Last Minute Valentine’s Day Love Potion for Search Marketers From Bing Ads

  |  February 6, 2013   |  Comments

Both love and customer demand are in the air in the days leading up to Valentine's Day. Bing Ads Evangelist, John Gagnon, provides search trends and insights into areas that are worth exploiting.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) expects consumers to spend $18.6 billion for Valentine's Day in 2013, and it seems cupid is as busy as ever.

Personally, I think of Valentine's Day as the Super Bowl for the floral industry, but surprisingly flowers rank third behind jewelry and dining out in terms of spending during this lovely time of year.

Both love and customer demand are in the air in the days leading up to Valentine's Day, so in addition to search volume increase for flowers, I will provide insight into other areas you can consider exploiting.

Search trends and consumer behavior

In the search marketing world, we see the number of related seasonal searches increase within one month before Valentine's Day, but the surge really hits within the week leading up, with 60 percent of gifts purchased just five days before the 14th.

When you think of Valentine's Day, what comes to mind besides the word "love" or a chubby cherub that shoots arrows? Maybe red roses? Chocolates? An overpriced set menu in your favorite restaurant?

We'd expect the number of searches for flowers, jewelry, chocolates and dinner reservations to increase during this time of the year, but did you know searches for recipes, greeting cards and poems also go up dramatically as February 14 approaches? You can see the build up with a considerable surge on the 14th below.

Search trends leading to Valentines day


Take advantage of lower cost per click in other segments

In addition to search volume trends, there are differences in the cost per click by segment. For example, on average the ‘flowers' segment costs $1.20 per click, but the ‘recipes' segment is $0.20.

Is this Casanova searching for ‘valentines day recipes' someone who may eventually buy flowers or chocolates? Yes.

Even though they're not looking for flowers at this moment, you can grab their attention with an ad heralding "Guaranteed Delivery for Last Minute Purchases" at a fraction of the price.



Actions you can take

Remember, these suggestions are in addition to your core campaigns but can be applied to other channels outside of search marketing and Bing Ads.

Here is a brief action guide:


1. Pairing/Upselling - align messaging in ad copy and landing pages:

  • Update your copy to reflect Valentine's Day, for example "Sweet talk your Valentine with a box of chocolates" or "Valentine's Dinner is not complete without Roses. Guaranteed Delivery."
  • Promote shipping options, especially "Guaranteed Delivery" if available

2. Targeting - think new campaigns or settings:

  • Extend into the content network to take advantage of the CPC differences. 
  • Mobile volume is critical. According to the NRF 2013 Valentine's Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, 40.7 percent smartphone owners and 46.9 percent of tablet owners will use their device to research, purchase and explore during this season.

3. Timing - think when to make changes:

  • Ideally start your campaigns in January to capture greater share of seasonal traffic increase.
  • As February 14 approaches prepare your campaigns, check budgets & CPCs to ensure you'll be able to meet the upcoming surge in demand.
  • Change Ads to promote ‘Guaranteed Delivery' for last minute purchases if available.

4. Yahoo! Bing Network Audience - think ROI:

  • If you're not on Bing Ads, you're missing out on US 46M users who don't use Google. At the same time, you can mitigate the risk of sole reliance on Google if you receive poor placement there.

When Cupid's arrow strikes this season and you have more room for testing, consider segments outside your core terms that can be married with upsell/cross-sell tactics to take advantage of the lower CPC.

PS: If you're in a relationship, don't just look at this article as business advice. 

Remember, if you haven't already made plans, stop what you're doing and make a reservation, order flowers, look up a recipe, buy jewelry - do something!


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John Gagnon

John Gagnon is a Bing Ads Evangelist (aka “search nerd”) at Microsoft. He has worked for both Bing Ads and Google AdWords, and is a frequent speaker at digital marketing conferences such as SES, SMX, and others. He has advised hundreds of clients ranging from Microsoft teams like Windows and Internet Explorer to small businesses like local garage door repair shops just getting started.

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