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Resort Marketers Sound Off on the Pros, Cons, and Tricks to Using Periscope at their Mountains

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Sometimes, when the stars align and pigs fly, I wise up and realize that the best voices to include in blog posts are the people on the front lines, not the guy sitting in a quiet office overlooking the garage.

With more and more resorts using Periscope (I’m counting 37 as of August 18), I reached out to a few of the resorts who seem to be having the most success with it for their takes on what’s good, what’s bad, what’s working and what’s not. Here’s what they said.

Initial Thoughts / What You Like
“Periscope provides a “real-time” platform to create a more relevant and personal relationship with consumers. This will help create more brand loyalty and more brand advocates. Currently, Periscope is a new tool and hopefully it will continue to evolve creating an even better consumer experience and marketing tool.

“I like that Periscope provides a live look at what the broadcaster is experiencing and connects people from all over the world in one place. It is very raw and very real, no filters, no Photoshop. I like that users can ask questions and get instant feedback. For brands, you now have your own live TV stream. This allows you to share moments that matter with your audience and get instant feedback.”
Ryan Mayfield, Deer Valley

“I really like that it gives us the opportunity to broadcast LIVE from the resort. It’s unpolished for sure, but that’s what people like about it. It gives you a real-time picture of what’s going on.”
Colette Maddock, Whitefish

“Periscope is an amazing communication channel for ski resorts. The app allows you to dive into behind the scene moments that never make the cutting room floor for branded pieces. You’re able to capture those authentic (hate to use that marketing buzz word), real, unscripted moments. The “woo hoo’s” you hear from a chairlift on a powder day, energy and excitement of first chair and guests chatting about their epic turns down Granite Chief over beers on the sun deck. There is plenty of content to capture – it’s about testing what your audience wants to see. And the beauty of Periscope is you can ask your audience what they want in a live broadcast.”
Jackie Megnin, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

Downsides / Stuff You Dislike
“When new social media platforms spring up, I create an account just to check it out and don’t think too much about my username and other settings. My only complaint about Periscope would be with usernames and deleting accounts. You can’t change your username (as of now) and it’s very difficult to delete your account. Once you delete your account you can’t attach the same Twitter account to a new Periscope account. Hopefully this will improve with future updates.”
Ryan Mayfield, Deer Valley

“Content only lives for 24 hours. Major bummer. Hopefully down the road Periscope allows you to flag your better broadcasts so users can go back and watch when they want. Not everyone can hop on their phone in the middle of a work day to see you shredding pow.”
Jackie Megnin, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

“The downside to [Periscope], of course, is that you have to use your phone. So if you have, a) bad service and/or no wireless or, b) if you’re out being active, those aren’t necessarily the best opportunities to have your phone out. For example, when I did our zip tour Periscope I know that some viewers were wishing we would do a live broadcast while going down the line, but short of duct taping my phone to my helmet, that’s a pretty hard shot to capture.”
Colette Maddock, Whitefish

Tips / Tricks / Success Stories
In using Periscope I have learned a few tricks. First, make sure you have a full battery. Live streaming will eat your battery up really fast. If you have a long broadcast planned get a portable charger. You don’t want your phone to die in the middle of your broadcast. The name of your broadcast is very important. I make sure to plan it out beforehand. And last but not least, it’s important to interact with your audience. Asking questions and asking for “Hearts” is a great way to get more viewers.
Ryan Mayfield, Deer Valley

“Ski resorts tend to have bad cell reception – at Alpine it’s not the greatest. You’ll have to be mindful of where you are otherwise you’ll cut out and leave users hanging.

“Some tips from the few broadcasts we’ve done at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows (advice with a grain of salt since we’re still testing what content works given Periscope is so new):

  • Talk the whole time. Too much silence feels awkward and you’ll see users jump ship.
  • Lay out your talking points. Have a loose script so if you do hit a silence roadblock you can look to those talking points and pick up the conversation.
  • Find those interesting behind the scene moments and broadcast away!

Give your audience a heads up on your other branded channels that you will be doing a broadcast. Users have to engage/watch right away since content only lives for 24 hours. A heads up is nice and creates buzz around your broadcast.”
Jackie Megnin, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

“I created a Periscope account at the beginning of July for Whitefish Mountain Resort. Myself and our PR gal, Riley Polumbus, were brainstorming different ways that we could use it, but the opportunity hadn’t necessarily presented itself yet. When the Reynolds Creek fire was burning in Glacier National Park, we wanted to let everyone know that it was still clear skies and beautiful weather in Whitefish. I headed to the summit and periscoped the beautiful views of Glacier and it worked out really well— that broadcast had 171 live viewers and 1,406 hearts. After that I tested it a few different times on summer activities, construction on our summit house and ski patrol headquarters, and more views.”
Colette Maddock, Whitefish

Thanks again to Ryan, Colette, and Jackie for the insights. Give their resorts a follow on Periscope to see some of the content they’re pushing out. Really solid stuff.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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