Jan 23, 2020 | 7 min read

Small business Valentine's marketing ideas

This article was updated on February 3, 2023

For many people, Valentine’s Day often conjures images of pink and red, hearts, flowers, and lots of candy. Whether your business has something “traditional” to offer for the holiday or not, Valentine’s Day is still a great opportunity to share special offers and promotions that can help your business build awareness, drive traffic, or reward loyalty.

Promoting your business through seasonal ties resonates well with customers, and with holidays that often involve gift-giving, like Valentine’s Day, neighbors may be on the hunt for a gift for their special someone—or even for themselves.

If you’re looking for Valentine’s Day marketing ideas that can help you celebrate and promote your local business, read on.

1. Host a fun contest to drive engagement and delight

Looking for proven Valentine’s marketing ideas for businesses? Sometimes, an old-fashioned contest on socal platforms is exactly what your customers want. This Valentine’s Day marketing idea is easy for you to host, easy for clients to participate in, and builds buzz around your business. You could offer:

  • A Valentine’s gift card for your small business
  • A free service
  • Cold, hard cash

Plus, don’t forget about social media-based contests. Choose a random customer who comments on your post, tags you in an Instagram post, or uses your hashtag. For example, Aquila Dental of Chandler, Arizona, asked patients to guess how many candy hearts were in a jar. The winner received a $100 Valentine’s day gift card.


2. Find a creative tie-in to your business that may not be the obvious or natural fit for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day may be inundated with flowers and date nights, but businesses of all types can raise brand awareness among customers who need their services or products. What matters is finding a way to make your product or service relevant. 

In 2022, Jacob’s Ladder Electrical Services in Austin, Texas promoted LED lighting on Valentine’s Day—but it wasn’t just any lighting. The business used the holiday to promote “wonderful, elegant, LED lighting installed with programmable dimming controls for all your romantic needs.” 

3. Offer neighbors an out-of-the-ordinary gift idea

Everyone wants their special someone to be healthy, and if your small business can help customers improve their well-being, it could be the perfect Valentine’s Day promotion for your business. 

If you run a health or wellness brand or a small medical practice, consider incorporating Valentine’s gift-giving into your marketing materials, like:

  • Give your Valentine the gift of wellness and health
  • Learn to love wellness, your mind, and your body this Valentine’s day
  • Good health: The gift that keeps on giving

In 2020, The Eyeglass Repair Guys in Stafford, Texas ran a special during the month of February: “Give your Valentine the gift of 2020 vision.” This tied in with their business’s “year of vision” theme and was certainly a Valentine’s day gift to remember.

4. Share a holiday-themed discount to attract new customers

This Valentine’s day marketing tip sounds obvious, but creating a special discount on your goods or services in honor of the holiday may help couples realize that it would make a great gift—or that they should treat themselves. 

Some examples of Valentine’s-themed promotions or sales include:

  • 14% off their next purchase (since Valentine’s Day is February 14th)
  • Buy one get one free item (one for the customer, one for their Valentine)
  • Discounts or offers for customers who shop in person on Valentine’s Day

In Valentine’s past, Mate’jay Cleaning Services of Little Rock, Arkansas warmed the hearts of clients and gave the gift of a clean home, with 20% off for first-time residential customers.


5. Give back to a charity you love

A holiday about love is a great time to give back. On a day when many people plan a romantic date night, take the opportunity to support a cause that is meaningful to your business and to the community, too. If you can tie it into your industry somehow, that’s even better. 

Consider some of the following charitable Valentine’s day ideas:

  • Hosting a gathering – Since couples are often looking for a date night experience on Valentine’s Day, consider hosting a catered dinner, an interactive dining experience (like hibachi or fondue), a speed dating event, or a movie night. Proceeds from ticket sales could go to a charity of your choice. 
  • Selling a promotional Valentine’s Day item – Selling a Valentine’s-themed t-shirt or item related to your inventory—and donating the proceeds to a charitable organization—can help spread the word about your business, help an organization in need, and get your name out there. 
  • Performing community service – Host a sign-up drive for a service event in your community—serving meals at a local shelter or soup kitchen, stocking shelves at a food pantry, bringing flowers to patients at nursing homes, or helping out another nonprofit in your neighborhood. 

