app store advertising

How to prepare for Valentine’s Day app marketing?

Valentine's Day app marketing is one of the most hyped seasonal activities to look forward to. Check out how to prepare for V-Day!

The Day of Love is a global affair, making it one of the hottest seasonal activities of the year for B2C businesses. Shopping, travel, social media, entertainment, dating, and photo/video editing apps take center stage for Valentine’s Day app marketing activities. Even though the day is not a major holiday, the positive audience sentiment makes it an indulgent time. As the years go by, celebration modes are also changing. Couples and lovers originally celebrated Valentine’s Day. However, the day is now celebrated among families, friends, co-workers, teachers, and even pets. As more countries legalize LGBTIQ+ relationships, the celebrations for this day have only amplified. With an average of over 6 million couples getting engaged on this day, Valentine’s Day makes for a special day to celebrate every year.

Why prepare for Valentine’s Day app marketing?

This is one of those seasonal marketing campaigns that boost brand recall among your target audience. It also helps bond with your target market and draw in users who repeatedly interact with your app. Most successful businesses carry out Valentine’s Day app marketing initiatives to acquire users who have a high tendency to make repeat purchases, add users to loyalty and referral programs, and boost their ratings and reviews on the App Store and Play Store.

This year, Valentine’s Day spending is set to hit almost $26 billion. The categories for the highest expense are jewelry, flowers, clothing, and an evening out. Online shopping is the most favorite mode of getting gifts ready, with about 35% choosing to shop from the comfort of their homes.


Consumer behaviors influencing Valentine’s Day app marketing

To get started on mobile marketing activities for Valentine’s Day, it’s important to understand what kind of experience the consumer is looking for. Valentine’s Day spenders usually look for businesses that can help customize their special purchases. Apart from personalization, there are a few key user behaviors to keep in mind when strategizing a V-Day campaign for your mobile app.


Valentine’s Day isn’t just for the romantics anymore

The day has become a universal celebration of love. At least 60% of consumers believe Valentine’s Day is for the celebration of both romantic and platonic relationships. The gifting tradition now is extended to parents, children, friends, co-workers, teachers, relatives, and even pets. This opens up a plethora of opportunities to create Valentine’s Day ads with a difference.

Celebrating all types of relationships is the norm

This is especially true for brands targeting younger audiences like GenZ. How people look at relationships is steadily evolving. In the age of Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge, the youth are eager to explore relationships beyond the standard commitment to find their right partner. Ads that validate these alternative relationships like situationships and casual dating gain brownie points on generational relativity.

Inflation has impacted consumer sentiment

About 40% of consumers have reported controlling their Valentine’s Day purchases in the face of rising costs. People are looking forward to making the day special for their loved ones, but they are also on the lookout for great deals and offers that can help them save up and stay within their budget. Brands offering special discounts, freebies, or flexible payment options are set to see more takers.

Romantic getaways are a thing

45% of consumers are looking to celebrate the day of love with a romantic trip. Valentine’s Day app marketing for categories like shopping, travel, social media, and photo/video editing apps can explore opportunities around travel-themed messaging. Such messages can talk about the must-have items for a romantic getaway, a selection of accommodation options perfect for lovebirds, and creating and sharing romantic memories with social circles.

The phygital experience and Valentine’s Day app marketing

While most consumers are looking to shop online, discount stores and department stores also rank high on the list for Valentine’s Day shopping. App marketers who have both, digital and physical presence, can look to leverage this opportunity to create a holistic phygital shopping experience. Options like shortlisting and trial at the shop, store pickups, and online evening out reservations can help to acquire more users who want to repeatedly engage with the brand.

5 ways to ace Valentine’s Day app marketing with Apple Search Ads

Why Apple Search Ads?

Apple Search Ads is a privacy-focused app marketing platform used exclusively for iOS user acquisition. App marketers prefer this channel to scale their iOS user base who regularly transact more than Android users. iOS users are also favored for their higher retention rates and brand loyalty. The platform works on the principle of search intent marketing. The ads are shown to users who have either historically searched or downloaded a similar app or they are shown to users actively looking for apps. Since ads appear based on user’s queries, the platform can help secure up to a 60% conversion rate on ads displayed. 

For seasonal events, Apple Search Ads can help app marketers drive a variety of campaigns like brand campaigns, category campaigns, competitor campaigns, and discovery campaigns. For more insights on how to ace Valentine’s Day app marketing with Apple Search Ads, read along.

