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Some key takeaways from the 2018 SlopeFillers survey.

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I always look forward to my annual survey, and this year didn’t let me down in the least.

If you’ve ever taken it, you realize that I keep it simple and built it around challenges or questions I’m having right now in the story of this site. I’ve already got a few things figured out, so I focus on the progression rather than the whole picture.

So in that mindset, let me share a few interesting things.

Preferred Format
When I’m driving, I listen to podcasts. In the evenings I find myself on YouTube. Text is still a huge part of how I consume content, but with these other formats growing within my own habits, I wanted to see where you were at in terms of marketing-specific content.

Somewhat surprisingly, text took home 62%. Followed closely by video and audio. Also surprisingly, printed text came in just under 10% with a long tail of all sorts of things.

Many Small vs One Large
Expecting text to still be a key piece, I wanted to gauge why types of written content you prefer. More specifically, I wanted to compare long-form pieces (frequently seen with the interviews and “stories” I’ve been publishing) versus shorter, bite-sized pieces (the traditional SlopeFillers format where posts are 400-500 words at most).

My analytics suggest that even if something is longer, people will still read to the end if the content is good, but it’s clear that the majority prefer the smaller stuff.

Content by Type
I’ve shared a lot of types of insights over the years and with recent changes, I was especially curious to see where things stood. Note that I let everyone choose their top two content types on this one (hence the > 100% percentage total).

In the past, “examples of great marketing” has always been a big one, but I wasn’t sure how “interviews” would steal share from the others. Interestingly, my ideas and data-analyses (which had seen a gap before) were almost identical with stories further behind that I was expecting.

Social Dashboards
Now, you’ll notice that in (almost) dead last are the social dashboards. I partly to blame for this because my latest version of the site simplified that (i.e., removed many features). But to see if this chance would come up, I asked a free-response, “Is there anything I used to do that you wish I’d bring back?” question.

Interestingly, I only got one mention of those by someone who recognizes the reason I’ve shifted my time away from them.

I always enjoyed the different social media rankings and metrics (emails with competitors were helpful), but there are so many tools out there, I understand why you may not be working to keep these features.

Which leads me to one other question, and the last I’ll share here, where I gave another chance for that topic (or any others) to come up.

Any last thoughts, advice, or ideas?
What surprised me most here was how virtually no clear pattern showed up. Seriously. If I list out the themes from the first 10 responses it was:

  • Marketing mistakes we can all learn from
  • Stories about lesser-known marketers
  • Lessons from sports marketing
  • Success stories and case studies
  • Fewer reshares of old content
  • Simplified email digest format
  • More for smaller ski areas
  • Predictions for the future
  • Digital vs print balance in 2018
  • My participation in the SAM best/worst

Interesting, no?

It makes me wonder what you’d learn if you did a similar survey of your own database. What would they say if you asked them which of your content types or formats they liked best?

If you end up doing that, let me know. Would be fun to compare resort customers to resort marketers.

Anyway, tomorrow I’ll be sharing some of my ideas and thoughts for going forward based on your feedback, but if there are any other thoughts you’ve had in the meantime, drop a comment below. I’d love to hear.

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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