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Snow Show 2014: Content Marketing for Winter Sports

Trade Show for Skiing and Snowboarding Industry

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SIASnowShow2014.JPG

The SIA Snow Show is a trade show held in Denver for the skiing and snowboarding industry.

Photo © 2014 Nina Snyder, licensed to About.com

DENVER -- A panel of marketing professionals advised snow sports professionals to carve a path in the new trend of content marketing at the 2014 SnowSports Industries America (SIA) Snow Show. Held at the Colorado Convention Center from Jan. 30 - Feb. 2, 2014, the trade show attracts thousands of industry professionals and exhibitors.

Marie-Josée Legault, the principal and strategy director for Origin Design and Communications, said marketing today is more about making connections than making sales. Based in Whistler, Canada, Origin provides marketing services to many clients in the snow sports arena.

"For many years now, we've been hearing content is king," she said. However, traditional marketing is losing ground to more innovative forms of marketing that aim to inspire people. "Consumers are tuning out traditional types of marketing," Legault said. "They're really savvy to that."

Content marketing is broadly defined as content that delivers "consistent, relevant, valuable" content to customers in an "inspirational or informational" way. Another characteristic of content marketing is that it is on-demand rather than pushed out via traditional media such as television or radio. Legault listed many types of content marketing that have become more popular as technology gains a greater foothold in daily life:

Types of Content Marketing

  • webisodes
  • short videos
  • apps
  • e-magazines

Examples of outdoor companies that tap into content marketing include Arc'teryx, an outdoor apparel company which offers 15-minute videos of skiing and other adventures on its website. The videos show skiing in far-flung locales such as Japan to showcase Arc'teryx gear and clothing.

While brands are not foregoing traditional media such as print, radio and television, they are looking for innovative ways to spread their brand message. "We're seeing that more and more brands are shifting to content marketing," Legault said.

Danielle Kristmanson, principal and creative director for Origin, also said social media takes center stage in content marketing strategies. While no one social channel holds the secret ingredient for a viral success story, marketers can focus on creating solid content.

Kristmanson advised that skiing and snowboarding brands should look at customers' buying behavior, and where they gather to glean information. "Where do these people go to get the information to make a purchase?" she asked.

Customers typically start out in a "dreaming phase" when looking to make purchases, especially a major purchase such as skiing or snowboarding equipment. The dreaming phase allows marketers to provide inspirational content, without getting too much into product specifics. All the way through the buying phase, Kristmanson said customers should feel brands are "a source of valuable information."

If you are a Colorado resident, check out the 2013/14 Colorado Ski Passes to find good deals for ski season. Read up on the Ski Buyer's Guide for help in selecting skis.

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