Roses are red. Violets are blue.
If you don’t spend big on Valentine’s Day, your partner might end things with you…
Whether this sentence goes with #RelationshipGoals is debatable. Yet it definitely goes with #AffiliateMarketingGoals. Especially that February 14th is just around the corner, and Valentine’s Day is about to stir the world with love.
Don’t miss out and find a perfect match for your offers with our affiliate marketing guide to Valentine’s Day 2021!
The seasonality of affiliate marketing.
As with every other seasonal hype, advertisers and retailers all over the world are hustling big to meet the market’s demand. This year, though, given the coronavirus-inclined trend to move any type of shopping online, this lovely event presents an even greater business opportunity for affiliate marketers than ever.
Yet, in order to truly boost your campaigns with the Valentine’s Day angle, a bit of research is recommended. With an abundance of available data, especially for the US market, focusing on that area is a good way to start planning your marketing strategy. Also, we’ve already done that.
Here are our findings!
Is advertising with Valentine’s Day angle worth it in 2021?
According to Statista, last year’s Valentine’s Day hit $27.4billion in the US alone. It’s worth noting that compared to 2019 sales, there was an increase of $6.7 billion. Also, 32% of the survey respondents decided to do their Valentine’s shopping online, coming second-place after brick-and-mortar shops.
And that was still when regular shopping was even a thing.
With such insights and numbers growing each year (not just in the US, but globally), running Valentine’s Day-related ad campaigns is an idea every digital advertiser should consider in 2021.
What target audience should advertisers focus on?
Available data show that users between the age of 35-44 belong to top spenders, with age groups of 25-34 and 45-54 coming next. Also, men are generally expected to spend double the amount that women would spend.
Although age or gender targeting isn’t always available, this can be solved easily. One way is to choose offers according to the age and gender group’s likings, then adjust the ad copy and creatives to match the audience you want to target.
As for Valentine’s Day gift recipients, love couples, significant others, and spouses make for the top group. But Valentine’s gifts are also commonly bought for other family members, friends, co-workers, or even pets!
Treating ourselves to something extra gains in popularity with both men and women, too.
What are the biggest gift trends for Valentine’s Day?
Once we know people do want to buy gifts for Valentine’s Day, and we know who’s buying for whom, it’s time to answer the question of what Valentine’s Day gifts are the most popular. Of course, this also shows by what holiday promotions are offered the most.
Tips on the type of gift most people plan to buy include:
- An evening out (not this year, though…)
- Gift cards
As opposed to the ideal Valentine’s Day gift idea that consumers claim would like to receive:
- An experience (2021 revised, of course)
- Apparel and beauty
Anti-Valentine’s Day Spend
Also, an anti-Valentine’s Day movement has its share of Valentine’s Day spend.
How’s that even possible?
Data doesn’t show why this distinction is made but people between the age of 25-44 tend to boost the retail revenue with anti-Valentine’s gifts. Whatever their intention, purchases are still made. Who knows, these might be just the tips you need to find your money-making niche.
How to research what offers are selling right now?
Advertisers are strongly encouraged to search for that information whenever there’s an opportunity for making profit with the love holiday. Even without access to actual industry data, everyone’s able to have a peek into the current holiday and gift idea trends — thank you, Google!
How to start your own trends research?
- Check the calendar — see what big international events/celebrations are coming. See our Q1 calendar for tips and marketing ideas examples.
- Check the statistics — see what data collected throughout the years tell you about those events. For example, statista.com, nrf.com, or finder.com.
- Read the industry forums like iAmAffiliate, affLIFT, STM forum, and others.
- Read the industry blogs, subscribe to newsletters, follow the latest trends.
- Check what people typically search for when deciding on your business marketing strategy. The typical results would include phrases like gifts for men and women, holiday promotions, gifts for couples, women jewelry, men jewelry, etc.
- Check Google Trends — for example, choose the US or worldwide targeting and type in a few variations of a topic phrase. For example, search Valentines, Valentine’s, Valentines Gifts, Valentine’s Gifts, Valentine’s Day Gifts. This will help you see that people from various countries search for the same thing but use different phrasing. This is due to language and cultural differences.
Where to run Valentine’s Day ad campaigns?
Next, let’s have a look at what countries generate the highest spend on Valentine’s Day gifts. Once again, the division (from the highest to the lowest average spend per person) comes as follows:
- English speaking countries
- Latin America
- Africa and the Middle East.
Bearing this in mind, advertisers still need to check whether GEOs falling into these categories convert with their campaigns. That’s why testing is a must-do item on any affiliate marketer’s list. Identifying the best performing units of traffic for a given campaign allows us to understand what campaign set up works best and where to scale up. Also, it prevents you from overspending your budget by leaving out the poor performers.
