At MediaSource, we’re working on our pitches year round, but during the holiday season we noticed a certain buzz in the air. Everyone from Starbucks to our local cleaners have decked their halls and added holiday flair to their marketing campaigns. Something interesting we noticed? The biggest influencer of all was Jolly Old St. Nicholas — he’s everywhere! Because getting your brand message seen is important to everyone on your content marketing team (and to stay on the “nice” list), we’ve decided to let you in on the secrets for pitching Santa, even if he’s all the way in the North Pole.
Research, Follow, Understand
Know the song, “Must be Santa?”
Who wears boots and a suit of red?
Santa wears boots and a suit of red
Who wears a long cap on his head?
Santa wears a long cap on his head
We know all the basics about Santa — but so does everyone else. In order to perfectly pitch Santa, we need to dig deeper and understand what he wants to make him feel valued. A good start to understanding your audience is to ask questions. For example, we could ask St. Nick:
“Are there tools that will help your work? Heat warmers for the sleigh? Multimedia to entertain you on the long ride?” By knowing Santa’s concerns and interests, we can better tailor our strategies to fit his needs.
Other great tactics include thinking of parents who don’t want their kids to get coal as one of Santa’s key audiences. By doing this, we can respond with tips to help move kids from the naughty to nice list. We could even work with Santa to spread the benefits about drinking a cold glass of milk. For this occasion, working with Santa on a sponsored social post in association with the ADA that promotes milk sales and will ensure he will have a glass waiting when he arrives on his busiest night. When you understand your influencer beyond the basics, you can pitch them something that will catch their eye and help you spread your brand’s message.
Build a Relationship
It is the most wonderful time of year… unless you’re on deadline to produce and deliver toys to the world in just a few weeks. December is too late to really connect with Santa. Instead, consider Christmas in July, this can be a key time to do a media visit or deskside briefing at the North Pole. By establishing a relationship with your influencer early, you don’t have to cut through the noise when it’s someone’s busiest time of year. It’s also helpful to use the lingo that’s most comfortable and industry-correct. For Santa, it’s probably “Ho Ho Ho,” and not “Hello.” Last but definitely not least: don’t show up empty handed and don’t over do it. We brought milk and cookies to Santa — this is a simple way to build a relationship and show him we care about his interests.
Understand Your Target
Is Santa the most realistic influencer to target? Or are there influencers who can help you? We would suggest that Santa is like a news director during sweeps — super enthusiastic but really busy and trying to hide his stress. Since the North Pole is an organized production, we are assuming there must be a beat system in place with elves assigned to different jobs. Which elf is on the beat we care about? If we can engage that elf, we can get an influencer to help us engage our big brand and biggest target: Santa.
Even with all the cookies, jingle bells and festive spirit, you can’t pitch Santa without a plan. Your strategy and analytics team should prepare market research and a thorough saturation check to help you create measurable goals. While in the story development phase, we determined 85 percent of Americans under age four believe in Santa. How can we target the 15 percent who do not believe? What channels will best reach these consumers? The only way we knew that these were things we should be thinking about was by establishing a plan with data to give us context. Now, we can pitch in Santa creative and innovative ways to make sure that our content is being seen.
Now that you know how to pitch Santa, it will be easy to apply these tips to your brands year round. In fact, give your pitch a shot by reaching out to us on social media @MediaSourceTV. You only have 280 characters, so don’t let the cookie crumble!