Happy #ValentinesDay2020. It’s a busy time of year for marketers as businesses try to leverage this popular and beloved (pun intended) holiday to increase mindshare and boost their sales. You can expect consumers to spend somewhere from $150 to $190 dollars on V-Day products and services: date-night meals, major movie releases, flowers and chocolates, etc. But in 2020, people will also celebrate Valentine’s Day in a variety of ways that eschew the stereotypical image of a holiday solely for Lovers. Looking at popular online culture, we can see that Valentine’s Day has become much more about Love itself – a universal feeling that all humans can relate to in innumerable ways.
Humans connect to one another through different types of Love. The love between siblings, the love between friends and colleagues – our lives are defined and made whole by these relationships. And once again when we look at online culture, we can even see the many shades of Love manifest through a variety of different social media influencer accounts: accounts focused on straight couples, accounts focused on gay couples, accounts dedicated to chronicling everyday domestic family life, channels that follow the joys of raising a newborn baby, even accounts celebrating how much we love our pets!
Consider one of the most-followed couples in popular culture – John Legend and Chrissy Tiegan. A bonafide Power-Couple, millions of people follow the lives of these two stars not just for their respective careers, but also the chronicles of their interesting and unique marriage. That aspect of their lives – that real and powerful human connection – is something that audiences find inspiring and entertaining.
It’s only natural then that brands have found creative ways to tap into these powerful relationships to market themselves. After all, who could be a better and more trustworthy source to recommend, say, a romantic experience meant for couples than two content creators in a real-life marriage? Not only that, but content creators whose output revolves around this exact dimension of their lives, and presents it to us in authentic and engaging ways?
And as we stated, love comes in many, many faces, so it’s not just Power-Couples you’ll see activated this holiday. Here are some of the many faces of Love you’ll see partner with brands this Valentine’s Day weekend:
Humans Love Family
No one has more of an impact on how we experience Love than our family, aka the first people we ever loved! It’s fairly common across cultures for family members to cheekily claim their parents or siblings as their Valentine, or to simply use the day as a good excuse to reach out. Not to mention that the average person spends roughly $50 on Valentine’s Day gifts for their family members.
Social media accounts that chronicle the love between family members are extremely popular, and date back to the early days of social media with YouTube stars like ShayCarl. Present-day examples everyone is certainly familiar with are the VlogBrothers Hank and John Green, the Kardashians, or even Jake and Logan Paul. There are even niche influencers within siblings, aka the #twinfluencers taking the internet by storm – accounts that are shared by fraternal or identical twins such and brooklynandbaily.
Humans Love Friends
Friendships are such integral components of our lives – in fact, social media was born out of this ever-present desire to stay connected to our friends 24/7, going all the way back to the very idea of MySpace and the original Friends List.
When Valentine’s Day rolls around, people everywhere find ways to prop up their friends and spread the love – especially among those who aren’t in a romantic relationship. There’s Pal-entines Day, when friends celebrate the glory that is platonic relationships (we even held our own Palentines Day in the Open Influence offices).
Some female creators are well-known for their tight circle of friends, many of them fellow creators, which sometimes referenced as Girl Gangs. They can be great to activate for #GalentinesDay events, as popularized by the famous Season 2 episode of Parks and Rec.
Some social media creators are friends in real life – and a big draw of their content is getting to share that experience with their followers. Some platforms such as YouTube and the now-defunct Vince, foster such a naturally collaborative culture that famous friendship cliques rise to fame as well, such as Team10.
Humans Love Their Pets
We know it was the subheading for this section, but it feels appropriate to repeat: humans love their pets. In fact, our fur-babies pulled in an estimated $886 million in Valentine’s Day gifts last year. And honestly, good. Who deserves more of our love than the perfect creatures that love us unconditionally?
There’s a vast sea of adorable and entertaining accounts dedicated solely to people’s pets. Once again, this fascination with our animals and the need to share their point of view online is almost as old as the internet, from Lil’ Bub to Grumpy Cat (RIP). We expect to see a ton of popular animal accounts activated over the weekend from a range of pet-specific brands to all kinds of verticals, including fashion, beauty and wellness.
In fact, here at Open Influence we have three of our own office-pet accounts, @pennie_inthecity, @mochifromkorea and @snowofthewest. We couldn’t go through this section without giving them a shoutout!
Humans Love Humans
You might recognize this phrase from the front page of our brand new website, and that’s because Humans Love Humans is central to our philosophy. We believe in the power of connection between any humans and across any of life’s many faces and facets – and that manifests in the hundreds of thousands of unique content creators you can discover on our network.
Marketing, just like Valentine’s Day, is all about emotion – the ability to connect audiences to brands on an emotional level. Nothing more powerful than human connection, that special bond that happens two people meet with a passion for the same aspect of life.
That’s it for now.
Did you notice any particularly engaging Valentine’s Day themed content over the long weekend? We’d love to chat about holiday marketing and all-things influencer with you! Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or subscribe to our newsletter below!
Feature photo by @jennaskitchen – give her a follow!