To make your life a bit easier, and help you focus on already proven traffic, we researched the platform’s historical data and identified top-performing GEOs related to Valentine’s Day spending.
Top-performing GEOs are:
- English speaking countries: US, UK, CA, AU, NZ.
- European countries: SE, DE, FR, IT, AL
- South American countries: MX, BR, AR, CO, CL
- Asian countries: PH, TW, IN
- African countreis: ZA, EG
Also, it’s best to get a whitelist of top-performing sources and GEOs from your traffic source. You can find an example one at the end of this article.
Remember to check if the information provided complies with your campaign set-up. If you’re interested in other segments of traffic, just contact your traffic source representatives or search the community forums for available data.
Once advertisers know what and where to promote, the remaining question is how to do that right. Our suggestion would be to pick an ad format, a vertical, and proper targeting type for your marketing campaign. Then launch it first for testing and next bid on the best-performing units while leaving out those that do not bring you profit.
Here are more details.
What verticals work best for Valentine’s Day marketing?
As with every season-bound marketing campaign, promoted products need to match the occasion. When it comes to running affiliate marketing ad campaigns, the same rules apply. Have your offers and verticals aligned with the theme of Valentine’s Day and what people need/search/buy for this occasion — meaning Valentine’s Day demand.
Looking at both industry data and current search and online retail trends, the following verticals and offers can be identified to work best around the 14th of February aka the Love Day.
♥ E-commerce or shopping vertical including offers mainly related to:
- gift cards/coupons/vouchers
- clothing and accessories
- adult shopping
♥ Travel vertical with offers promoting Valentine’s Day trips, hotel deals, transport, etc. Though you might want to give it some extra thought this year. Depending on a country and its coronavirus restrictions, travel may not be limitations-free just yet.
♥ Dating vertical including both mainstream and adult dating. Especially that both mainstream and dating and adult dating perform really well in the online-mostly reality of 2021.
♥ Nutra and Health & Beauty verticals including male enhancement products, or any beauty related products, also cosmetic treatments.
What marketing channels work best for Valentine’s Day 2021?
The right ad format for your Valentine’s Day campaigns needs to meet the current demand. Depending on which vertical/offers advertisers want to promote, various ad formats may be suggested.
This type of traffic can be used for all the verticals/offers listed above. Pop traffic generally offers big volumes of available traffic for quite cheap prices. That’s why it’s a good ad format to start with, especially for running broad campaigns meant to test the available traffic. Once well-performing areas are identified, use the optimization features offered by a traffic source of your choice. These tools help you keep an eye on the campaign performance and react fast to scale up your profits while minimizing the risks of budget burning.
DOMAIN REDIRECT TRAFFIC
This type of traffic, also known as zero-click traffic, drives users to landing or offer pages via redirects triggered by users searching for related websites. The reason why domain redirect traffic works great for season-bound campaigns is that its matching is based mainly on keywords and proactive searches performed by users. It may be a bit more expensive than pop traffic but that’s due to the more granular and adequate traffic matching.
It’s usually recommended for e-commerce verticals but works well with travel, dating, and nutra, angles, too since all these are somehow related to making Valentine purchases.
This type of traffic is known for its user-friendly format resembling usual push notifications, thus offering a non-intrusive and highly-engaging way for advertisers to connect with users. In terms of Valentine’s Day ad campaigns, it’s said to work well with e-commerce and dating verticals (due to ads resemblance to notifications sent by apps or direct messages), and the remaining verticals listed above as a way of catching user interest.
How does keyword targeting help Valentine’s Day campaigns?
Advertisers can choose from various targeting models depending on their campaign’s needs. During the season/occasion-bound purchasing, keyword targeting may be a trigger bringing your ads impressions.
Imagine the following situation — whenever a user goes online to search for a Valentine’s Day gift, he or she types in, e.g.: flowers, gifts, gift cards, jewelry, candy, etc. If you include these in your keyword list and submit it to the system, the algorithm will match such searches with your ads.
This shows that keyword campaigns are a great way of tapping into consumer demand while matching the right offers with the right users. And the best part is that it’s all done automatically based on searches performed by users themselves. Don’t forget to check the Traffic Calculator tool for keyword data per ad format or GEO of your interest.
Watch the Keyword Campaign Tutorial for step-by-step instructions on
how to set things up using Zeropark.
How does injection traffic work for Valentine’s Day campaigns?
Injection traffic comes from a toolbar inserting pop ads into a webpage. When a user types in a URL, ads are injected under keywords linking to affiliate offers. The ads are then triggered automatically by toolbars/extensions installed in user browsers.
