top of page
  • Writer's pictureSarah Carey

We read the TikTok Valentine's Day marketing report, so you don’t have to…

TikTok recently released their report on how brands can get involved with Valentine's Day on the platform; here's everything you need to know, plus our thoughts on some of their advice.

When do brands need to start talking about Valentine's Day on TikTok (and other social media channels)? 

According to the report, uses of #ValentinesDay peaked the first week of January last year. That’s right, we’ve already missed that moment, and it’s only January 16th. What!? Now we know that for big events like Christmas, research and planning start much earlier than the day itself, but Valentine's Day surely can’t require as much planning as that? 

The TikTok report showing when Valentine's Day interest peaks...
The TikTok report showing when Valentine's Day interest peaks...

We dug deeper…

First stop, TikTok itself. We headed to TikTok Trends and took a look at #ValentinesDay Hashtag use over the past 3 years… and their data here looks a little different to the report, with peaks showing the week of itself.

A graph showing TikTok Valentine's Day content Peaks
Something's not lining up with the report here...

Next, we headed over to Google Trends; Google searches for Valentine’s Day do start to rise from Christmas onwards, then, as you’d expect, peak around the big day and drop down right afterward until the following Christmas.

This reflects what we often see in a multi-channel marketing mix; Google is where people go to research and plan with intent; social channels are where consumption moments are shared. That’s not to say there isn’t a role for discovery and inspiration on TikTok, but for many brands, it’s going to pay off to focus efforts on search now, with social coming in closer to the big day. 

A graph showing Google search intent for Valentine's Day over the past 5 years
Google search intent for Valentine's Day over the past 5 years

So, what have we learned from this?

Nothing major. Get PPC running now. Start planning your Valentine’s content over the next few weeks, and don’t be afraid to start posting it a little earlier than the day itself. After Valentine’s Day? Don’t bother. 

What types of content should brands post on TikTok for Valentine’s Day? 

TikTok prompts four areas in which brands could join the conversation in their report, which are:

  • Valentine’s Day looks (makeup, clothing)

  • Romantic trips (travel)

  • Home decor for cosy nights in 

  • Delicious recipes

Back to TikTok trends and we’ve found a few other trending formats to try:

  • Celebrating with friends and family - #GalentinesDay shows us it’s not just about romantic love over on TikTok - friends and family can be treated too

  • “This or that” - an easy format, with community outreach asking people whether to spend their Valentine's Day doing/dressing/eating option 1 or 2. 

  • How I’m spending my Valentine's Day filters (like this)

  • ASMR

A screenshot of TikTok Valentines Day content

What creative tips should brands use for marketing on TikTok for Valentine’s Day?

The TikTok report gives some quick insights into how brands can approach creative - we’re not going to write about all of them, because if you’ve landed here on this blog, we think you’re probably already aware that you should create content with your brand and audience in mind. But here are a 3 of our favourite other pieces of advice for branded TikToks:

  • Use trends to spark creativity, looking at top hashtags and sounds to identify opportunities for content creation. This is something we do daily when we’re identifying key moments and content ideas for our clients - everything we do at OneFifty is driven by data, and this is a great source of inspiration and insight for content creation

  • Make the first 6 seconds count; TikTok supports video lengths ranging from 15 sec to 3min and any video within this range can find success, but we know from experience (and the data) that you have to hook in your audience within the first 6 seconds if you want to see success

  • Lean into lo-fi; Smartphone camera quality is perfect for TikTok, but be sure to avoid pixelated or blurry videos, and videos should not be below 720P. This is something that will have some brand managers biting their nails with nerves, but a more minimal and made-for-platform aesthetic is what drives success here. It’s why, when we’re filming TikToks at OneFifty, we’re not bringing our 4k DSLR cameras - we’re taking our phones and using capcuts and native features to make videos engaging and fun

A screenshot of TikTok trends, to find formats for inspiration
Using TikTok trends to find formats for inspiration

How should brands advertise on TikTok for Valentine's Day?

Unsurprisingly, the rest of the report is dedicated to educating brands about the need to spend money on their ad platform to build brand love for Valentines Day. We’re shocked. 

Their suggested route to drive down the funnel fully is:

  • Prime the market with Video Shopping Ads. Leverage VSA Prospecting to target and prime broad audiences of prospective buyers, and if you don't have a product catalog, leverage Web Conversion ads instead. 

  • Drive reach and excitement across the platform. Generate excitement on peak day using Reach & Frequency for maximum reach and to increase awareness.

  • Turn interest into sales with effective retargeting. Scale up your retargeting spend after peak moments and capitalize on increased traffic to your website/app. Convert these users into customers with VSA Retargeting and Web Ads.

It’s great they’ve given this suggested route but it’s worth keeping in mind that there’s no size fits all solution to advertising effectiveness for any product or brand. When we’re running campaigns for clients, TikTok is often one of the channels we’ll use, but as part of a wider digital ecosystem that includes multiple channels, such as Facebook, Instagram and PPC, to ensure clients get the best bang for their buck and the best possible chance to convert customers efficiently. And, as we’ve said above, when it comes to a multi-channel marketing journey, you’ll want to look at search before social to catch those researching with the intent to purchase. 

What does this mean for me?

Well, firstly it means you don’t need to worry about reading the Valentine’s Day report because we’ve done it for you. Secondly, if you’ve read this and feel like you need some help to grow your brands on TikTok, you’re in the right place…

We’re a digital consultancy which uses data and models of behaviour to anticipate what, where, and how organisations should behave, across social and digital media, including TikTok. We then make that happen.

Get in touch to learn more.


bottom of page