take dedication, but the results can be very beneficial when followed through. If you want to learn more about the social media marketing packages I offer for ecommerce businesses feel free to contact me.
Not Just a Hallmark Holiday
Some say Valentine’s Day is a “Hallmark Holiday” (because it can be associated with helping increase sales of Hallmark cards to others) but heck, you don’t have to be Hallmark to take advantage of the event — and if you aren’t taking advantage of it, you’re certainly missing the “opportunity boat.”
I see it as yet one more opportunity to use the media and social awareness of an event to increase sales through offering limited time only specials, products, etc… So if you haven’t thought about marketing strategy for it yet (I’m sure you’ve planned a 6 – 12 month promotional calendar as I have many times preached in the past right?) it’s time to start.
The article I read listed these as a few of the ways you can take advantage of Valentines Day — no matter what type of retailer you are.
- Create a special Valentine’s Day product or service. The article suggests creating (if you have the ability) a special product or service directly related to the occasion and then promote that product / service on your site as well as on complementary sites, via e-mail, and social media sites. I like the social media route for this type of holiday as it fits very well into that viral methodology. If you can’t make a special product, then consider making a package consisting of a few of your existing products bulked together into a one time discounted price.
- Create a “catchy” video (not an outright ad) and upload it to YouTube. Video is a very popular method of message delivery on the internet now and really gives you the opportunity to “say more with less”. In effect, you can create your own commercials (however, for best results try to avoid a straight out advertisement — you won’t get very far with that) which showcase your company and its products. This is super effective if done correctly and can lead to a huge stream of traffic in a very short time (make sure your server can handle it) if implemented correctly. If you are looking for help developing a YouTube marketing campaign, I am available for hire.
- Use Facebook to get the message out. Another social media option (and there are quite a few) would be to use Facebook in order to develier your message. I’m not talking about advertising on Facebook. I’m talking about creating your own Facebook profile, building a decent friend list or developing a Facebook application (or even a group) that fits your product following. Once you have their attention, you can get virtually any message you want to them — and they will be listening.
- Use email, cross channel marketing, and special promotions. This strategy brings us back to some of the basics of generating sales. Strong email promotions to your current customer list, reaching out to your target market using a variety of traditional channels, and developing special promotions are always sure to help the sales pipeline.
- Use coupon codes that relish in the moment. Even if you decide not to offer a special promotion (why you wouldn’t is beyond my understanding) you could use a current promotion and simply change the coupon code to something relating to the holiday. For example, let’s say you have a coupon code that is available every day and it gives customers a 15% discount on all orders. Keeping that promotion and changing the promo code to something like “CUPID” for Valentine’s Day might set the mood and help interest more customers to buy.
Even if your product / service does not fit the Valentine’s Day theme, you really should consider doing something to take advantage of the event — even if it is simply offering a survey for driving traffic that asks a question such as “Tell us what you consider to be the most romantic place in the world.” The idea here is to simply get people interacting with your site.
No matter which route you choose, you should consider some type of marketing approach to take advantage of special calendar events now and into the future. In addition you should consider developing a social media marketing plan that utilizes those valuable channels available to you via the internet.
To your success.