What Makes Santa Claus a Content Marketing Genius? [2016 Update]

Dec 2016

What Makes Santa Claus a Content Marketing Genius? [2016 Update]

Did you know that the jolly old elf has a thing or two to teach us about content marketing? Join me for a look back at one of our most popular posts from Christmas past, updated for 2016. 


“‘Twas the night before Christmas …”

 “You better watch out, you better not cry, …”

 “Up on the rooftop, reindeer paws …”

Just skim through the above lines and you’ll know exactly who I’m talking about, even though I haven’t mentioned his name. That, my friend, is powerful branding.

Although he bears little resemblance to the real St. Nicholas — whose “presents” in 3rd century Turkey were bags of gold that allowed poor families to offer dowries for their daughters — the modern-day Santa Claus (aka Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, Père Nöel, der Weihnachtsmann, etc.) has become one of the most recognizable figures in the world, especially at this time of year.

So, what is it about Santa that makes his brand so powerful? For this little girl who is still hoping to make the “good” list, it’s gotta be his brilliant approach to content marketing. Here’s why:

He has a strong visual brand.

Did you know that much of what we know of Santa — visually at least — comes to us courtesy of the Coca-Cola Company? Back in the early 1930s, the company hired illustrator Haddon Sundblom to help them increase sales of the beverage during the winter months, when sales were traditionally slower. While artists had been creating images of Santa for years, Sundblom’s vision was the first to be marketed to a wide audience. And thus an unmistakable visual brand was born.

The round belly, the red suit (a nod to the real St. Nicholas’ red bishop’s vestments), the snowy white hair and beard, the sleigh, the reindeer, and of course that iconic hat — Santa’s got the whole visual package, and we’d recognize him anywhere.

What we can learn: You may think that people don’t notice visual elements like colors, fonts, layouts, and consistent use of images, but these are all important aspects of your visual brand that make your content instantly recognizable. Give them the attention they deserve.

He keeps it personal.

Even in this day of social media and texting, the United States Postal Service still receives over 1 million letters — yes, handwritten letters — personally addressed to Santa every year. The tradition of a child sitting down with pencil and paper to make an annual plea for toys and other goodies goes on and on. They just know that when it comes to Kris Kringle, the appeal has to be that personal. And many times, yes, Santa writes back.

What we can learn: You may not be able to send a tailored message to every person in your community, but you can create content that is so attuned to their wants, their needs, and their dreams for the future that it makes them say “Wow, how did they know?”

His story never changes.

It’s not like one year Santa comes down the chimney and the next he slips in under the garage door. He doesn’t experiment with St. Bernards or zebras pulling his sleigh. And thank goodness he doesn’t have a stylist telling him that a magenta suit would be more “edgy.” Year after year after year, Santa’s story is the same … and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

What we can learn: Make sure you’re telling the same story everywhere, all the time — on your website, in your print materials, in your day-to-day content, in your ebooks and white papers. It’s that kind of consistency that allows you to start building a tribe around your story.

Speaking of Christmas goodies, The Content Marketing Coach makes a perfect gift for the marketers on your list. Order 3 copies or more to take advantage of our Team Discount!

Content Marketing Coach

Find out why Joe Pulizzi, Founder of the Content Marketing Institute, had this to say about The Content Marketing Coach: Everything You Need to Get in the Game … and WIN:

“A simple yet effective guide to an approach that most businesses get flat out wrong. Do yourself and your business a favor and take a deep dive into this book. You won’t regret it.”


About the Author

Rachel Parker, Founder & CEO of Resonance Content Marketing

A self-described geek who can recite entire episodes of South Park by heart, Rachel Parker has had a passion for content ever since she was old enough to hold a crayon (purple, please).

As Founder and CEO of Resonance, Rachel helps businesses publish content that connects with their audience … and converts those followers into customers. She’s also the host of the Content Marketing Podcast and author of the book The Content Marketing Coach: Everything You Need to Get in the Game … and WIN!
content_marketing_50 BizSugar Featured Author on Business 2 Community

Our Clients Are Saying

  • Professionalism and Sincere Desire to Help

    I just didn’t seem to be able to find the time or the right words to explain what I offer and how my company helps people accomplish their goals. Rachel was able to ask me some questions, do some research and capture my voice while writing my website copy exactly as I needed it to be written.  Now, the copy on my website is much more professional than what I would have created and having this task handled by Rachel and Resonance freed up my time to complete other tasks I am better suited to do.

