Six-year-old Red Bull Media House has over 135 full-time publishing house employees. They’ve produced 105 videos with at least 1 million views on YouTube. Their 2011 film, The Art of Flight, topped the iTunes charts. And those are just a few marketing milestones.
Walking through their Santa Monica facility at a breakfast meeting recently, I was visually reminded of Red Bull’s shrewd choice to market their brand using “pull marketing” techniques. Contently cites the opportunity for other companies to learn from Red Bull’s strategies:
Just as Red Bull capitalized on the lack of media attention to extreme sports there are other opportunities for brands to fill gaps in the content universe.
There are myriad topics with hungry audiences but nobody creating a consistent amount of high-quality content. It’s on brands to locate those opportunities. In doing so, brands would be smart to remember their advantages as publishers:
- They have no need to sell advertising, besides their own branding, which allows them to offer their audience a cleaner and superior experience
- They can run at a loss while still delivering a net profit
- They can leverage the large, built-in social followings that many top CPC brands enjoy
Taking a Leading Role in Branded Media Content Marketing
Red Bull Media House - No media company on earth owns the extreme sports space like Red Bull, and more than any other company, they represent the full potential of brand publishing, capitalizing on nearly every multimedia channel available.
Contently outlines Red Bull’s successful, content oriented approach in the PDF “How Storytelling is Transforming CPC” (Consumer Packaged Content):
On the surface, Red Bull’s approach isn’t particularly ground breaking. It identified its core consumer and asked: What do they want? What do they like? Well, they like extreme sports and action.
Lots of brands get to this point. The difference between Red Bull and most brands, though, is that it got to this point and decided to create the vehicle through which its core customers consume the things they love.
Red Bull Media House lives up to its name; there’s a whole family of media sub-brands driving Red Bull’s content marketing operation. The company’s magazine, The Red Bulletin, is available online, via an iPad app, and through a print magazine that boasts around 5 million paid subscribers. Red Bull even has a film studio and a record label.
The marketing strategy that has worked best for us is not to publish our strategies,” said a Red Bull representative. But it’s not difficult to decode and see how the blueprint can be applied by other CPC brands. It can be summarized in a sentence: Determine what your audience wants, and give it to them better than anyone else.
Feature Film Trailer: The Art of Flight
Print: The Red Bulletin
Mobile Gaming: Red Bull X-Fighters
Sporting Events - Captured on Media:
Formula One, plane racing, snowboarding, cycling, and more…
Music: Music school and month long event - Music Academy
Content Marketing - Defining a Publishing Model Strategy
The need to produce original marketing content creates similar challenges for new businesses and established brands. Jeff Bullas writes about the difficulties companies face when adopting a branded content marketing model:
Its pull rather than push marketing
Entertain and educate first and sell second
You don’t talk about your product
You must think and act like a publisher not an advertiser
You operate in real time
Need different resources
Needs a different culture
Publishing branded content and embracing this new marketing approach means:
Re-allocation of company resources
Re-educating the team
Changing the culture
Adapting to a mobile content world
Understanding re-purposing of content
Developing an integrated mindset
Creating “conversations around the brand” not about the brand
What Can Your Business Learn from Red Bull?
Here are a few strategies to consider and apply:
Learn to entertain first
Build an audience for your content and the sales will come
Create conversations around your brand
No one wants to talk about a drink but they will talk about music, share amazing photos and embed videos that are epic!
Learn to monetize your content
Red Bull licenses some of their images, sells movies and charges to read their magazine
Create a focused and powerful content strategy
Red Bull set up a separate media company to publishing their awesome content
Understand the importance of mobile
Red Bull has developed apps, games and platforms that work on a variety of devices
Quality is very important, but you need quality and quantity too
Red Bull is “everywhere”! Look around.
Mashable said: “Red Bull is a publishing empire that just happens to sell a beverage."
Red Bull is the most popular energy drink in the world with 5.387 billion cans sold in 2013. Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz was inspired by an energy drink invented in Thailand. He took the idea, modified the ingredients and in partnership with Chaleo Yoovidhya, founded Red Bull GmbH in 1987.