Holiday marketing can be tough. You've got to figure out your target market, what kind of content to create, what promotions will bring in customers... and, of course, how to beat your competitors.

Some of the coolest holiday marketing campaigns of years past can prove instructive, so we've identified five campaigns, along with takeaways, to help your holiday marketing achieve better results.

1. Stroke your customers' egos

Holiday shopping for family and friends can sometimes seem an Olympic sport, especially if you have a large family. You want to buy everything that your loved ones want, and you want to do it fast and cheap. And if you can manage that, you'll be the hero of the family.

Target's 2011 holiday campaign included "The Christmas Champ" online, in video, and in print, and poked a little fun at zealous holiday shoppers. One thing is for sure: There was some truth in the persona of that mom who worked out, researched sales, and mentally prepared for shopping, and many Americans identified with her intensity.

How to stroke your customers' egos? Targeting. Study the traits of your target market and develop content that identifies with their personalities or needs.

2. Solve a genuine problem

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Stacey Acevero
Stacey Acevero is the social media manager at Vocus and PRWeb. Stacey blogs at Vocus on influential marketing and social media, and she blogs at PRWeb on public relations and SEO.