Ah, Valentine’s Day. Chocolates. Flowers. Smartphones. Wait, smartphones? Welcome to 2016 – where traditional Valentine’s Day gifts now mix with the modern as consumer shopping behavior evolves. So what can brands and marketers hoping to get some love from their PPC campaigns expect as the fourth-biggest spending holiday approaches?
Here are three insights on Valentine’s Day trends to watch in 2016.
1. Rethink Valentine’s Day Gifts
Valentine’s is a day for giving gifts. Nothing new there. Some 40 percent of Valentine’s Day searches in 2015 used “gift” as a keyword, according to Microsoft data.
Whether it’s on candy, greeting cards, flowers, a romantic evening out, jewelry, clothing, or something else, people are expected to spend $142 on average in 2016, according to the National Retail Federation.
But you know what else people would love to receive this year on Valentine’s Day? A new smartphone. Maybe a laptop or tablet. Heck, why not a fitness tracker?
What exactly is a Valentine’s Day gift in 2016? Challenge your thinking.
“While flowers and chocolates might be the obvious choices for Valentine’s gifts, you could change up your ad copy for some products in your inventory that would make the perfect gift but which might not be the first thing that comes to mind,” said Frances Donegan-Ryan, Bing Ads Customer Obsession Manager. “The beauty of PPC is the ability to change ad copy on the fly and perhaps plant some alluring suggestions in searchers minds as a gentle nudge that might make them look a little more original in the eyes of their loved one.”
Also keep in mind that Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples. People are also buying gifts for family members, friends – even pets.
Also, remember to think about the 45 percent of adults who don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day in the “traditional” way, but will be part of the estimated $18.9 billion in 2016 consumer spending. This year single people will shop, go out for the evening with other single friends or family members, or treat themselves to something special, such as a spa day.
2. Choose Your Words Wisely
If a picture is worth a thousand words, than here are 3,000 words worth of images for you to examine for insights on winning PPC ad copy.
First, here’s a heat map showing the words that work in PPC ads on Valentine’s Day, according to Microsoft data:
Which ad copy combinations work best across all devices? Here’s a look at some winning PPC words used in ads for gifts, flowers, candy, and cards:
Finally, here’s a further breakdown of which copy worked best, comparing PC and tablet to smartphones:
“Our data shows ad quality and CTR increased when superlatives and calls-to-action are used in copy,” Donegan-Ryan said. “So ‘best’, ‘top’ or ‘great’ coupled with ‘send’, ‘make someone’ or ‘give’ saw the optimal response. Interestingly the ad copy combo with the most interaction includes the brand name in the title of the ad followed by ‘collection’ in the description.”
Bing Ads noted that the top 10 searches related to Valentine’s Day accounted for 32 percent of all search volume and 74 percent of those were related to specific brands.
3. Reach Consumers At The Right Moments
Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest moments of the marketing year. But there are several moments leading up to Valentine’s Day you need to think about and create strategies for to ensure consumers will find your business or brand.
The sweet spot for targeting Valentine’s Day shoppers is the two weeks leading up to the big day. So that means, essentially, it’s game on starting this Sunday, January 31, which will be exactly two weeks before Valentine’s Day.
Mobile is going to be a big driver of research and purchase in 2016, according to Bing Ads. Twenty-six percent of smartphone users will research products and compare prices, while 14 percent plan to make purchase on their device.
Also, many men may be planning a marriage proposal for the most romantic of holidays. This is a huge life moment and marketing opportunity for the right brand or business.
Another key insight for marketers: think about how you can take advantage of the many last-minute searches that will take place the day before Valentine’s Day. Last year, the biggest click-through rates on ads happened on February 13 between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. across all devices. Is your ad copy optimized with a relevant message and wording for these desperate, eleventh-hour shoppers?
One final tip from Bing Ads:
“Understanding local intent is going to be huge,” Donegan-Ryan said. “So get those location and call extensions set up to help your brand capture those consumer hearts and make it memorable!”
What other Valentine’s Day trends are you watching? Have any great Valentine’s Day marketing tips? Share your insights in the comments.