Inbound Marketing for Ski Resorts

In my San Francisco Inbound Marketing Takeaway post, I noted that I was putting together some thoughts on how to leverage inbound marketing in the resort industry. Finally, over a month later, here it is!

Inbound marketing is essential for any business because the ski business is seasonal and the participants so passionate the opportunities are tremendous.

The content element of inbound marketing is an aspect that ski resorts can easily leverage. Most are already taking lots of photos and videos, the next step is to publish them to social sharing sites like Flickr and YouTube. Even better, give customers a way to publish their own content to a common channel that can be displayed on a page on the resorts’ website. For example, the photo above was taken by a guest at Park City Mountain Resort and tagged so that I could find it and insert it here via Creative Commons license rights.

Another technique is to use blogging and micro-blogging platforms to convey current conditions with more personalized information than is possible using snow report pages, emails or texts. Through the use of hashtags (the # sign)  resorts can even leverage reports from guests and aggregate them in a common stream. Resorts should be sure to use these techniques to interact/engage with their customers as well as to direct them to useful and relevant content. In addition email should be integrated with these efforts  and with segmentation and triggers it can really continue to personalize communications with customers.

Lastly, resorts should be very strategic in how they do Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on their web content and make sure that the keywords and phrases that they’re optimizing for are directly in line with their overall business strategies. By this, I mean that rather than optimizing for general terms like “ski resort” a resort should optimize for more specific items, like “best beginner terrain park”. They should also tag appropriate photos with this and create a video showing off their park – of course a blog post and some tweets linking back to this content this should be done as well to fully leverage the inbound marketing potential of this content.

These are just a few quick examples for resorts and I plan on drilling down further on more specifics on using networks like Flickr, Twitter and YouTube. Are there any additional social networks out there that you think are just ripe for use by ski resorts?!

Photo Credit: bgautrea

6 responses to “Inbound Marketing for Ski Resorts

  1. nice post! I am looking forward to reading about more specifics! You should include FaceBook to your list of social networks that are ripe for use by ski resorts.

    • Doh, Facebook for sure. I guess since I spent a chunk of my Friday night making sure I got for work and for myself, made me completely blank it out when writing this. Thanks Martin!

  2. Good to see that a lift ticket strategically placed for a solid face lashing does not preclude one from participating in social networking. ;~)

    Of course, there is also viddler and vimeo for video, and digg, delicious, and stumbleupon for bookmarking. And while mybloglog and lijit have seemingly gone by the wayside, I still like the friendfeed widget if not for the simple fact that it operates as a good aggregate display of all social networking activity. I wouldn’t completely discount myspace yet, and linkedin is a great tool. Most people think linkedin is just for business, but I am a part of several groups, including one concerning fishing, where I pick up and exchange a lot of useful information. There is also plaxo and, well, I’ll stop there.

    • Hi Robert, personally I was just happy to find a photo on Flickr where I was fairly certain that the person had a PC lift ticket on! 😉
      Thanks for listing some of the additional networks that you use, I’m a firm believer that it never hurts to keep your eyes and ears open because there always is someplace new or different where you might find things of interest. BTW, have you seen the shortening service from stumbleupon? It’s a great addition to SU, with some interesting tracking features.

  3. For a long while I wasn’t too fired up on StumbleUpon even though it has long been a part of the Share This WordPress plugin, but then they started doing these slick weekly emails with suggestions for me. Now with the integration of it makes the whole thing pretty sticky and sweet.

    • I’ve been much more of Delicious person up until I found out about the service from Tim Ferris, I actually had a very informative chat with him on the day he posted about it. It is indeed ‘sticky and sweet!’

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