Back to Ski 2013 Case Study
Let's talk about results

Back to Ski Week was conceived in 2012 by Mara Gorman, who blogs at The Mother of all Trips. Originally a crowd-sourced blog carnival hosted on her blog, Back to Ski Week grew in 2013 into a sponsored campaign with its own website, social media channels, giveaways, and participation by a number of influential family travel bloggers.

2013 Campaign Goals

The goals of the campaign, which took place from September 16 to 20 were to create buzz about the upcoming North American ski season, to get families thinking about taking advantage of some of the fall deals available for families planning to ski in 2013-14, and to promote the sponsoring destinations as great places for families to plan their winter vacations.

The value of this campaign was that it drew attention to skiing at a time when families could find great pre-season deals but when they weren’t necessarily thinking ahead to winter. By inviting a number of family travel bloggers to participate, Mara was able to amplify that message across a variety of channels.

Campaign sponsors

Keystone Resort in Colorado was the campaign’s top “black diamond” sponsor. Smuggler’s Notch Resort in Vermont was a middle-level “blue” sponsor, and the Breckenridge, Colorado Chamber of Commerce was a “green” sponsor.

In addition, Liftopia.com donated a $100 gift card to the campaign as a giveaway. 

Campaign components

The campaign had a variety of components, including:

Traditional blog posts. Each sponsor had two blog posts published by bloggers of their choosing on prearranged topics having to do with their destinations. One post appears on the new Back to Ski website; the other on the blogger’s site

In addition, seven influential family travel bloggers from around the United States were paid to write sponsored posts about family ski trips as part of the campaign. These posts all linked back to the Back to Ski website.

Facebook giveaway. Keystone Resort ran a giveaway of a two-night stay for a family of four with rental equipment and lessons on the Back to Ski Facebook page during the week of the campaign.

Twitter chat. A hosted Twitter chat using the #backtoski hashtag took place on Wednesday, September 18 from 3 to 4 p.m. EST. Keystone Resort was the sponsor of the chat and offered five gift packs of branded merchandise to give away as well as three $50 Visa gift cards; Smuggler’s Notch also gave away one gift pack.

Newsletter sign up. The new Back to Ski website offered readers a chance to sign up for a newsletter; during the week of the campaign, anyone who signed up was entered to win a $100 Liftopia.com gift card.

Social media

Mara started tweeting on the hashtag #backtoski the weekend before Back to Ski week started using both her @motherofalltrip handle and @back2ski.

Tweeting continued actively on this hashtag by participants in the campaign and their followers (including a number of ski resorts and industry organizations) throughout the week, during the Twitter chat on Wednesday, and beyond. Conversations covered a range of topics from where to find the best ski deals, what kinds of equipment kids need to ski, and what   resorts were favorites for families.

Mara shared all of the blog posts written for the campaign and talked about Back to Ski on the Back to Ski Facebook page, her blog’s Facebook page and her personal Facebook page as well as on her Google + profile and using both her blog and Back to Ski Twitter handles.

In addition, Mara created and is maintaining a shared permission Back to Ski Pinterest board, which since that time has stayed open with bloggers adding links.

Results

Twitter

The campaign generated 5.29 million timeline deliveries on Twitter on the #backtoski hashtag between 9/12/13 and 9/22/13, reaching 1.01 million people.

Additional metrics for that same time period:

  • 253 contributors delivered nearly 1400 individual tweets; almost half of the tweets were original, the other half being split between @ replies and retweets
  • More than a third of all tweets on the hashtag contained a url; the top url was the Facebook giveaway
  • The combined Twitter following for the bloggers who participated formally in the campaign is 88,900.

The hashtag is still in active use; as of 10/9/2013 it had reached an additional 40K users and 300K timeline deliveries. Sponsors each received mentions of their content several times a month through December 2013.

Facebook 

The Back to Ski Facebook presence reached about 12,000 unique people during the campaign. 

Additional metrics for that same time period:

  • There were 366 total and 134 unique entries to the Rafflecopter Facebook giveaway
  • The combined Facebook following for the other blogs that participated formally in the campaign is 33,560 

The Mother of all Trips Facebook presence reached about 1,300 unique people during the campaign. During the week of the campaign Mara was talking almost exclusively about Back to Ski on the Mother of all Trips page, which had upwards of 1350 followers. This does not take into consideration the fact that Mara also shared these posts and conversation on her personal Facebook page, where she has almost an equal number of followers as on her blog page, most of them unique.

Since the campaign was also discussed on Facebook by numerous other bloggers, the number of total impressions can be extrapolated to be exponentially higher.

Blog posts

During September 2013 all of the participating Back to Ski blogs exclusive of the Back to Ski site received a combined total of approximately 260,000 page views and 114,400 unique visitors.

For a full report of the 2013 campaign, including screenshots, please contact Mara Gorman.

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