The Native Advertiser’s Valentine’s Day Marketing Cheat Sheet

The Native Advertiser’s Valentine’s Day Marketing Cheat Sheet

February 12, 2014

$18.6 billion – that’s how much consumers are expected to spend this Valentine’s Day. After Christmas, Valentine’s Day commands the most consumer dollars of any US holiday – a huge opportunity for advertisers looking to put their 2014 marketing strategies and budgets to work. Thankfully, there is extensive marketing research available for reaching shoppers, but how should this be applied to native advertising campaigns?

We highlight stand out statistics, paired with strategic takeaways, to help guide native advertisers as they execute their purposefully last-minute (we’ll explain this below) Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns.

Two Days Away? It’s Not Too Late!

With Valentine’s Day only days away, our inner romantic would like to think the bulk of gift buying has commenced, when in reality, most shoppers haven’t done a single thing to prepare. More than half of Valentine’s Day gifts are purchased the week before the big day.

Unless you know your consumer is more likely to buy further in advance (say a vacation or another big spend item like a car), spend little (if any) ad budget before three weeks, and concentrate the majority of ads in the one week leading up to Valentine’s Day. A second strategy is to distribute a smaller number of ads to boost brand awareness in the three weeks prior, followed by a burst of ads in last week.

Another way to take advantage of this trend – highlight overnight shipping capabilities or specifically call out, “guaranteed delivery by February 14” in your ad copy or creative.

So who’s driving this eleventh-hour shopping trend? If stats are telling the story…

Men are The Big Shoppers

Men do most of the Valentine’s Day shopping – nearly twice as much as women – especially on classic gifts, like cards (#1), candy (#2), and flowers (#3) – not to mention jewelry, travel, and dining out. So how do you reach men during this romantic season of procrastination? To market to men, you need to know how men shop.

Men are more likely to find a product when “surfing around” online – 33% of men, versus 26% of women, discovered their most recent purchase this way. Considering men spend much of their day browsing Facebook (37 minutes on average), the Facebook News Feed is a natural location to deliver ads.

Men also spend more time researching a product before making a purchase. Video creative satisfies this desire for more information by providing a more holistic view of the product.

Only 44% of men view shopping as a form of “entertainment” (vs. 57% women), so it’s no surprise that men are more likely than their female counterparts to use mobile devices to “get it done faster.” That said, mobile is a key platform for reaching both genders.

Mobile Love

Over 40% of Valentine’s Day gifts will be purchased on smartphones in 2014. Even better for native advertisers, a whopping 68% of male smartphone owners are likely to make a purchase thanks to mobile ads.

Mobile Ads in the News Feed are the most effective mobile ad type – a recent study found that native ads were looked at 53% more than banner ads. Men that engage with these ads can make purchases on their shopping device of choice in just a few clicks.

Because men aren’t just shopping on mobile devices (the most e-commerce conversions actually take place on desktop), tracking and retargeting customers as the jump from platform to platform will be key for reaching this demographic. Mobile retargeting using Customer Audiences from websites and mobile apps is proven to increase conversion rates at a lower cost per action than other Facebook targeting types and is especially effective for direct response advertisers. Considering men spend significant time researching, retargeting them an ad when they are further along in their search and more willing to buy could prove especially effective.

Don’t Forget About the Ladies

While men do make up the lion’s share of Valentine’s Day spending (each male spends an average of $178 compared to $89 for the ladies), Feb 14th isn’t just for the fellas in relationships. Over 70% of U.S. consumers celebrate Valentine’s Day (even though 44% of the population is single), and 60% of Americans plan to show their appreciation for family members, co-workers, and friends.

Women are also more likely to shop for more than just their significant other. In 2013, 29% of women sent Valentine’s Day flowers to their mothers, 15% sent flowers to their children, and 14% even sent flowers to themselves.

Advertisers shouldn’t shy away from targeting  women as this demographic is also looking to spend and, considering advertisers are likely bidding up the “men in a relationship” demographic, can likely be reached at a lower price than usual.

Valentine’s Day Strategy Cheat Sheet

  • Concentrate ad spend in the week before the big day

  • Play up fast shipping in creative/copy

  • Mobile ads in the News Feed will engage “browsing” male shoppers

  • Video creative cater to men’s hunger for more information

  • Mobile retargeting recaptures high-intent shoppers cross-platform

  • Women are also looking to buy and may be less expensive to reach

Only two days left, get to it!

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