As we get closer to February 14th, you will undoubtedly see more brands publishing Valentine’s Day related content. Many companies do a nice job mixing a loving and friendly Valentine’s theme into their blogs, social networks and even email campaigns. Unfortunately, others brands often miss the mark by posting random content that is unrelated to their audience or industry.

We get it.  You want to be timely with the holidays. But if your content (or story) isn’t coming together naturally, all you’re doing is confusing the audience by trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. For example, if I suddenly received a box of chocolates in the mail from Tony - our local handyman and part-time plumber – that would raise more questions than solidifying my business.  Even if it is Valentine’s Day and those chocolates are delicious, why does this real-life Mario want my Peach so badly?

Tony needs to learn one key aspect of Valentine’s Day:it’s all about the thought you put into it. Whether you were trying to get my business or ask me out on a date, Tony, it’l ltake more than Ghirardelli to win me over.

We’ve established that the best way to generate leads and obtain loyal customers is through exceptional storytelling. And great storytelling on Valentine’s Day is more important than ever.  Even if your industryisn’t easily related to this holiday, there are many other ideas that are less awkward and more rewarding than Tony the Handyman’s box of chocolates. Here are a few ideas:

Brands need to connect with their audience, and one popular tactic for Valentine’s Day is ecards. Creating heartfelt or even satirical Valentine’s Day ecards is a great way send your audience some love, and encourage them to share the content with friends. A great example of this is Kraft’s Personalized Valentines that came out in 2012.  I know this is a bit dated, but any time a brand uses Ted William’s Golden Voice – who has an incredible story of his own – deserves some Valentine’s Day praise.

Tweets featuring the #voiceoflove hashtag were eligible for that smooth voice reading, and the selected tweets were then posted onto Kraft Mac and Cheese’s YouTube page. For each tweet featuring the #voiceoflove hashtag, Kraft donated 100 boxes of Mac and Cheese (up to 100,000 total) to Feeding America. Needless to say, this Valentine’s Day content quickly skyrocketed to a viral success. Not only did Kraft boost awareness toward a great organization, they created Valentine’s Day themed content that got the audience engaged through great love stories.

2. A Special Message from Employees

Valetine’s Day is a great time to spread the love and let current customers or clients know just how much you value their business. Consider taking photos of your employees holding messages of love for their families or customers. These messages can be personal, funny, or straightforward – but each message should tell a story: 

·         What does Valentine’s Day mean to your company?

·         Who is your Valentine?

·         Why do you value their business?

·         How much you love your customers, employees, industry, or even your partners or suppliers?

This is a great way to add a personal touch to the content, regardless of industry or field. Whether you are trying to turn a prospect into a loyal client, or just spreading a warm thanks to the people who contribute to the brand’s success – special Valentine’s Day messages are effective because they evoke emotion through easily digestible content such as photos or short videos.

3. Sweet Offers for that Special Someone 

For many companies, the holiday season is the time of year to release new products or announce special offers. But it seems that once the ball drops at midnight,the season of giving is over and brands forget all about it. Marketers tend to struggle this time of year as well; they might have a new strategy in place or they are burnt out from the Holiday content grind. But Valentine’s Day provides yet another opportunity to create a super sweet offer and promote it for this year’s love-birds.

For example, take the popular ridesharing app, Uber. If you enjoy streamlining all romantic efforts with the convenience of smartphone technology, Uber is here for you. Last Valentine’s Day, the company included a unique Valentine’s Day feature on their app called Romance On-Demand. The app allowed users to purchase and deliver 12 long stem roses and a personalized message for happy couples living in Washington DC.

The feature allowed users to use the map and select where they wanted the roses delivered. Because nothing says “I love you” like 12 dried up roses delivered by an overweight, recently laid off cabby named Niko. But I digress…

Uber didn’t stop there.  They partnered with local Barbershop Quartets to add a different type of Valentine’s Day spin for residents in Phoenix, Arizona.  Along with the 12 dried roses, people across the Valley used the same app to send barbershop Quartets to sing at a location of their choice. By posting videos throughout their social media channels and YouTube, the Romance On-Demand app was a viral hit, boosting Uber into the popular ridesharing company it is today.

4. Customer Love Stories 

Contest or user generated content is always a great way to get followers engaged with your brand in a fun and unique way. And the best part is, your brand receives more traffic and leads while followers create and promote the content for you. More than 63% of Facebook users say they are likely to share a link to a contest or giveaway. This type of content allows you to get creative with ideas and let your followers to the work.

United Airlines might not be the first brand that comes to mind for Valentine’s Day storytelling, which makes them the perfect example. They created a contest for a Valentine’s marketing campaign dubbed “Love is in the Air”. They simply asked customers to send in their tales of how the airline played a role in their one-of-a-kind love story. Did you meet at the airport? In the plane? Popped the question at 30,000 feet?

Followers were encouraged to share their stories and use the hashtag #unitedinlove to share it across all social media platforms. This campaign was a massive success, not only did they have loyal followers create the content for them, each piece of content had great storytelling that was relevant to United Airlines and the readers.

Tell the Story of Love

Great storytelling should draw raw emotion from your readers. Valentine’s Day allows you to produce entertaining or heartfelt content related to your brand. By using some of the ideas listed above, you can continue to tell the story of your company, and showcase the love between your brand and loyal followers and clients.

Brad Kuenn is a Content Writer, Editor and Strategist living in Nashville, Tennessee, and he provides research, content topics, writing, editing, and content development expertise to clients. He has a passion for writing as well as art, which shines through in his work. His creativity and attention to detail makes him a valuable asset for a wide range of clients. During his time off he enjoys spending time with his wife, family, and his two dogs Brutus and Kane. 
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