Thanksgiving is almost here!

That is enough reason to start putting up decorations and drinking eggnog.

No? Well, it is certainly time for businesses to get started on their holiday campaigns.

Holiday promotions are crucial for businesses — no matter how big or small. But with the abundance of holiday marketing campaigns out there, standing out can be difficult.

Let’s look at some stand-out holiday campaigns from big brands, and how your small business can create a similarly successful campaign:

1. Holiday-themed products

Nothing says it’s finally Christmas as much as Starbucks’ trademark red cups. Having a signature holiday product builds excitement and encourages shoppers to buy a limited edition item.

Last year, Starbucks went a step further with this holiday-themed coffee blend:


This was greeted enthusiastically with over 57,000 Reactions, and close to 1,000 Shares. Holiday-themed products are a great way for your brand to embrace the holiday spirit.

If you plan to do this, make sure to publicize it widely. Featuring your holiday products on your social media channels and in your email marketing is crucial. The key is to use alluring holiday images and persuasive copy.

2. Heartfelt holiday videos

With nearly 50,000 Likes and Retweets, this touching video from John Lewis was one of the best-performing tweets from Christmas 2015. The retail brand emphasized the spirit of giving with a memorable video.

By underlining the joy of receiving a gift and feeling cared for, John Lewis masterfully left a lasting impression on their audience.

While you may not have as hefty a video budget, think about the ways your business can touch your audience this holiday season. This is the perfect time of year to create a short thank you video to express your gratitude to your customers.

3. Irresistible holiday sales

The holiday season cannot be complete without sales, contests, and mega discounts. Sure, everyone loves a good sale. But how can you make sure shoppers choose your business?

Bath and Body Works placed their products center stage in email marketing messages and social posts. In addition to the festive Christmas-themed products, they announced an attractive offer and hit the nail on the head with gifting suggestions.

Notice how the sale only lasts for 24 hours. Your small business can run a similar promotion while taking advantage of major shopping days like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday this year.

Tip: Get the word out with a special holiday email template. Customize your template and message to entice readers to take action by coming into your store or making a purchase online.

3. Recipes, activities, DIY projects

A great way for your brand to demonstrate your product’s application is through DIY videos or workshops.

Take a look at how Home Depot promotes a DIY workshop. This post encourages people to come in store, learn something new, and purchase Home Depot products all at once.

If you sell food products, consider sharing a special holiday recipe. Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry shares a video on Facebook to help people create the perfect holiday treat.

4. Holiday events

You know Christmas is around the corner when your supermarket starts decking the aisles. Smart brands also know how to spread holiday cheer online.

Biltmore put up a video of the tree raising ceremony on Facebook. This video brought in more than 100,000 views, 6,000 Reactions, and 4,000 Shares.

Tip: Using Facebook Live can be particularly effective if your business tries a similar behind-the-scenes video.

This is also a great time to channel the spirit of giving with charitable activities.

Support a cause you’re passionate about and encourage shoppers to take part in these initiatives. Macy’s, for example, partnered with Make-A-Wish America to help fulfill the wishes of kids who suffer from life-threatening diseases.

Ready to create your own holiday marketing campaign?

Focus on the following to create an impactful campaign:

Set a goal

Before chalking out a marketing strategy around the holiday season, ask yourself what your brand plans on getting out of it.

Are you looking to get more people to visit your website or store? Or do want to draw their attention to a particular event that you will be conducting?

Once you have this goal set, you can streamline your marketing strategy to serve this goal.

Use data-backed execution

Measure, measure, measure. That is the only way your brand can achieve the holiday marketing goals you have set for your brand.

Use a tool like Discover to identify high performing content that’s worked for other brands.

Then, take a hard look at your own performance during the last holiday season. Identify strengths and weaknesses in your content by looking at the email subject lines that got you the best open rates, the call-to-action copy that got the most clicks, or tweets that received the most engagement.

Lastly, pay attention to what type of content has performed best for you lately. Maybe you found that video content got the most engagement last year, yet the GIFs you’ve published this year are performing better than your videos. Then, it would make sense to circulate more GIFs and promote a few of those.

Connect with your holiday shoppers

For a truly successful holiday season, focus on finding a way to connect with holiday shoppers all year long.

And make sure you store is decked out with signs encouraging shoppers to connect with you on social media.

Let’s make this holiday season your best yet!