Privacy-focused niche audience targeting

Valentine’s Day celebrations focus a lot on gift-giving. There are a multitude of gifts available and that might get overwhelming for the shopper. Thanks to Apple Search Ads keywords, it is possible to identify the popular gift categories among a certain target market. Leveraging long-tail keywords helps to target niche audiences with very specific asks. Such audiences are also quite high-quality, high-intent groups. For example, if your ad matches a user’s long-tail search query of valentines day makeup gift box for 30 year olds, there’s a higher chance of conversion. Better still if the ad is linked to a CPP, which elaborates on the types of gift boxes available in your app. Ads can be targeted to multiple audience groups seeking gifts like greeting cards, flowers, candies, teddy bears, or clothing. 

Similarly, this strategy can also be implemented by food & dining apps, entertainment apps, ride-hailing apps, finance apps, or ticket-booking apps. Such apps can target search queries like online reservation for date night dinner, valentines day movies, easy payments for date nights, or valentines day movie ticket offers.

Top-of-mind recall at every stage of the app discovery funnel

With Apple Search Ads, app marketers can target three different types of audiences - new users, returning users, and churned users. The Today Tab and Search Tab ad placements cater primarily to returning and churned users. These users have either searched or downloaded the app or similar apps before. When advertisers are choosing these ad placements, they are primarily running brand recall or retargeting campaigns. So if you are looking to run retargeting ads for Valentine’s Day app marketing activities - these two placements can be a great choice. The Today Tab ad is further linked to an App Store iOS CPP that gives more details about the ad. It is a great placement to announce in-app events for special days. 

The Search Results Page ad placement helps to convert new users. The ads are matched to the submitted search queries. This placement showcases the preview of the linked Custom Product Pages, giving more information on how the ad is relevant to the user’s search query.

Contextual advertising for Valentine’s Day app marketing

Apple Search Ads provides Custom Product Pages or CPPs. The CPPs are essentially alternative product pages. They are created from the assets in App Store Connect. About 35 CPPs can be generated from these assets. 

For special days like Valentine’s Day, CPPs help to drive customized messaging to each sub-persona. So shopping apps can utilize the CPPs to show the range of their best-selling gift items - clothes, gift boxes, candies, flowers, jewelry, or cards. Ride-hailing and travel apps can talk about special couple discounts or romantic accommodations. Similarly, food & dining apps or entertainment apps can showcase the range of restaurants, movies, and music available in their respective database making for the perfect Valentine's Day evening celebrations. 

Another great advantage to the CPPs is that they are completely localizable. The entire ad can be customized to have local language and images with local flavor. This goes a long way to boost brand trust among a regional audience group.


Control ad budget for seasonal campaigns

Oftentimes, seasonal campaigns are about brand recall and advertisers may not want to spend too much on ads. Platforms like Apple Search Ads need constant monitoring to ensure ad spends are not leaked on low-performing keywords or campaigns. To navigate around this, there are two ways: 

  • Setting up of max bid amounts so that excessive amounts are not bid on the targeted keywords
  • Rule-based automation to help with consistently adjusting bid budgets based on real-time campaign performance 

Platforms like Newton, with their unified dashboard help to secure reports on what kind of ROAS has been generated from the keyword bids to help optimize costs for present and future campaigns. 

MMP integration for the full-funnel view

The flexibility of the Apple Search Ads platform allows for MMP integration to help advertisers check the entire performance of the campaign pre-install as well as post-install. It essentially tracks: 

  • Keywords that have helped to secure high downloads and post-install events
  • Keyword bid ranges that have boosted high-LTV downloads
  • Keyword match types that have consistently helped to secure more ROAS

The transparency of the full-funnel campaign view helps advertisers understand the efficiency of seasonal campaigns. It also gives them a clear understanding of which seasonal keywords work for them and how to strategize the bid budget distribution for more efficiency. 

Valentine’s Day app marketing initiatives help to identify how consumer purchase trends are evolving for the rest of the year. Users acquired through such seasonal campaigns often tend to reengage with the app, churn less, and refer the app to their friends. 

If you are also looking to scale your app growth with seasonal mobile marketing activities, our Apple Search Ads and App Store Optimization experts would be happy to help you with a custom strategy. 

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