Winter sports are becoming more and more popular. More people are skiing, snowboarding, skating and playing ice hockey than ever before. But with almost 500 ski resorts in the United States alone, it’s important to make your brand stand out. Read on for easy, effective marketing ideas for the winter sports industry.
We know that social media giveaways and online contests are popular across the board. Everyone loves the thrill of competition and chance. When you run online promotions, you can direct that natural craving for excitement to win more engagement, clicks, and sales for your brand. We’ll take a look at 6 real success stories for winter sports and ski resort advertising in this post – but before we dive in, a quick word about best practices.
Winter sports promotions: what you need to know
There are 2 big reasons to make sure your snow tourism promotions are above-board. First of all, if you break advertising or social network rules, you risk losing your online accounts. But secondly – and even more importantly – you risk losing customers’ trust.
Online promotions are a chance to make an impression on a global audience. So make sure it’s a good impression!
- Choose your audience. You could design an amazing contest, but it won’t get any participants if you’re broadcasting to the wrong people. Pick your audience by social network or mailing list, and cater to their likes and dislikes.
- Be original. Social network algorithms love new, original content. Copy and paste is not your friend! Create original posts, and ask your followers to share real, user-generated content, such as videos and photos.
- Spend time on the design and legal details. The devil’s in the details, as they say. Make sure your designs are optimized for desktop and mobile users. Don’t forget that every promotion must include terms and conditions.
- Share your promotions everywhere. On your website, on your blog, in your emails, on your socials. You could even print flyers and put up posters with a quick link or QR code for your promotion.
- Follow up with campaign analysis. The idea of analyzing your marketing campaigns can be intimidating. But with the right tools, you can get a quick and easy overview of what works and what doesn’t.
Got all of that? Let’s see how to put those ideas into practice.
Use Entry Form Giveaways to generate leads as part of your ski resort advertising
One of the easiest, most classic online promotions for snow and mountain tourism is an Entry form Giveaway. With just a few clicks, you can collect contact details and social media usernames from people who follow your brand. In exchange, you offer them a desirable prize. Use those contact details to follow up with potential customers, and keep them in the loop about future offers.
Here’s a great example from a ski lodge near Mount Hood. They simply asked for their customers’ full names and email addresses. In return, two couples could win an all-inclusive weekend away. The key is to offer a prize that’s in proportion to the information you ask for. So if you want to get really detailed info, you’ll need to offer a more generous reward.
Refer a Friend contests to gain new followers
Once you’re familiar with a simple giveaway, you can start targeting your campaigns. Think very carefully about your goals: for every marketing objective, there is a solution.
For example, if you want to get leads and followers, then your best bet is a Refer a Friend contest. In principle, this is just the same as the prize draw we saw above. But every time a participant successfully invites their friend to join the promotion, they get an extra entry in the giveaway.
In this example, a ski gear brand shared a very valuable giveaway with their fans: a new pair of hybrid skis. The prize was valuable enough for people to share it with their friends – and guaranteed to be popular with winter sports enthusiasts.
Get more details with a quiz or survey
Let’s consider another marketing objective. Perhaps you already have plenty of leads and followers – you just want to learn more about them. And the best way to find something out is to ask!
You can start by adding one or two questions to your giveaway entry form. However, as your campaigns develop and you want more fine-grained information, you should consider an in-depth quiz or survey.
This ski holiday organizer offered a free family holiday to their customers. To join the giveaway, people just had to explain why they liked Big White ski resort. In this way, the organizing brand learnt more about what their customers’ value and enjoy.
Members’ club or rewards scheme
Let’s take another marketing objective. If your brand has been thriving, then you can consider starting a customer loyalty rewards scheme. You can share exclusive updates, products, and deals for your most loyal fans. But first of all, you need to recruit them into the scheme.
This website for booking winter sports holidays and package deals decided to create their own VIP club. As an incentive, they offered a once-in-a-lifetime skiing experience for two. People could enter with a standard giveaway form – but at the same time, their details were added to the customer loyalty scheme.
Starting your customer club like this means that you can recruit people from your email list, social media, and even on-site. However, make sure that the details of the contest are clear. You must have people’s express consent to add their contact details to your rewards scheme.
Collect user-generated content in a photo contest
When it comes to online marketing, it’s important to make your followers feel valued and heard. One great way to do that is by asking them for their own contributions: sharing comments, photos, videos, stories, and more. Plus, you can turn that user-generated content around and use it for your own marketing campaigns.
Take this example. Ski fans had the chance to win free tickets to the X-Games. They just had to share an original photo, with a caption explaining why they love winter and snow sports.
This brand was smart: they shared all the photos in a public gallery and asked people to vote for their favorite entries. It’s an easy way to pick a winner – and double engagement with the same promotion.
Give back to the winter sports community
Another way to make your brand stand out is to demonstrate your authority and expertise. Share insider tips, advice, and educational video with your followers. And just like with a photo contest, you can ask people to share their content with you, too.
Here’s a great example of a Video Contest that gave back to the community, with more than just a prize. All school-age children in Canada were eligible to take part. They just had to share a video with their knowledge about avalanche survival and winter sports safety.
People could upload their videos directly to the contest app, or publish their work on Vimeo and YouTube, as in the example below.
This kind of promotion shows that your brand is an important part of the local community and that you have a human side. It’s a powerful way to demonstrate that your brand is something special. Safety-centered promotions should be permanent in any ski resort advertising and marketing plan, as it reinforces customer trust.
Design your own winter sports promotions
Now it’s time to put your own ideas into practice. It’s free to create an Easypromos account and start work on your winter and snow sports promotions. Or if you’re looking for a quick way to get started, then try one of our winter templates for social media giveaways. And don’t worry if you have more questions about ski resort advertising, as you can contact our Support Team, ready to inspire and assist!
Corinna KeefeContent marketer at Easypromos
Publication date: 2018-11-02