Love is in the air. Yet again. It is February, after all! The time of the year is celebrated by many people seeking to show love to their special ones.
Kenyans are going beyond the traditional ‘red roses and a pack of chocolates’ and spending on gifts and experiences. For instance, according to the 2020 Mastercard Annual Love Index, hotels and destination transactions increased by 65% from 2017 to 2019 compared to 22% globally.
Therefore, as a small business, it is wise to take advantage of these celebrations to maximise your sales.
This article explores ten creative ideas to help you make the best out of Valentine’s season.
Contest marketing is a great way to boost awareness and attract customers to your business. Who wouldn’t want to win a freebie to spend on themselves or their loved ones on a special day?
Use your social media and leverage the appropriate hashtags to attract the right audience to your business. Whether the giveaway is a special date night activity or a romantic product, the idea is to ensure that the contest is exciting to the audience and does not dig a hole in your marketing budget.
Ideally, the giveaway does not have to be your product/service. For example, if you run a boutique, you can have your giveaway as a night for two in Masai Mara.
Kenyans love the adrenaline of crashing through the last minute. To tap on that, create a last-minute Valentine’s day gift guide and include your products and services on the list. Make a list of romantic-themed items from different non-competitor sites and showcase them in your social media, marketing brochures, and website.
You can categorize the guide in different categories such as:
A well-organized guide lets you highlight some of your products/services that are otherwise not very popular or your audience might not think about - creating a win-win situation for you and the customers.
Remember the good old, buy one get one free? You can utilise the same strategy to win this season. To make it more season-appropriate, you can rephrase it as ‘two for one’ to emphasize the couple's theme.
After all, it is a couples season, and the idea of earning an extra product/service that would save you money is much welcomed by your customers - and if your company can afford it.
Even if you do not sell physical products, find services you can match to achieve the same goal. For example, a hair salon can offer a ‘make your hair and get a free nail service’.
Ensure to pick products and services that appeal to couples this season. Also, appropriately promote your deals on social media and other platforms to get as much outreach as possible.
Since Valentine’s day is all about couples, why not ‘couple up’ also? Find another business that compliments your own and run promotions in tandem.
Promote each other and offer gift packages that combine both your products. This will not only upgrade the value of your product/service, but you will both also benefit from double customer reach.
For example, hair salons can pair with nail parlours or barber shops, florists with bakers, diners with hotels, etc. The idea is to pick a partner whose product/ service compliments your own.
Changing the theme of your social media into a more romantic one sets the mood and helps your audience get into Valentine's spirit. However, be careful not to replace your brand so that the audience can still recognise it.
You can throw in Valentine’s day flair on the profile pictures and covers with a bit of image resizing and positioning.
Some platforms have customisable themes that you can easily do yourself. However, if you need to go a step further to charm your audience, you can hire a professional to do it.
If your business has a customer mailing list, then it is your time to shine. It is an opportunity to captivate your customers with a Valentine-themed marketing campaign.
If you do not have a new budget to start a new campaign, you can use the already existing campaign. Just integrate Valentine’s theme on the outgoing emails. To achieve this, you just need to:
Nothing keeps the audience more interested than keeping them engaged. Asking your customers to share their love stories is a fun way to keep them engaged. Ideally, encourage them to share an inspirational love story. If they do not have a personal inspiration love story, they can share their parents’, grandparents’ or any family member with an extraordinary story.
To make it even more interesting, offer a prize for the most remarkable story. However, give full details on how the winner will be picked. For example, the winner can be the story with the most likes or shares.
This will not only encourage engagement with the already existing audience, but it will also encourage sharing, which will eventually attract more traffic to your site/social media.
Sending a card to someone you care about is the traditional way to show love. In this era where most brands focus on digital platforms and footprints, sending your customers a physical card will make you stand out.
To a customer who is tired of receiving emails and text messages, receiving a card will be unique and memorable. And in the spirit of keeping it special, forget about going all ‘salesy’.
Instead, focus on letting the customer know how special they are to your business and then include a special offer or discount at the end.
If a physical card is not practical for you, a digital card will also go a long way.
Customer reviews are powerful. They are even more powerful than your website, and social media put together. Studies show that 84% of online shoppers trust google reviews just the same. A single sentence on a review can determine whether a customer will make a purchase or not. In fact, a difference of one star - or less - can make a potential customer pick your competitor over you.
So ask your customers to leave a review if you want to have that mind-changing sentence or star. It might feel awkward and egocentric, but believe it or not, most people will gladly share their opinion if they know they have an opportunity to.
And Valentine’s period is a good time to ask your customers for reviews as you tap into the goodwill implied in this love season. Since you are coupling this with giveaways and other Valentine-themed offerings, your customers may have more incentive to take a minute and write a review for your business.
While planning for Valentine’s day campaigns, do not forget the singles - not everyone is in a relationship during this season. The singles need some love too. So as you are planning for the couples, send love to the singles too.
Let your brand focus on deals that cater to everyone. You can offer special singles discounts or create a line of products/services that acknowledge them.
So there you have it. This is your chance to make a bank by taking advantage of the frenzy to maximise sales. With the above tips, it is time to develop a kickass Valentine's marketing plan to help you rack in profits this season.
If you are hard on cash to fund your killer marketing campaign or you have an overflowing of orders that you can’t fulfill with the cash you have in hand, don’t fret. Among your options, you can consider taking a business loan to help you navigate the season’s sales.
You can compare the various business loan options available to you on the Money254 business loans finder and determine if this option is a good one for you.
Alternatively, you can apply for a credit card and take advantage of the interest-free period which in Kenya ranges from 30 to 55 days.
A credit card will allow you to fulfill all your orders for this period by utilising the credit line and paying back within the interest-free period without any interest.
Learn more about credit card interest-free days here>> What is a Credit Card’s interest-free period? and How Does it Work?