skip to main content

Content Marketing (All)
Why This Site Actually Worked: The Seven Content Marketing Laws of SlopeFillers

divider image for this post

A while back I shared that at Destination Summit I would telling the story of SlopeFillers.

How it worked. Why it worked. What motivated me to start it and continue running the show despite having little time and no resources. I hoped to record my presentation, but resembling a chicken with its head cut off more than a marketer during the conference, I couldn’t swing it.

So let me quickly share an abridged version of my session here for your enjoyment.

The Laws
As I prepared my slides, I realized a much better title would be something like “The Seven Content Marketing Laws of SlopeFillers.” But with agendas printed and the day nearly upon me, I kept it as is. Here are the slides:

So, with that as your trusty guide, here’s the gist.

Principle #1 – Pizza
The more specific you get with your pizza toppings, two things happen. First, fewer people will be interested in it. But, the people who are interested find themselves much more excited about eating it than, say, a plain cheese pizza.

So it goes for content. If you can add two adjectives to a core topic (core – marketing, adjectives – ski, resort) you’ll find yourself creating focused content that differentiates itself from other sources which makes it much more exciting for the niche you write for. That’s what I did for SlopeFillers.

Principle #2 – Coffee
Coffee is one of the most universal habits in the world. I wanted people to consume SlopeFillers like they consume coffee: the first thing each day. I didn’t have the resources to drive people there every day just like the coffee industry doesn’t have the resources to convince you every morning to drink coffee again, so I tried to create a habit.

Folger’s created a habit by piggybacking on another (“waking up”), and I’ve found this to be the easiest way to create a new habit as well. So I tried to make checking SlopeFillers as part of the “daily checks” (what you do when you open your computer each morning).

Principle #3 – Hatchet
Consuming content is a transaction between value and time. Someone gives you time, you give them value. If it takes too much time to get too little value, they won’t transact (i.e., read, watch, etc.).

So you have to make your content as easy to consume as possible (as make it appear so). A great example to follow in this regard is writing design for 12 year olds. Hatchet is my favorite book because it is so easy to read. And it’s easy to read because it’s written simply, it’s short, to the point, narrow, has big fonts, and room to breathe.

Principle #4 – Jumbotron
Cameramen at sporting events know a simple truth: If you want someone’s attention, point the camera at them. If they don’t see it, someone around them will and will let them know.

Same goes for content. If you want someone’s attention, write about them. Luckily, nobody was writing about the awesome work resort marketers were doing. This alone helped me initially break the ice with many of you.

Principle #5 – Walmart
I hate Walmart, but I shop there. Why? Because I can cross two things off my list. If it’s not sold at the grocery store, I’ll have to go to Walmart anyway so I do my “one stop shopping” there.

This applies to content. Apples to apples, your content may be no different than another outlets. But if you can add extra value to someone’s visit so they can check webcams, see the weather forecast, etc. and consume content, they’ll be more likely to do so. I did this with the rankings, dashboards, and job board.

Principle #6 – Billy
Content is a transaction and people buy from people. If you put a face not behind, but front and center on your content, people will be more likely to consume (and return) because of that relationship.

I told personal stories, my photo was on every page, and I introduced all guest bloggers so ever visit was a content transaction with me, not a brand. Billy Mays was successful because he was a person with a name, not a company with a logo.

Principle #7 – Syracuse
What I finished my undergrad I packed everything I owned into my Saturn and moved to Syracuse. I could only do this because everything I owned fit in that space. Any more than that and I couldn’t have afforded it.

SlopeFillers only worked because I removed the baggage of other content marketing efforts and didn’t edit or proofread to fix typos or errors. To clarify, I did some proofing to make sure I said what I wanted to say, but not to haggle with myself or an editor over the correct use of commas. The way I see it, commas aren’t worth 45 minutes if the post took 15 minutes to write.

Then, because the relationship was with a human instead of a logo, people forgave any errors. Humans or more okay with other humans making mistakes, but not so much with brands.

The Gist
So, there you have it. That’s how I build SlopeFillers. To recap:

  1. I focused and use two adjectives to frame my content for a targeted audience.
  2. I developed a habit so I didn’t have to generate traffic each day.
  3. I made my content look easy to read to remove friction in the process.
  4. I talked about the people whose attention I was hoping for.
  5. I allowed you to do two things with one visit to maximize the value of each visit.
  6. I put me and my personality front and center so you could build a relationship with a person.
  7. I removed baggage that slowed me down but didn’t add value to the content.

So there you have it.

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.

Get the weekly digest.

New stories, ideas, and jobs delivered to your inbox every Friday morning.