When it comes to Valentines Day, most eCommerce stores will be offering some sort of sale next week, either with a love-themed discount code or pushing their Valentines Day merchandise (think pink and red everything!) on their homepages.
But what if your store doesn't fit into that heart-shaped mold?
Even if your target audience isn't likely to celebrate, you don't want to glaze over the holiday completely. I mean, Valentines Day sales are expected to reach $19.6 BILLION dollars this year, the second highest sales day apart from Christmas.
So if you don't want to touch your store or put your products on sale, it's time to get creative.
Focus on social media
By focusing your energy on social platforms instead of your online store, you can target buyers who are already emotionally invested in the holiday but aren't looking for anything specific. The perfect opportunity to draw their attention to your "non-traditional" Valentines products.
It also gives you a pass on having to re-work your home page or introduce any new themed products.
Three engagement boosting marketing campaigns for your eCommerce store
February 14th is just around the corner, but that doesn't mean it's too late for your store to join in. Here are three quick and easy campaigns you can have up and running in no time!
Tag your friends on Instagram
Want to get 50, 100, even 500 new followers in one day? Then an Instagram contest is your best bet.
To get those numbers up, choose an Instagram-worthy photo, pick your incentive, and get your caption ready.
Your followers will have three steps to follow:
1. They'll have to like your photo
2. Follow your account
3. Tag their friends. That's it!
Take a look at HQ Style Lounge's Christmas contest below to see what I'm talking about. They had over 285 submissions, and gained over 100 new followers in one day!
Make sure you use your own branded hashtags, PLUS popular Valentines Day hashtags to gain the most traction.
With only around an hour of prep, you can start AND finish setting up your contest on Feb. 13th. If you find yourself with a little bit of extra time though, you can check out this step-by-step guide on How to Run an Instagram Contest, or keep reading for a few ideas on what other kinds of contests you can run.
Submit a story on Facebook
A text based contest is by far the easiest campaign you can run to get more eyeballs on your page.
Get your Facebook numbers up by getting people to tell a story about a disastrous Valentines Day experience on your page. And since Facebook image posts get 179% more interaction than text-based or video posts, make sure to use the perfect photo to maximize attention.
But remember to keep your message short! People don't read things on Facebook anymore, they skim. And if they're presented with a huge block of text, they're more likely to skip right past it on their timeline.
Simply post a status update on your page asking people to leave their response in the comments below. Make sure you set the status to public to get the most attention as possible, and encourage people to share the post.
Or you could give into the day just a little and do a cute spin on the contest by getting people to submit stories on how much/why they love your products like the one above.
Maximize hashtags on Twitter
Ever hear of Galentines Day? There were over 31.4 million Tweets related to #valentines last year, and Twitter reported that #galentinesday was one of the top trending hashtags!
Why am I mentioning this? Even if you don't think your products are marketable for Valentines Day, there's a whole slew of people out there who aren't just buying gifts for their significant others.
Sell dog food? Target pet owners who have declared their pets as their Valentines by getting them to tag your company or products in a picture of their pet. Stationary: Followers can upload a photo of their beautifully-arranged desks and tag your company in it. Party decorations: Get followers to tag photos of their Galentines Day parties with all their friends.
Make sure to set up your own hashtag and pair it with at least one of the most popular Valentines Day hashtags to maximize views.
Be careful: Getting users to post a photo and tag it is an awesome way to boost engagement, but beware of encouraging followers to re-tweet your photo. Posting duplicate updates or links is a violation of Twitters rules, so try not to encourage a lot of duplicate status updates (e.g., “whoever Retweets this the most wins”).
How do you incentivize participation?
While some of these campaign can be run without a reward, an awesome incentive will go a long way in making your Valentines Day campaign more successful. It’s what gets people excited about participating in your promotions! Try giving away:
- A discount code for a future purchase to everyone who participates.
- A moment in the spotlight! Tap into your users vanity by promoting their story/photo/personal account on your page.
- A gift certificate to your store.
- Your best-selling product.
- More than one prize (maybe the second funniest story gets a prize too).
- A Valentines Day experience, like a spa day or dinner for two in their city.
- A prize from one of your sponsors/brands you carry.
- Partner up with other businesses to create a prize package to get even more attention (like HQ did with their Instagram contest).
Whatever you choose, to make sure you get high-quality leads that not only boost your engagement, but have the potential to generate more business, choose prizes that are directly linked to your brand to take advantage of the interest in your product or service.
Don't forget to tag your store in the comments below to let us know what you have planned!