Valentine’s Day Stats Marketers Need To Know
Valentine's Day is inherently social and local, so SocialCode's Diana Gonimah runs the numbers on how the different platforms will impact the heavy spending holiday.
People have varying expectations for their Valentine’s Day festivities, or lack thereof. But there’s no reason marketers should be caught off guard on this holiday.
According to the National Retail Federation, 2018 will see U.S. consumers spend a near-record $19.6 billion on Valentine’s Day, as 54.7 percent of the population plans to celebrate this holiday.
Non-singles don’t have a monopoly on Valentine’s Day; the NRF reports that the 3 in 10 Americans not celebrating with a romantic partner this year will still have some form of celebration plans, including plans to get together with friends, plans to purchase “anti-Valentine’s” gifts, and the intention to treat themselves to something special on the 14th. Smart marketers should create creative and copy variations that speak to these various types of Valentine’s Day participation. Your targeting should be inclusive of the various ways this holiday fits into people’s lives.
Look Before You Leap
Context is important. Valentine’s Day this year is not the same as it was last year; you’re competing with Winter Olympics advertisers for inventory, so plan your budgets accordingly. Consider whether there’s a meaningful way your brand can speak to the Olympics conversation and the Valentine’s Day conversation to reach people in a timely, relatable fashion. Here’s what we saw last year, in terms of the costs of advertising on key digital platforms on Valentine’s Day:
On Pinterest, the cost of advertising peaked on the weekend before Valentine’s Day 2017, dropping the closer we get to the holiday, reaffirming the notion that Pinterest is a planning platform, and not a place for last-minute procrastinators.
The cost of advertising on Snapchat steadily increased every day leading up to Valentine’s Day. This could be due to Snapchat’s popularity among entertainment brands, potentially increasing awareness for new movies out in theaters just in time for a Valentine’s dinner and movie date. In fact, new data reveals that Snapchat users account for 50 percent of all movie ticket sales in the U.S.
The cost of advertising on Facebook didn’t fluctuate, on the other hand, saw CPMs peak on Valentine’s Day, whereas on Instagram, CPMs peaked on the 13th and dropped by 21 percent on Valentine’s Day.
On Instagram, costs remained steady until the 13th, when the average CPM for SocialCode advertisers was 34 percent higher than it was February 10-12, 2017. This was also the highest CPM across each of the aforementioned platforms (52 percent higher than Facebook), so Instagram advertisers should plan their media spend accordingly. We predict this trend will be offset by the introduction of Instagram Stories into the paid media mix, as the additional inventory will likely increase the supply of ad space and in turn drive down the cost.
CPMs remained relatively stable on Twitter from February 10-14, but as a major sports conversation hub, advertisers should expect increased competition for ad space as a result of the influx of Winter Olympics advertising this year.
Double Down on Direct Response
According to the NRF, over half of Americans plan to consult their phones for Valentine’s Day purchase decisions and roughly a quarter plan to give an “experience” gift, such as spa days, tickets to a game or other future events and activities. This means brands have a huge opportunity to capitalize on last-minute shoppers, especially on mobile. That’s why retargeting your customer lists will come in handy.
*Diana Gonimah is a New York-based, Cairo-raised Senior Content Strategist for SocialCode, an audience-first marketing partner that combines data, insights, creative and measurement to drive superior performance for leading brands. A University of Pennsylvania alumna, Diana has contributed to Adweek, MediaPost, and SocialCode.com.