Holiday spending totaled more than $626 billion last year, according to the National Retail Federation. To make sure that you’re enjoying your slice of that retail pie, we offer three strategies used by big brands:

Give something away.

Ride-sharing giant Uber is known for campaigns that bring attention . . . and puppies . . . and popsicles. Last holiday season, it gave randomly selected customers in New York City free gifts from Vince, L’Occitane, One Kings Lane and Diane von Furstenberg.

Your campaign doesn’t have to be about product giveaways. A 2013 study by Cone Communications found that 89 percent of consumers were likely to switch brands to one associated with a cause. Macy’s Believe campaign gives $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation for every letter to Santa it receives, a project so successful that this year marks its ninth anniversary.

Tell a story.

As marketers, we know that the best way to connect is through storytelling. Last year, Target’s holiday campaign began with a digital storybook featuring characters including Minions, Barbie and Ninja Turtles. The campaign incorporated a wonderland plot in television spots and a themed, in-store experience in downtown Manhattan.

The upcoming holidays provide no shortage of heartwarming stories. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, Kohl’s All Together Now campaign focuses on meaningful moments that bring families together in unusual ways. The campaign pulls consumers into the sentiment by encouraging them to share their personal stories on social media tagged #AllTogetherNow.

Earlier this year, we discussed developing your signature story. Now is the time to harness your inner journalist and craft your company’s story.

Take a stance.

Last year, sporting goods retailer REI shook things up in announcing that its stores would close as usual on Thanksgiving Day but also on Black Friday. Not only did the company bypass participation in the mega-retail holiday, but it also launched a campaign encouraging consumers to start a new Black Friday tradition by spending time outdoors rather than in shopping lines at big-box retailers. Cleverly named #OptOutside, the campaign resulted in more than 1 million social media posts by consumers sharing the company’s family-centered values.

Kohl’s and REI successfully used social media to engage and involve consumers in their holiday campaigns. See how brands use video on Instagram to enhance engage audience engagement.

Be sure to subscribe to Twice Tips and check in next week when we’ll break down how to consolidate your 2017 video strategy.

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