Have you experience trawling YouTube and stumbled across an online video about your favourite sport, or maybe it’s your favourite sportsman or sportswoman or athlete? You were amazed by a video that’s interesting, entertaining, shot well and film techniques have been employed to a pretty high standard. Then you spot a shot of the athlete or team members drinking a can of Red Bull.
It made you suddenly want to go out and buy a Red Bull. Because it showed how Red Bull can fit in with the lifestyle and ethos of these athletes and sportsman.
Welcome to the world of branded video content and social media product placement.
Red Bull the Marketing Genius
Initially, Red Bull distributed free cases of the drink to college students in an attempt at viral advertising. This strategy was wildly successful, resulting in the rapid proliferation of sales. Red Bull has since become known for its sleek marketing targeted at young urban professionals through various sports and entertainment based advertising campaigns.
The current mottoes, “Red Bull Gives You Wings,” and “No Red Bull, No Wings” are direct plays on the apparent stimulating properties of the beverage.
The Red Bull company distributes and markets a number of energy drinks including Simply Cola, the Carpe Diem range of herbal soft beverages and the Sabai Wine Spritzer.
Integrating video content and social media marketing demonstrates the company’s keen understanding of its target audience’s interests. Red Bull has been utilising original video content for web channels using YouTube channels, integrating it to Twitter, Facebook and the whole social sphere. The video content highlights sports athletes from around the world.
How Red Bull Does Its Content Marketing
Branded content is a huge area in social media at the moment but most brands get wrong by focusing on peppering their logo and branding over everything. Red Bull has a much better understanding of the subtle nature of this medium.
The key to branded content is creating something that people want to watch and share but at the same time something which fits in with the core values of the company’s brand.
A great example of branded content, which is a mash-up of advertising and entertainment, is Red Bull’s Art of Flight movie. It is essentially a snowboarding movie, backed by Red Bull and heavily endorsed with their brand logo. Nowhere in the film do they try to sell any of their products but the association is so strong that if you love the film you’ll almost feel an instant connection to the brand.
Branded content comes in many forms but video, audio, graphics and blogs are the creme de la creme as brands offer the consumer something more meaningful than competitions and promotions. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube fans have their positive response and love this. All these can be tied into a lead generation funnel simply by fans subscribing to the brand’s many platform.
Red Bull’s Winning Social Media Strategy
Red Bull is a sponsor of athletes in various extreme sports. Its focal marketing message, “Gives You Wings” fits well with visual content of athletes flying through the air on bikes or snowboards.
The brand’s most popular posts are extreme sports videos and photos, sometimes garnering thousands of re-shares onto the personal Facebook profiles of its fans. Many, but not all of these videos are of Red Bull’s own sponsored athletes from various sports arenas like parkour or playstation role playing.
Red Bull stays true to its tagline, “Gives You Wings” across all of the social platforms it uses. Infact they have a Twitter hashtag for #GivesYouWings. It turns out it’s something the brand is seeing used by consumers on Facebook, although it may have little value on the platform. In fact, a Red Bull spokesperson explained that the company has seen hashtags translate well across many platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest.
Its Facebook Page is among the top online properties. With more than 26.8 million “Likes” Red Bull’s Facebook Page ranks in the top 50 branded pages on the world’s largest social network.
Red Bull Media House
With quality content flowing through the top social sphere, it’s no surprise that the energy drink company also has its own media media company to fuel its content strategy. Red Bull’s social media team relies mostly on engagement metrics to measure success, and that, it has in spades.
The Red Bull Media House is the centre of the global Red Bull media network across all relevant media channels and products – online and offline. It offers a unique variety of media content in lifestyle, fun and sports. It holds business opportunities in fields of TV, Print, Mobile, Digital and Music and provides everyone with fresh and innovative media content.
Learning From Red Bull’s Success
What makes a brand stand out is how it transforms an audience into a community. Red Bull’s unique content reflects who it is as a media company and always focuses on its core message, making its posts shareable and bringing fans back for more.
There are a few tips that we could all learn from as we try to emulate Red Bull’s marketing success.
Keeping the message simple
We should choose one central message that ties our brand’s online and even offline efforts. Red Bull keeps its messaging simple with its “Gives You Wings” tagline. Other brands should do the same – after all, consumers are bombarded with messages all day long. Keep yours top of mind by making it simple and easy to remember and relate to.
Utilize the company’s strengths
A brand always play to its strengths by utilizing resources or connections its own company has. Red Bull, for example, uses the recommendations of its athletes to choose the videos it posts. This insider’s perspective is definitely not lost on fans.
Give audience what they want
Always keep an eye on what is resonating with your target market and use that information to your advantage. Every engagement tactic deserves some play time, but focus resources on the ones that really resonates with your audience.