Well-deployed Valentine’s Day pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns can be as effective as a direct hit from Cupid’s arrow. But how can you make sure you hit your mark? On this page, we’ll explore PPC campaign tips for Valentine’s Day to help you get more impressions, clicks, and conversions.
Get to Know Your Valentine’s Day Consumer
You should have personas in use for your everyday PPC campaigns. However, your Valentine’s Day shoppers may differ from usual because it’s a major gift-giving holiday, second only to Christmas. Spend time identifying who you want to reach and their motivations before developing your Valentine’s Day PPC campaigns.
It’s Not Just Valentine’s Day Anymore
You may sell yourself short if you focus solely on romance and couples with your Valentine’s Day PPC campaigns. Although it may have started as a day for lovers, this is no longer true. You may be able to engage a wider audience by acknowledging the diverse ways people observe the holiday and running several tailored campaigns.
Galentine’s Day / Malentine’s Day/Palentine’s Day – February 13
The term “Galentine’s Day” was coined by the sitcom Parks and Recreation, but it has since worked its way into mainstream culture. It’s celebrated the day before Valentine’s Day and is considered a day for women to celebrate their female friendships. Due to the popularity of the holiday, Malentine’s Day, a day to celebrate male friendships, and the gender-neutral Palentine’s Day have also emerged.
While some might argue these are not “real” holidays, they have become shopping holidays. We can see, for example, the search term “Galentine’s Day Gift” surges every February like clockwork, per Google Trends.
Valentine’s Day – February 14
More than half of all consumers celebrate Valentine’s Day, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). That equates to hundreds of millions of people! However, they don’t all view it as a romantic holiday. For instance, many people now purchase Valentine’s Day gifts for:
- Family members
- Children’s classmates
Additionally, more than a quarter of those who don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day still observe the day in some way, NRF reports. Rather than buying Valentine’s Day gifts, they often focus on general gifts, treating themselves, or planning a night out with single friends and family members.
International Quirkyalone Day – February 14
The concept of International Quirkyalone Day hasn’t taken off quite like Galentine’s Day in terms of gift giving, though it should be watched and may fit into some brand strategies today. The idea behind it is that people should feel happy and fulfilled on their own. So, it may work for brands that offer products and services that could be used in self-care.
Singles Awareness Day/ Singles Appreciation Day – February 15
Singles Awareness Day is better known than International Quirkyalone Day, though it presently fits into roughly the same category in terms of search volume and gift giving. This will not be a big PPC holiday for most brands, but keep it on your radar. It’s celebrated the day after Valentine’s Day.
Spending is Up
The average person now spends around $193 on Valentine’s Day gifts, up from $175 a year ago, per NRF. Around $131 of this is spent on significant others and family, while $53 goes to friends, associates, and pets.
More Than a Third of People Shop Online
Not surprisingly, the top destination for Valentine’s Day shoppers is online, with 35 percent of gift-givers scouring the net. Department and discount stores are not far behind, at 34 and 31 percent, respectively. Specialty stores come in at 18 percent.
A Wide Variety of Valentine’s Day Gifts Are Given
If your business has a variety of things you can potentially include in your Valentine’s Day PPC ads, it may be best to focus on the most gifted options, such as:
- Greeting cards
- An evening out
- An experience
- Gift cards
Choose Your Metrics and Set Up Tracking
Most businesses will likely set a goal for conversions or total sales in dollars since the focus is usually gift-giving. Ensure you have tracking set up correctly before you begin so that you can measure the success of your campaigns later.
You’ll also want to ensure you have retargeting pixels set up before you run your campaigns. These allow you to continue marketing to people after they’ve left your website, even if they didn’t make a purchase. Retargeting is helpful across all industries but can be especially useful when trying to get a Valentine’s Day e-commerce boost since you have such a short window, and this will allow you to catch people while they’re still actively shopping.
Make Sure Your Timing is Right
It’s best to have your Valentine’s Day advertising strategies up and running early. As we can see in Google Trends, there’s a slight uptick in searches for “Valentine’s Day gifts” starting Christmas week.
When you target late December or early January as your launch date, you beat other advertisers to the punch and get a head start on data collection, allowing you to optimize and improve your ads before the big rush. It also gives you more time to work with retargeting to boost sales even more.
Online searches traditionally peak the week before Valentine’s Day and remain elevated for the holiday, then drop off sharply right after. These are essential things to keep in mind as you develop your campaigns. Many brands, particularly e-commerce brands, will want to shift the focus of their PPC ads from physical goods with traditional shipping to rush shipping and then e-gift cards or virtual goods as the holiday approaches.
Although rarely discussed with holiday PPC tactics, it’s always a good idea to separate special observances and holidays from other campaigns in your advertising platform. The audiences, keywords, and results may be different than regular campaigns. You’ll need clean data for proper seasonal PPC optimization. Moreover, you don’t want to skew your general data with data from short-term campaigns that you may not be able to fully optimize in one season.
Include a Valentine’s Day Promotion
More than half of all consumers want to take advantage of Valentine’s Day sales and promotions, NRF research shows. Consider developing a special offer just for your holiday shoppers.
