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China Valentine’s Day Marketing Insights

Valentine's Day, the traditional day of love, has been a crucial holiday for marketers for decades. In 2023, with the rise of young consumers, the trends in Valentine's Day marketing have shifted. According to QuestMobile data, the popularity of Valentine's Day rose sharply, with an increase in the number of male users paying attention to it. The content creation enthusiasm of users on platforms such as Little Red Book and Douyin began to rise in late January. The two platforms accounted for 47.6% and 40.4% of new content related to Valentine's Day, respectively, making them the kings of content marketing.

Step into the exciting world of 2023 Valentine’s Day content marketing trends in China and discover the three major changes that are taking the market by storm!

  • There’s a thrilling trend of multi-dimensional cross-over in the community – The traditional notion of Valentine’s Day being solely for couples is fading away. Nowadays, it extends to a variety of relationships, including self-love, relatives, friends, and even pets! This means that Valentine’s Day is now a diversified consumer market, with endless opportunities for brands to attract more consumers through carefully planned and positioned campaigns.

  • There’s a wealth of differentiated marketing models on different platforms – On Douyin, the discussions centred around diligence and ritual; while Xiaohongshu thrives on creating emotional connections and promoting brand customization. In particular, gifts for boyfriends are becoming increasingly popular, indicating a growing demand for men’s festive celebration needs. By understanding the nuances of each platform, brands can craft targeted campaigns that resonate with their audience.

  • Young users are driving demand for fashion, photography, music and gaming – The top four interests with penetration rates exceeding 50%. Brands that cater to these preferences will be sure to catch the attention of this crucial demographic.

User audience portraits reveal exciting insights for 2022 and 2023.

  • Gentlemen, listen up! You have our attention, and we are here for you! Statistics show that male users’ interest has grown by a remarkable 5.9% YoY.

  • Calling all young lovebirds! The findings indicate that the proportion of users under the age of 30 has increased by a staggering 13.5%.

  • Are you ready for the big reveal? Data shows an 8% increase in users from first- and second-tier cities.

  • The audience portraits have confirmed that the proportion of people with high online consumption ability has increased by 5%.

Content marketing is evolving, and these three major trends are creating exciting new hotspots you won’t want to miss. From captivating UGC and PGC in the “preheating period”, to the irresistible “purchase promotion” on the final day, creating sensational hotspots has become the ultimate goal.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, major brands are gearing up for intense marketing campaigns. They are allocating hefty budgets to promote their Valentine’s Day customized and limited-edition products. However, in the early stages of marketing, brands are focusing on soft advertising to attract consumers and nurture brand loyalty. For beauty brands, Valentine’s Day is an incredibly significant festival. It’s no surprise that over half of the content in Xiaohongshu’s business notes revolves around beauty makeup, with nine out of the top ten brands being beauty makeup brands. This is a clear indication of the cut-throat competition that exists between beauty brands during Valentine’s Day marketing.

Moreover, it's crucial to note that trending words and content related to giving gifts to boyfriends are becoming increasingly valued by brands. This highlights the brand's expansion and cultivation of the gift-giving crowd and commodity usage scenarios over the past few years. Major brands are also launching customized and limited edition gift boxes and products with designs, packaging, and trade names associated with Valentine’s Day. This approach caters to users’ desire for a “sense of ritual” during the festival, allowing consumers to relish the festive atmosphere while making their purchases. With this in mind, all major brands are employing marketing strategies to attract more consumers, thereby bolstering their sales performance.

When it comes to KOL collaboration, savvy brands know that mid-tier KOLs with outstanding performance are the way to go! According to Xiaohongshu, over 80% of Valentine’s Day posts were created by KOLs with fewer than 500,000 followers. Mid-tier KOLs with 100,000 and 1 million fans, whose content boasts the highest engagement rates.

Valentine's Day is a competitive time for beauty, home appliances, and related industries. But fear not! By creating compelling Valentine's Day-themed content, brands are boosting their sales conversions and captivating their audience. Interestingly, the top 10 beauty care brands capturing China's 2023 Valentine's Day e-commerce audience are all international players, while the top 10 home appliance brands are all homegrown heroes.

2023 Valentine's Day e-commerce audience attention TOP10 brands (beauty care):

  • Lancôme

  • Saint Laurent

  • L'Oreal

  • Estee Lauder

  • M.A.C

  • Florasis

  • Armani

  • Chanel

  • Dior

  • Proya

Valentine's Day is the season of love, and major brands are in a frenzy to launch the most romantic gifts to capture the hearts of their customers. With beauty makeup, food and beverage categories taking the lead, high-end watch accessories are also making a splash on the popular Douyin platform. With sub-categories priced at over 100 yuan, it's clear that customers are willing to invest in love, and brands are reaping the rewards with sky-high conversion rates. The likes of Estee Lauder, Saint Laurent, Givenchy, and other top brands are experiencing a surge in popularity on Douyin, with Valentine's Day-themed gifts soaring to the top of the best-selling list.

Valentine's Day sets have emerged as an effective way for brands to increase the unit price of customers, and the sales rankings indicate that set product combinations are a hit. Douyin's live broadcasts are still the go-to for placing orders and converting them. While flowers are a staple for any couple celebrating the season of love, emerging e-commerce platforms are now selling them through live broadcasts. These live sales contribute to nearly 80% of the sales, with flowers in the price range of 20-50 yuan and 100-300 yuan being the most popular. Alongside live broadcasts, content platforms are also turning to group-buying videos to promote flowers, with a focus on romance and ritual. These savvy strategies and marketing tactics have undoubtedly increased brand exposure, attracted more customers, and increased sales.

Hottest sales trends of typical brands on the Douyin channel in 2023 (proportion of sales of Valentine’s Day-related products):

  • Saint Laurent - 70.3%

  • Estee Lauder – 63.2%

  • Givenchy – 51.5%

Looking to indulge in a bit of romance and celebrate your significant other? Look no further than the thriving "romantic economy" that encourages gift-giving and highlights the importance of experiencing the festival scene with your loved one. One key element of this vibrant culture is movie-watching, which has become a staple for couples seeking an intimate and entertaining date night. And when it comes to Valentine's Day, there's no denying the impact it has on the movie market - with romance films topping the charts.

But it's not just about the movies - Valentine's Day has become a global phenomenon, inspiring consumers around the world to find the perfect gift for their special someone. This massive consumer holiday has given rise to a range of brands and industries that cater to the lovebirds of the world, with beauty care brands seeing particularly impressive success.

In conclusion, it's time for brands to embrace the changing trends of China's Valentine's Day and tap into the immense potential they hold. By understanding the diverse and inclusive nature of the celebration, tailoring their marketing strategies to different platforms, and catering to the interests of young users, brands can truly distinguish themselves and stand out from the crowded market. Don't miss the opportunity to connect with your audience in a heartfelt way this Valentine's Day season. With the romantic economy in full swing, the possibilities are endless!

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