It’s especially good for e-commerce, travel, dating or nutra verticals these days as people are generally browsing for gift ideas and thus your ads could be easily triggered. Keyword targeting can be used with injection traffic for the most accurate optimization, but broad targeting is also possible.
Brand-to-brand campaigns using brand URLs as your keywords or Valentine’s Gift ideas would be the best format for triggering ads display. In this way, you’re able to target highly motivated users and scale up your campaigns with relevant traffic.
Just to give you an idea, here are top searches for flower delivery in Google.
At the same time, these are affiliate programs that could be used to promote related products.
|Affiliate Program||Commission||Cookie/return days|
What are the best Valentine’s Day marketing ideas?
Tuning your ads to match an occasion is not a newly discovered piece of advice but it’s definitely worth reminding. If you need a bit of inspiration, see this link for some of the most creative and funny ideas!
Affiliate marketing tips for ad creatives.
As per affiliate marketing ad campaigns, follow our suggestions and make your ad spread the love! Here’s how:
- Give your ads Valentine’s Day feel — using all fifty shades of red or pink are much recommended.
- All the hearts, flowers, candy, gift images/icons are welcome. Including emojis… people love emojis.
- Creating a sense of urgency is always recommended — play with people’s minds, influence their thinking and ad behavior.
- If you go for push traffic, try to keep the icons/images simple.
- If you use landing pages, you can already give people a bit more content but do not scare them away the moment they see your page.
- Have a cheeky peek into what your competition is doing — spy tools are a go-to place.
- Regardless whether you go for push, pop or domain ads — test your ad creatives just like you test the traffic segments. See which ones work best and stick with those.
- Beware of market saturation and ad fatigue — rotate your ads and watch out for the targeting and filtering options.
Proper targeting may be a make-or-break element for the success of your campaigns. Apart from aiming at the right GEOs, regions, times of a day, frequency filtering and such — knowing your audience is a key, too. Who are we buying for, then? Who are advertisers talking to? To answer these questions, most relevant to running occasion-bound ad campaigns, we need to answer the following questions first.
- Are men buying for women or are women buying for men?
- Are we buying for significant others only?
- Or maybe for family members?
- Or friends?
- Or pets?
- Or maybe users just want to treat themselves to a little extra?
Sadly, we can’t get clear answers to those questions and set our algorithms accordingly. What we can do instead is perform research (example sources here, here and here) regarding particular audience buying habits per Valentine’s Day spending and try to match the findings to our campaigns.
Who’s buying more and who are we buying for?
Answers reveal the following:
- Men lead the count, with 62% of surveyed men planning on buying Valentine’s Gifts as compared to only 45% of women making the same claim.
- Also, various data sources show more than half of spending is done for a significant other, ca. 60%.
- Gifts for family and friends come next with ca. 25% of total spending.
- Apparently, there’s a notable group of ca. 3% spend on pets!
- Those who like to buy Valentine’s Day gifts for themselves come to ca. 10% of spending.
- Surprisingly, ca. 3% of the purchases belong to the anti-Valentines spend… though still made during this time.
Use the language of love… or simply give people what they want/ what they’re looking for. Quotes, famous headlines, or trendy slogans — simply see the most common searches and adjust your copy accordingly.
- Valentine’s Day is here/ or in less than a week/ or just round the corner!
- Be quick to find that perfect gift before Valentine’s Day!
- Find it before Valentine’s Day comes or before Valentine’s Day offer expires!
- Five, ten, creative, unusual, cheap, clever, expensive, original, unique Valentine’s Gift ideas covered!
- We know what men like/ want to get for Valentine’s Day
- or even better… that you know what women like and/or want to get for Valentine’s Day!
Why does using the right language make such a difference?
Remember to use the right language, though. One that your audience understands and can thus engage with.
Yes, English is a widely used language in the digital world but having your ads talk to the users in their mother-tongue may be a game-changer. And as nobody expects advertisers to be polyglots, just use one of many translation tools available online. Such tools are usually free, quick, and let’s be honest — the type of content translated isn’t too complex for a tool like that to get it right… but double-checking the translation is always recommended.
Valentine’s Day Treats! [WHITELIST INSIDE]
Since spreading love is a recommended practice right now, here’s Valentine’s Day treat for advertisers, too. Have a look at the below whitelist of top GEOs and verticals related to Valentine’s Day spending. Know what, where, and how to promote with data on the countries that convert, available volumes of traffic, and suggested bids.
NOTE: Remember that running adult content campaigns needs to follow the rules and regulations of a given traffic source. This is because adult content (including e.g. nudity and adult products) does not comply with mainstream guidelines. Whitelists feature weekly data.
There’s money on the table…
There are people searching for products…
There are ads to be promoted…