    It was a joy to work with Rachel. Her professionalism and sincere desire to help was apparent from the first communication until the final delivery. I will definitely use Resonance again and highly recommend their services.

  • One of the best “vendor” relationships I’ve ever had.

    My company had little or no time to spend on social media. Our needs were to ensure a steady stream of posts across three platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) by harvesting and re-purposing content from our own site and news streams. So I contacted Rachel Parker of Resonance Content Marketing.

    The result was two-fold. Not only did our ranks of followers grew steadily, the steady drip, drip, drip of content helped us train our personnel and direct their own individual social media efforts.

    Rachel and her team are extremely organized and open to discussion and new ideas. They deliver a rapid response to new opportunities — and an overall feeling of being on the same team. One of the best “vendor” relationships I’ve ever had.

  • Increased website traffic, New Lead Generation

    We were experiencing a lack of internal resources to consistently maintain the Ustream blog. So we turned to Resonance Content Marketing to write blog posts on current industry topics while maintaining a consistent tone with the brand. The result is increased website traffic, new lead generation from gated assets on blog, and better educated/qualified leads. And I now have more time to spend on marketing strategy with the confidence that the content we push out is extremely well written and engaging.

    Rachel is an amazing writer and has really managed to create engaging and relevant blog material on topics that aren’t always super interesting. On many occasions, she has been able to quickly turn around one-off requests and the results are always top-notch. She has also helped guide our content strategy based on her expertise in content marketing, which has been a huge asset to our team.

  • Social Media Ranking Better Than Ever!

    We are so happy to have hired Resonance for our social media needs. We spend most of our time serving our clients and studying our field so we can provide the highest quality possible. We no longer worry about our social media, as we have total confidence in the wonderful work Rachel and her team have accomplished.

    Our social media is active, promoted, and is ranking better than ever! People often comment about what they see on our Facebook page. Resonance has added a creative, and artistic twist to our social media that is appealing and captivating to our audience. This has allowed me more time to work with my team and clients, so I can focus on service towards the people that help our business grow.

    I know there will be wonderful content on Facebook, and that Rachel will answer to posts, comments and questions as soon as a comment arrives. I am often impressed at how quickly she responds! Thank you Resonance! I highly endorse Resonance and encourage companies who need social media strategies to work with Resonance! You won’t regret it! 

  • Event Sold Out Two Years In A Row!

    Rachel worked with me on creating a content marketing calendar and content for the Big Social Media Summit (Big SMS) three years in a row. She is very organized and knows just the right amount of posts on social, email newsletters and content to send.  Her content marketing efforts helping us sell out our event three years in a row!  I am expecting the same for October 2014.

    Rachel was hired to write content for our email newsletter and content for our social platforms. In addition, she had a budget to do advertising on social media. She participated in the event live and after the fact to assure buzz was created before, during and after the event. As a result, our event sold out.

    When I work with Rachel, I have total peace of mind.  I know that she is on target, on time, reliable and delivers over and above the results I expect.

    I trust Rachel totally with her ideas on strategy, marketing and the content used to not only promote our events, but also post on my behalf on social networks. I have been doing social media for 8 years, and I hire Resonance to post on some of my social sites as it saves me time, and keeps my social sites relevant and current. They always post great, engaging content that gets my social properties likes, comments and shares.


  • Produced ROI Result

    Form.io needed someone who could grasp the complexities of our product, capture the subtlety of our differentiating value propositions, and convey them in the right voice for an exacting customer audience…. Resonance delivered, by crafting a multi-faceted online content marketing strategy that drove traffic and conversion, producing the ROI result we were looking for….

  • Increased our likes and interaction rates

    Working with Rachel was a delight. Not only does she communicate very well, but she provided valuable insight about our social media platforms and followers. We have much better engagement with our fans and followers, which increased our likes and interaction rates.


  • Added 5 figures to my business in less than 4 weeks

    Rachel took the overwhelm and stress out of writing content for my marketing campaign! When I approached Rachel, I was really concerned that I wouldn’t have the time to focus on writing copy for a lengthy marketing campaign that included sales pages, solo emails, newsletters and social media updates. Well, let’s just say I’m glad I hired Rachel because I couldn’t have done it without her support and expertise. I loved how she used my voice and words to craft content that helped me reach and attract my ideal client. As a result of working with Rachel, I added 5 figures to my business in less than 4 weeks, hundreds of new social media followers and exceeded my sales and list building goals! You know your marketing copy is working when you hear someone say, “I see you everywhere”. Thank you Rachel for helping me not only get seen by my ideal clients but get paid!

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