I had a feeling this photo was going to be popular. I didn’t think it would turn out to be the most popular photo of the season. Here are a few thoughts on why this photo proved to be so popular.
Relevant: Posting this photo on closing day only minutes after it was taken increased its relevance to our audience.
Simple: There were plenty of photos from the last day that would have made a very attractive album. By posting just one photo we were making a simple statement. “Its our last day, We’re having fun, Lake Louise is Beautiful, see you next year” All conveyed in 5 seconds.
Quality: The picture is vibrant, clear has a well-developed sense of place and is easy to look at. It would not have been nearly as shared if it had been a cloudy day.
Involvement: The participants in this photo are our most vocal supporters. Content that ties all these people together almost ensures interaction.
With the idea of increasing interaction with our Facebook following, I decided to pose the question. “Do you find our weekly updates useful?” Questions, as most Facebook posters have found are a great way of encouraging feedback.
Just about every person on the hill has a camera, headcam, point and shoot, DSLR with HD film capacity down to camera phones.
So how hard can it be to crowdsourced these amateur cinematographers. Provide them with a prize and watch them create content for us. Guests are creating videos already, so how much more incentive do they need to enter our competition?
Here is what we were trying to do.
Quality content production
Social Media interaction & following growth
With this in mind we set the following guidelines:
Two minute limit: While we wanted plenty of entrants we did NOT want everyone posting their unedited gopro footage. More to the point, we didn’t want to be watching them all. This forced entrants to concentrate on putting their best “footage” forward.
Address the question: how do you enjoy the Lake? The idea was to challenge people to share their story, offer them some guidance without restricting creativity. This leaves people able to create films about the terrain park, back bowls or even powder.
Use public voting to determine winners: The competition was set up to allow the ski resort to select the finalists giving us some control. Lets face it we didn’t want a video winning that showed a rider shotgunning a beer, pulling an inverted air and flipping off ski patrol. But to have two weeks where the best videos were up for public voting while the entrants were also pushing their entries in their circles. That was just the sort of interaction we were looking for.
Offer a prize that videographers want: Next year seasons pass? Night at our backcountry hut? Prizing is key and offering a unique prize will have people falling over themselves. My idea of a VIP all expenses paid weekend at our end of season party was refused. In the end we employed the help of a local Photography retailer Banff Photography and split a $500 certificate for first.
A ski break was most certainly not on my schedule. I had plenty of desk work that was past due. But when the head of snow safety wants to show you something, it’s hard to say no. Last time I went with Rocket I was able to film Ski Patrol start an avalanche on Eagle Ridge 5 (ER5). One of the most memorable events that I have filmed. This time he wanted to take me to Purple Bowl, preferred venue for the Canadian Powder 8’s. The Powder 8’s are an annual event at Louise, and one that struggles with entries every year. Mainly as we do not have the requisite powder to run a powder competition. This year we had snow but no one believed it.
I looked out the window, it was a clear sunny day. Fantastic skiing and filming conditions. So I cleared my desk and went skiing… It was worth it.
As well as great photos, I put together a 30 second clip with rocket calling the conditions at the bowl a “shaken Etchy Sketch.” But the image of Rocket sliding down a pristine powder bowl told the story better than words. I have no doubt that the video helped us sign more competitors to the event.
Identifying and taking advantages of conditions when they occur is an important part of content marketing. I almost missed this opportunity just because it felt like I was blowing off work.