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What I'd Do
What I’d Do: The Virally Personal Ski Resort Video Series

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I sometimes feel I do too much critiquing and too little suggesting. Like, somehow, I’m the 400 pound, mullet-sporting guy on his 3rd beer at the baseball game yelling at the 3rd baseman to hustle. So, every once in a while on a Wednesday I’ll try to balance the scales a bit and put my own ideas up for display, analysis, and critique.

I keep arriving at the fact that video is kind of a big deal. Easy to consume, easy to distribute, sensory rich. However, at the same time I think that a lot of resort video, while great looking, can be so much more from both an excitement but also a viral factor. What I’d do is rather than just shoot snow reports or conditions updates, I’d combine three factors together into a more marketing centered formula that would look something like:

Engagement + Marketing + Viral-ness

Here are the elements in more detail:

Stories for Engagement – People love stories. Stories get more attention and, in my opinion, will be enjoyed much more than 3 minutes of ski porn will ever be. The first ingredient for me would be stories. I’d also try to keep it short and sweet, never more than 5 minutes, preferably under 3.

Mountain Centered for Marketing – Second, I’d let the story be about the relationship between a skier and the resort, the mountain. Let the skier sell the mountain to everyone else. While I’d be tempted to use a witty on-camera personality do the interviewing, I think I’d pass on that in the end. Instead, I’d encourage the interviewee to answer questions with full sentences “My favorite day at Labrador Mt would have to have been January 3…” instead of “January 3…” so I could edit their answers together to tell the story without the need for narration.

Locals for the Viral Effect – Third, the people who would be telling the stories of why they love and ski at your mountain would be locals. I’d watch social media pages and profiles carefully to identify loyal skiers who have influence, but are also the average Joe/Jane type. The type that would tell everyone and their dog about the short movie their hill made about them but also might have a unique story.

Putting it All Together
Every week I’d spend half a day interviewing and filming some local, regular skier or rider as they cruise their way across the mountain as they tell me stories about various spots, snagging footage of them skiing these lines in between answers. I’d let them tell me the history of them and the resort, how they got started, their favorite run, why they keep coming back, their favorite day ever on the hill, what has changed, what they’d do if they were in charge, who they ski with, etc. The video quality would be high enough that if I ever needed sound bites for a commercial or promo video, they’d work. By the end of the season I’d have hours of high-quality testimonials to use in a variety of marketing situations.

Why It Just Might Work
I think this concept would do a few things:

  • The viral effect would come from the local telling friends and family about their 5 minutes of fame, most likely via social networks.
  • If they named any names of friends and family named in the video that would be psyched to have their name up in lights as well which would lead them to comment, like, and tag themselves in the video posted on Facebook, leading to even more exposure for the video.
  • I can see skiers and riders from all walks of life liking the fact that a local guy, just like them gets the spotlight which would lend itself well to the resort’s brand
  • Everyone else who watches it gets sold on your mountain, not by a famous name or a guy paid to do some soothing voice over narration, but a regular skier like them speaking from the heart
  • Again, you’d end up with 15-20 killer testimonials about why your mountain rocks.

So, if I was working on video, that’s what I’d do…

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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