How you present your offer may make a difference to consumers. For instance, a $50 off deal or a 50 percent discount may result in the same cost for a $100 item or service, but your audience may prefer one over the other. It’s advantageous to create multiple offers to test which works best. Consider offering a:
- Percentage off
- Dollar amount off
- Free item
- Free shipping
Zero in with Targeting
You should clearly know who your ads are intended for and what motivates them to take action. The next step is to ensure your ad platform has that information for proper targeting.
Consider Your Audience
Most businesses barely scratch the surface regarding audience targeting, but ad platforms offer some very detailed and impressive options.
For instance, let’s say you’re interested in targeting couples in PPC ads. You can check the demographics section for “Marital Status” and choose “Married.” Platforms like Google Ads also offer the option to segment by recent life events, allowing you to target newlyweds.
The same demographic options also allow you to target parents of children by age range. For example, maybe you run a spa, and you know that fathers of young children like to buy their significant other a gift card or a nice dinner. Or maybe you sell gifts that teachers would like or candy kids can share with their classmates. This approach can help you reach the right people.
The potential ways to zero in on your audience are endless. It’s just a matter of you knowing who you need to reach and target them.
Mix General Keywords and Niche Terms
According to Google Trends, the most popular gift-related Valentine’s Day keywords are:
- valentines day ideas
- valentines day gifts
- valentines gifts
- valentines day cards
- valentines cards
- valentines day gift
- valentines day card
These are great options, and you should leverage them if they align with what you’re offering. However, absolutely everyone will be leveraging these keywords, and the cost per click will surge as the day approaches. Do some research to find niche-specific or longtail keywords that are also appropriate and weave them into your campaigns, too.
Craft Romantic PPC Campaign Copy (Or Not)
Virtually everyone tells you to focus on romantic marketing campaigns during this time of the year. There’s so much more to this season than love-themed digital advertising. While leveraging seasonal words in your writing is a good idea, remember that not everyone treats this as a romantic holiday. Not everything needs to be hearts and flowers. Create copy that speaks to your audience and aligns with what you’re offering.
Evoke Emotion with Power Words
Words that evoke emotion or build trust can boost clicks. For Valentine’s Day PPC, you may want to focus more on words that relate to value, quality, rarity, or any type of guarantee you offer.
Create Urgency with Countdowns
Many ad platforms allow you to include countdowns in your ads. For example, your copy can say: “X Days Left to Order” or “Order within X days for Valentine’s Day arrival.” Experiment with this to see what works best for your audience.
Give Them More Reasons to Click with Extensions
Brands can see a 20 percent increase in clicks when ad extensions are used, Google reports. These individual links and text blurbs appear below your heading and description in a search ad. We’ll briefly cover a few that you can leverage and how to apply them to your Valentine’s Day PPC campaigns.
Link to other pages on your site. For instance, you might have pages dedicated to:
- Top Valentine’s Day Gifts
- Gifts by Recipient (i.e., Gifts for Teachers, Gifts for Kids)
- Gifts by Product Type (i.e. Candy, Flowers, Jewelry)
- Gifts by Price Range (i.e., Gifts Under $20, Gifts Under $100)
- Gifts by Speed (i.e., Get it in 2 Days)
- Gift Cards
Help people understand your price ranges before they visit your site by including a few products and prices.
Spur people to action by showing them you’re running a Valentine’s Day special, what it entails, and when it ends.
Because these may not be your usual customers, you’ll need to win their trust. Google Seller Ratings extensions aggregate your star reviews from various sources to give you an instant boost.
If you’re trying to create more effective PPC for Valentine’s retail or another visually oriented industry, image extensions are unbeatable. However, Google does put restrictions on which businesses can leverage them. For example, your account needs to be more than 90 days old, have active campaigns, and have text ads running and accruing spend on search campaigns for the past 28 days.
Consider including high-quality images of your products, the result of using your services, or your team if you operate a service-oriented business.
Adorn Your Landing Pages with Love
Each ad group should have its own landing page. This creates a smoother customer journey and boosts your ad quality score, which helps your ad get displayed more and can reduce your costs. Here are a few tips in this regard:
- Ensure your landing page copy and images align with the ads so customers have a cohesive experience.
- Clear the clutter. Remove any unnecessary navigation and ensure visitors have a clear path to whatever they came to see.
- Create strong and relevant headlines with power words to pique their interest.
- Include trust signals so they know it’s safe to shop and their information is secure.
- Leverage a clear and compelling call to action (CTA) to increase conversions.
- Ensure your site loads fast and displays well on all devices.
Stick with it for the Duration of Your Campaign
Your Valentine’s Day PPC efforts shouldn’t stop when your ads are up and running. Stay on top of things like irrelevant traffic and add negative keywords to your campaign. Eliminate ad groups that aren’t performing. This will help reduce wasted spend and allow you to put more of your budget into ad groups and ads that are performing well, so your return on investment (ROI) improves.
Get Help Creating Effective Valentine’s Day PPC Campaigns
The learning curve is steep for Valentine’s Day PPC campaigns, and you only have a small window to get it right. However, well-run campaigns can deliver serious ROI on this major gift-giving holiday. We’re happy to connect you with an experienced PPC agency that understands your business and can help you make the most of the season. To learn more or get started, request a complimentary consultation.