3 Valentine’s Day Promotions Any Small Business Can Run

Savvy small-business owners know that tying a marketing campaign to a popular holiday can be a cost-effective strategy. Whenever you can link your efforts to a larger event that people are already talking about, such as Valentine’s Day, you’re bound to get an additional boost from the buzz.

You can ride the Cupid-filled publicity wave generated by major retailers nationwide by engaging, entertaining, and inspiring your customers and prospects.

Here are three ideas to get you started:

1. Share the love. Valentine’s Day is all about our hearts, so why not partner with your local chapter of the American Heart Association on a Go Red for Women event? (February is also Women’s Heart Health Awareness Month.) Bring in a fitness instructor to teach a cardio class, a local chef or nutritionist to discuss heart-healthy diets, or a cardiologist to talk about heart health. Charge a modest admission fee — and donate all of the proceeds to the AHA.

Promote your event by putting up posters and flyers, posting announcements to your Facebook page (and setting up a separate, public event page), tweeting a countdown to the event, and sending out press releases to local media (newspapers, television stations, radio stations).

2. Celebrate couples. Ask your fans to share their most romantic Valentine’s Day date ideas on your Facebook page. Let people vote for the best idea and then award the winner $100 toward making that dream date come true. Or send the winner a dozen red roses, a pair of movie tickets, or a gift certificate to a nearby restaurant.

Follow up with a Cutest Couple contest by asking fans to post pictures of their 2014 Valentine’s Day dates on your page. This enables you to extend the promotion after the holiday. Have people vote for a winner and post a picture of the couple wearing “Cutest Couple” matching T-shirts you have made up for them — with your company’s logo, of course.

3. Solicit stories.  Lots of companies ask their customers to share the love. Ask your Twitter followers to tweet their favorite (true) love story in 140 characters or less. Spur contestants’ efforts by letting them know it could be a story related to their other half, their parents, or their grandparents, or one they read or saw on TV — as long as it’s true and about true love.

Hold a random drawing for a prize, such as the aforementioned flowers, movie tickets, or meal. Try getting a florist, restaurant, and theater to donate goods and services and to help you cross-promote the campaign.

About Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke is an award-winning writer and editor who has written about business, technology, and marketing for Oracle, Symantec, VERITAS, and HubSpot and about food, travel, and lifestyle for Robb Report, Atlantic Monthly, Taste for Life, and the San Jose Mercury News. Follow him @HologramPublish.
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