Whether you’re a Valentine’s Day lover or hater, February 14th finds a way to tug on all of our hearts–and for more than half of us, our wallets. Holding roots in ancient Rome, Valentine’s Day has evolved into a textbook Hallmark holiday, fueled by big consumer spending and traditions of gifting to loved ones.
In 2020, 55% of Americans said they’d be participating in Valentine’s Day festivities, up from 51% the previous year. This influx of gift giving results in an equal spike in advertising, making strategic marketing essential for businesses in January and February.
In a survey, 93% of consumers told Animoto that video is helpful when making the decision to purchase a product, calling video the #1 most memorable type of content they see from brands. As we close in on the season of love, it’s time to plan your video marketing strategy, including where and when paid advertising is worth the spend.
Read on for the full story on ad spending for Valentine’s Day, or jump ahead to a specific section.
Consumers spent an estimated $27.4 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2020, up 32% from 2019’s record $20.7 billion. And while this upswing in spending is huge for business owners, there are a few factors we have to consider.
First, the most popular location for shopping was department stores at 36%, followed by online shopping and discount stores both coming in at 32%. Second, 41% of consumers reported wanting an experience-based gift over a material item. Lastly, roughly $5.5 billion was expected to be spent on an evening out on the 14th.
All of these facts, however, have been clouded by one notable event just after Valentine’s Day 2020: the COVID-19 outbreak. Even as case numbers decline in many parts of the world and life goes back to “normal”, we predict that shopping habits have been changed for the long run, and online shopping will remain number one for the foreseeable future.
The best example of this shift in consumer spending came on Cyber Monday 2020. Online spending reached a record $10.8 billion, a 15.1% increase from the previous year and more than $4 billion over the expected spend for the day. With this monumental shift in online browsing and shopping, it’s essential that businesses advertise both products and services online leading up to major spending holidays.
Now that we know where consumers are shopping, we need to understand how they’re shopping. In the same survey hosted by Animoto, consumers expressed a strong preference for video over photos and text when shopping online. That means whether you’re advertising a product, a gift card, an experience, a service, or a brand, video should be at the top of your list. Here’s how to do it for each:
Show off your products for gift-givers, deal-lovers, and self-indulgers alike with a short, seasonal promo video. Use the Valentine’s Day Promo template and simply drop your own photos, business info, and logo for a festive video, ready in minutes.
With in-person shopping on the decline, nothing’s more practical than a digital gift card. Help your customers give the gift of a spending spree with the Gift Card Promo template.
Going to be open on Valentine’s Day? Use the Reopening List template to let your customers know how they can prepare for a great–and safe–night out.
Have a great service that can be given as a gift or experienced by couples on Valentine’s Day? Give them a sneak peek with our Service Teaser template, easily customized with our library of over 1 million stock photos and videos.
Even if you’re not advertising a specific Valentine’s Day deal, selling your brand with video is equally important during any spike in online activity. Take this opportunity to show your followers who you are–literally. We recommend telling your own story this Valentine’s Day using the Personal Story template for self-run and small businesses, or the Business Story template for larger teams.
Planning your Valentine’s Day ad spend starts by identifying where your target audience is. For example, if most of your marketing efforts are on social media, this isn’t the right moment to test the waters on email marketing. No matter where your audience is, keep these best practices in mind to find success with your spend.
Countless small businesses are finding success on social media with video. In fact, 71% of consumers told us that they’ve purchased a product or service after watching a brand’s video on social media, with 40% making more purchases due to ads on social media this year than last year. Need proof it works? Check out 3 success stories from long-time Animoto users, then explore the full story on paid social media content.
A rich video marketing campaign goes beyond making a compelling video. Make sure your customers can find your content by revisiting your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. New to SEO marketing? Check out our full guide to SEO video marketing and get started before the 14th.
Knowing who your audience is and where they’re spending their time is great, but it means nothing unless you’re targeting them with your video ads. Take full advantage of your paid ads by using the advanced audience targeting features Facebook and Instagram have to offer.
There are a lot of elements that add up to a successful Valentine’s Day video–so many that we wrote a whole guide on it. That said, even the most well-made video can use a little heart. Check out our 3 top tips for reaching your audience on a deeper level with video:
In the same way that love isn’t only romantic, consumers aren’t only shopping for their significant others. In fact, only 52% of Valentine’s Day spending was on a romantic partner in 2020, with the rest divided between family, friends, children’s classmates, coworkers, pets, and others. Evaluate what the appropriate audience is for your offering and create a video with confidence that they’ll see the opportunity for their spend.
On a holiday centered around emotional connections, don’t be afraid to be a bit softer in the tone of your video. Rich Honiball of Navy Exchange Service Command put it beautifully when he told AdAge, “Yes, Valentine's Day is about marketing traditional products and services, but it is also an opportunity to engage with our customers and allow each to tell their story—what is most important to them.” Be vulnerable with your customers, you may be surprised at how effective it is.
Last but not least, give your customers an opportunity to interact with your campaign. This can be with stickers in your social media stories, with bold CTAs, or with a catchy campaign hashtag that customers can share when they shop with you. Aaron Hall of Siegel+Gale recapped some notable Valentine's Day ad wins by brands including Dunkin’, Pizza Hut, and Uber, telling AdAge, “All of these brands, and many others, use specific campaigns with clever names and catchphrases to engage their customers in the moment that’s authentic to their brand, and aligned with the experience of Valentine’s Day.”
It’s never too early–or too late–to start planning for Valentine’s Day. Explore all that Animoto has to offer for Valentine’s Day video and start planning which videos you’ll make for your business this year. Need some inspiration? We’ve got you covered with all of the video ideas and templates you’ll need for life, business, and just for fun all in one place.