If you’re in the business of providing access, training or service to
an audience that is passionate about their pursuit, you should be
Let’s say you run a ski resort. (It could be a windsurfing camp or a
golf club or a go-kart track. But it’s really hot outside, and I’d much
rather think about snow right now.) In all likelihood you have a great
deal of competition for your consumer’s attention and wallet. Can you
imagine if there was a way for you to
- engage your customers throughout the year
- tell your story in a limitless forum
- get buy in on upgrades to your facilities
- convert them into raving evangelists
- earn their loyalty
- boost your existing website traffic
- dramatically strengthen your brand’s value
Of course there is, or this would be a rather pointless article.
Back in the good old days, I spent about five years living in Whistler.
I worked for the mountain in a variety of roles, ultimately ending up
as a minor level honcho. Suffice it to say I know a little bit about how
ski resorts market themselves. Marketing dollars are as scarce as snow
in July (attention souther hemisphere readers: work with the metaphor please).
This is one of those cases where blogging is just a total no-brainer.
You have an audience who is greedy for news and in love with their
sport. You’ve got a business with lots of great stories. Weave the two
together, and get ready to watch the fireworks.
If I were still in the ski business, I’d be using my blog to:
- follow the cutting of new trails and other off-season expansion
- tell some of the history of the mountain – how the trails got their names, etc
- highlight key staff members, like the lifty who’s been there for 40 years (in fact, I might even name the blog after him)
- announce snow’s first fall
- talk about the run of the day
- interview the local pro for tips
- describe new items on the chalet’s menu
- give special warning of upcoming sales
- describe the latest high end rental or demo gear
- conduct blog-specific contests (ie on a Monday, start giving clues
to the location of a secret envelope containing two free tickets. Give
clues throughout the week, and announce the winner the following Monday)
- etc etc ad infinitum
If I were still in the ski business and was working at a larger
resort, I’d make this a full time position. I’d make sure the blogger
spent at least a part of each day on the hill (tough job, I know). I’d
make him go though lessons, spend a day in the kitchen, ride with a
groomer, and generally learn all he (I’m imagining myself in the role,
hence the masculine pronoun!) could about the resort’s operations.
I’d also give him a good measure of autonomy, so he could be the
people’s representative in the company. This goes for all blogging
ventures, but especially so in a business like skiing or golf where the
participants tend to get a little over passionate about their pursuit.
Suffice it to say I’ll be calling my friends who are still in the ski
business to do what I can to get them blogging. Think I can talk them
into giving me the job? Kidding! Sort of.