When I was a kid growing up in Northern California, the Lake Tahoe ski season was literally my favorite thing in the world. There weren’t websites so all we had to remember the mountains was the torn and crumbling trail maps we held on to from last season, a small collection of which decorated my wall even through the hottest months of summer.
Back then kids under 12 could ski for $5 (so of course we crouched down low at the ticket booth and spoke in squeaky voices until we were 16).
Times have changed.
Checked out Squaw Valley’s website last night and was glad to find something really remarkable – a company that appears to understand completely the simple fact that the content they put on their site should be a crystal clear reflection of what’s most important to them RIGHT NOW.
“SNOWVEMBER! 10 feet and counting” hits you in the face superimposed over the largest image possible of a skier making the most of the mountain.
Video content that was produced literally within days of viewing filled with exuberant people giving updates on conditions and what’s happening with plans to open more terrain is easily accessed.
From the CEO to a charismatic mountain hostess, the subjects are real, candid and totally comfortable on camera.
IMHO they’ve got their content act together and they make it look easy. It’s one example that helps illustrate some important elements in digital marketing:
Be fresh, relevant and authentic with your content.
The most important message, that there’s a bucket load of new snow, hits you straight away and you can’t escape it. The message is reinforced by real people on the scene speaking candidly about info that’s useful to the target.
Set up simple processes that help make hay when the sun shines (or when the snow dumps, as the case may be).
It’s clear that however they’re doing it, making those videos is easy enough for them that they’re able to knock them out quickly and frequently.
Provide, wait for it… clear calls to action.
Everywhere you go in the site there are calls to book accoms and an omnipresent 800 number. It’s so basic but so often undercooked.
It’s nice being back in California and a planned trip to Squaw in January is no exception. My one complaint about the site (apart from some less than stellar typography and other visual design details) is that now I’m a little too fired up for a trip that’s still a few weeks away. Gotta stop checking this…