6 Viral Marketing Valentine’s Day Ideas

OK so you might despise Valentine’s Day, but the reality is, like Groundhog Day, it’s going to happen again and again. So you might as well get onboard. Below are a few ideas that can be adapted to both B2B and B2C marketing that will help differentiate your company from competitors and make your leads and customers love you! As we move towards a world where brand is becoming even more important (hello Siri what is voice search?) this holiday is a great excuse to build some brand love.

Explore 6 B2B and B2C viral Valentine’s Day marketing ideas:

1. Sending physical gifts is a great Valentine’s day marketing idea.

Tap into the reciprocity norm and do something for someone by giving them a gift. Nothing stands out in our digital world like a physical gift. Since so few companies bother to send anything nice (with no ask!) they’re likely to mention it to others, whether on social media such as Twitter or to their friends. And, they’ll be more likely to respond to you in the future because of their new sense of obligation.

There are a few ways to identify who to send your gifts to:

  • Let sales reps and account managers pick: Put control into your teams’ hands by letting each rep identify 1-2 accounts they want to send something to. Reps know first-hand who’s closest to closing and who might be the most disgruntled.
  • Send to the top 20% of customers and leads: Look at the data and send to your most valuable customers and leads in terms of life-time value.
  • A curated mix: Do both of the above. Pull your data-informed list and then let reps run through the list making adjustments to their accounts if they want.

Up next, select the perfect gift.

Try to stay under $100, as many companies forbid employees from accepting larger gifts. Give a gift that reflects who you are or a sentimental gift:

Include a note that mentions who the gift is from and a way to contact you (your email, social handle, or your website), but don’t include any sort of call to action. Just say you hope they have a lovely day and that you love having them as a customer/getting to know them, etc.

Send V-Day gifts to your top accounts and ask for nothing in return. Pick something local to your business' area. For example, Berger Cookies or Fisher's Popcorn from Baltimore. Click To Tweet

2. Celebrating Galentine’s Day is a great marketing idea.

If your audience is mostly women, don’t miss the opportunity to get more specific and celebrate the infamous Galentine’s Day created by fictional character Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation. The pseudo-holiday the day before Valentine’s Day has caught on as a way to celebrate that most common and yet most unremarked-upon of things: female friendship. Here are a few specific ways to make an impact on Galentine’s Day:

  • Send out a handy check list for throwing a Galentine’s Day party: NPR created a series of tips. The final piece of advice was “While eating waffles and drinking fizzy cocktails, celebrate the women in your life, Knope-style, by sharing with each one in attendance why you treasure her friendship.”
  • Send a bottle of wine to top accounts: Give your lead or customer a reason to get together with friends. Drizly makes it easy.
  • Send a list of hike ideas: Make it easy for your female audience that’s local to get together outdoors by suggesting hikes in their area.
  • Let users nominate a friend to receive an award related to your business’ topic: Make it easy for them to let other people vote up their nominations.
  • Create a card pack: Send your top customers a bundle of joy so they can spread the joy! Send them cute cards and candy to give out to their gal pals.

3. Running silly Valentine’s retargeting for your top users could go viral.

Reward your highest users with a personalized note about how much you love them by email. Run retargeting advertising at folks who have logged in the most, with a heartfelt message. You could even include a special Valentine’s Day drawing by your CEO in the ad creative. “We love you so much, our CEO drew this for you. Thank you!”

4. Putting a head on it is a viral marketing idea for Valentine’s Day.

This is very similar to putting a ring on it, except that it has nothing to do with that. Remember those memes with dancing creatures where you could sub your head and friends’ heads in – so that you were all looking ridiculous together? Like the old-school JibJab?

It’s been about 10 years since those were big so it’s definitely time for them to hit again. Create a funny Valentine’s Day scene and let your users swap in anyone they want. Don’t forget to make it easy for them to share it by including social share buttons and options for them to email it. AddThis makes that pretty simple.

5. Send out a Valentine on their behalf.

Everyone’s busy. Offer to do them a favor by sending a Valentine’s card or gift on their behalf. Make an easy landing page with the featured gift, and let users input the name and address where they want it sent, a custom note, and check out for free.

Or you could create a beautiful Pinterest board of Valentine’s Day cards, and encourage folks to tag people they want to spread the message to.

Or you could make custom Valentines for them to give others or keep for themselves. Pay a small army of artists to draw incoming Valentines image requests on Twitter for the day. You could even narrow it down to only making illustrations of their pets, whom they love. Better yet, hire this guy to do all sorts of magic image retouching for your customers as a Valentine’s Day gift.

6. Breaking through the noise with noise is another way to do viral Valentine’s Day marketing.

Remember the rick roll? It’s time for that little trick to make a comeback.

When visitors arrive at your website or log in to your app, greet them with a link to Backstreet Boys I’ll Never Break Your Heart just for the day by planting it in a link they commonly click or calling out a “special offer” and then linking to it. Try sending out a Valentine’s Day flash sale email, and planting the Backstreet Boys easter egg there too.

Put these amazing Valentine’s Day marketing ideas to use

I bet you’ve fallen in love with these ideas! So get to work putting them live because time is running out my friend. At least get a Valentine’s Day treat for yourself, and support my affiliating. Up next, discover 100 cheap marketing ideas to delight your customers even more.

Would you be willing to contribute to my work so you don’t miss out on new marketing ideas? Please send a $3 tip to my Venmo tip jar: @megsterr or through Paypal:

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By Megan Mitzel

I'm the wearer of overalls behind the marketing advice website Marketing Overalls. I'm also a senior marketing director with more than ten years of experience leading acquisition and lifecycle marketing at successful startups. Before that, I got a business degree at UNC-Chapel Hill. Before that, I owned a seashell shop. And that's the tea on me.