I love seeing young, new companies do exciting and innovative things online. I especially love seeing young, new ski companies doing these things.
Brand new ski company, Bluehouse Skis is trying to make a name for themselves in the skiing industry and they are doing it exactly the right way. Instead of taking out a full page ad in Powder mag for around $30,000, they have gone the more grassroots method. They have contacted college ski clubs and offered discounts in return for an email blast. This is a win win win situation. The ski club will have something awesome to give out to their fans. Bluehouse Skis will be able to sell some product, even if the margin is not very high with the discount. And, Bluehouse Skis will have people using their product, so on the mountain they will have advertising in the form of people using their skis and raving about them (hopefully).
While this is really smart, it is not the “new & innovative” thing that I am talking about. What I am talking about is a link contest that Bluehouse skis is hosting. The contest is that if you post a link to Bluehouse skis using one of their banners you are entered to win a pair of their skis. Why is this so smart? Because not only are they getting people excited about the company, but this contest will be great for SEO. Instead of paying a few thousand dollars (minimum) for someone to go and make some minor adjustments to their meta data and keywords and post a few links here and there, they are getting a ton of inbound links for free.
It seems that more and more people are utilizing giving out product in return for marketing. This has been exemplified on Twitter over and over with retweet contests in return for product, has been seen on Facebook with contests that auto populate content onto your stream and I am sure has been done on other social networks time and again.
Thanks Bluehouse skis for being innovative online marketers!