In previous years, Dog & Pony Grill of Boerne, Texas hosted a Valentine’s dinner in which 100% of proceeds went to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

6. Send Valentine-grams

If your business delivers food or items already, why not offer clients an opportunity to send a Valentine-gram to their partner, a friend, or a family member on February 14th? 

Valentine-grams don’t have to be exorbitant—consider selling deliveries of:

  • Mini boxes of chocolates
  • Customized notes written in calligraphy
  • Single roses (or larger bouquets, if you wanted to offer tiered choices)
  • Heart-shaped sugar cookies or other baked goods

Don’t forget to add something branded to your Valentine-gram for maximum marketing potential—a business card, a pen emblazoned with your business name, a coupon for an item or service, or another small merch item. 

7. Host a craft fair

Hand-crafted items (homemade or purchased) make excellent, thoughtful gifts. Hosting a craft fair or maker’s market could give you the opportunity to:

  • Gather your community for a special event
  • Offer neighbors the chance to find a hand-crafted gift for their Valentine
  • Sell your own handcrafted items or merch
  • Network with other local business owners and creatives

As you organize, think of opportunities to get the whole community involved. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Invite local bands or musicians to provide background entertainment
  • Organize a bevy of food trucks outside of the event
  • Ask a local bar or brewery to set up a beer garden inside or outside the event
  • Invite a youth organization to set up a craft table, games, or other activities for children

8. Host a children’s event

While they go out on Valentine’s dates, parents will need child care—why not host a babysitting event for kids of all ages to have some Valentine’s fun?

To set up an event like this, you’ll need to:

  • Secure a venue – If you have a large outdoor space, you may already have the room. 
  • Invite volunteers or hire paid staff – Contact local childcare facilities, babysitters, and nannies in your area, and ask if any of them would like to make some extra money supervising your event.
  • Supply food and drinks – Partner with a local catering company to provide dinner, drinks, and a Valentine’s dessert for kids. Keep it simple—kids love pizza and sugar cookies.
  • Set up activities – Offer arts and crafts, video games, board games, sportier activities (like pickup basketball or volleyball), or a movie to keep the kids entertained. 
  • Organize parking, pickup, and dropoff – To prevent chaos before and after the event, figure out a dropoff and pickup system well in advance. 

9. Create Valentine’s-themed media for your digital marketing campaign

If you’re a new business, and you don’t have the money to host a big event or sell specialty merch this Valentine’s Day, you can still get the word out about your up-and-coming brand. Here are some Valentine’s Day marketing ideas that you could post to liven up your digital spaces, like your Nextdoor business page:

  • Themed costume challenges for staff, like dressing as:
    • Their favorite Valentine's candy
    • A character from a rom-com
    • Their Valentine
  • Valentine’s-themed graphics or photo ops
  • A Valentine’s Day poetry contest with staff submissions
  • A Valentine’s bake-off or cake-decorating contest

While posting pictures of your Valentine’s-theme shenanigans could increase user engagement with your content, it could also be a simple morale boost for your staff—and a sign to your community that your business is a fun place to work. 

Spread the love—and your Valentine’s Day marketing materials—on Nextdoor

Make this Valentine’s day sweeter than ever for the customers and neighbors who support your business. Whether you host an event, offer a promotion, or post about your Valentine’s fever online, America’s most romantic day provides countless opportunities for businesses to market themselves. 

When it comes to connecting with your neighbors, there’s no better place than Nextdoor. Post about your exciting Valentine’s event, share your seasonal discount code, or simply share images from your staff’s Valentine’s celebrations. 

Claim your free Business Page today, and start connecting with the customers you rely on most—your neighbors. 

Claim your free Business Page


Claim your free business page
Author image Nextdoor Editorial Team At Nextdoor, we love local. The Nextdoor Editorial Team is dedicated to telling stories of local businesses, providing product education, and sharing marketing best practices to help businesses grow.