Killer Content Marketing: Valentine’s Day Branded Content

valentines day content marketing branded content

Love is in the air – along with the scent of specialty chocolates, fresh flowers, and last-minute dinner deals. Unless you were struck in the eye by Cupid’s arrow, it’s impossible to not see Valentine’s marketing everywhere.

For better or worse, most Valentine’s marketing involves short-run products and promotions. Yet there are a few bold brands capitalizing on the opportunity for romance-driven content marketing instead.

Admittedly, Valentine’s Day content marketing is nothing radically new. (We’re looking at you, Necco.)

But with such a short time to capitalize on the holiday, many marketers miss the opportunity to layer a little love into their content marketing strategy.

This is a mistake, to be sure. According to U.S. News & World Report, Valentine’s spending topped $19 billion last year (yep, that’s “billion” with a “b”). Individual spending is even more staggering, with more than $120 spent per person. And despite the expectation of steak dinners and red roses from their beau, women outspend their male counterparts on Valentine’s Day by double ($170 vs $85).

Clearly this shows an opportunity to give a little TLC to your Valentine’s Day content marketing strategy. As the holiday approaches, check out the brands who are making us swoon this holiday.

valentines brand content

Forbes’ Play for V Day

Nothing goes together better than romance and…hard-hitting business news? Clearly an unlikely player in the Valentine’s Day game, Forbes developed a brilliant play for business-minded lovebirds. Enter the Valentine’s Day spending infographic:

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Even for those readers flying solo this Valentine’s Day, Forbes does a perfect job of making Valentine’s Day spending a fascinating topic.

They aren’t the only ones, either. Overstock.com published a “Facts of Love” infographic, while History Channel has a trivia-laden version.

Brand Takeaway: Infographics are a great way to adapt holidays to your brand, even if they’re seemingly unconnected. If you’re a toothpaste brand, create an infographic about whitening your teeth in time for your Valentine’s Day date. If you’re an automotive brand, consider an infographic about famous cars featured in beloved love stories.

Obviously, infographics can carry a hefty price tag, which may make it difficult to picture the ROI. Yet keep in mind that holidays are inherently evergreen, so this year’s Valentine’s Day infographic can be recycled over and over again.

Pillsbury Takes the Cake

OK, Pillsbury has a slightly clearer tie to Valentine’s Day than Forbes. In fact, the baked goods company probably looks forward to Valentine’s Day as much as Christmas and Halloween.

From any baking brand, you’d probably expect a simple library of Valentine’s Day content that some nameless undergrad intern manually tagged. Yet Pillsbury has managed to keep their Valentine’s Day splash page fresh and purposeful.

Pilsbury Valentines Day Branded Content

Note how every single sentence has been crafted to fit the Valentine’s Day mood. Instead of “Red Velvet Cookie Recipe,” Pillsbury headlines the recipe with “3 Red Velvet Cookies to Give Your Special Someone.” In fact, the entire page screams “Valentine’s Day” without being pushy or cheesy.

The same goes for visuals. Pillsbury has subtle pink and red design throughout the page, with beautiful original photography to solidify the theme. We’d venture to say you could identify this as a Valentine’s Day splash page without a single line of text to give it away.

Brand Takeaway: No one expects you to have Pillsbury-level quantities of recipe content. But with 200,000 Google searches for Valentine’s Day content in January, you should certainly capitalize.

If you think your brand has nothing to do with recipe content, you might be surprised. If you are a health or medicine brand, publish a healthy cookie recipe for diabetics. If your brand sells clothing, publish “food and outfit” pairing ideas.

Move over Necco: My M&Ms are here

Necco Sweetheart candies are pretty much the staple of Valentine’s Day. In fact, Sweethearts have been around in some form or another for 150 years. Despite their old-school roots, Necco Sweethearts have done a pretty admirable job of keeping their hearts relevant. Just check out new messages such as “Tweet Me” or “Diva.”

This makes it fairly daunting to break into the personalized candy market. Enter My M&Ms:

These endearingly cute candies take personalized candy to the next level. Who wouldn’t prefer a candy that has your honey’s name instead of the generic “U R Sweet”?

Brand Takeaway: Personalization isn’t easy for every company. It takes a lot of follow through and budget to get it right.

Yet personalized content can produce amazing follow-through from your audience, as well. According to Monetate, personalized content increases conversion by 20 percent. That’s no small feat for most content marketing campaigns.

To get started on personalized content, make sure your own user buckets are well-organized by demographic, intent and referral source. After that, start small with personalized content campaigns such as newsletters. Bigger personalization campaigns can entail personalized products, web pages and shopping features. Read more about personalization here.

Love is clearly in the air for these brands, and chances are, you can feel the love, too. Remember: Even if you can’t see a direct connection between you and Valentine’s Day, there’s most likely something there. It’s just a matter of aiming Cupid’s arrow in the right direction.


Editor’s Note

Need more tips and insights into how you can craft your perfect Valentine’s Day branded content? We did our own holiday-inspired content marketing by sharing some of our content strategy tips, client work, and data-driven tactics on our Slideshare. In case you haven’t checked it out yet – here it is:

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