Red Bull: The Poster Child of Content Marketing

Red Bull: The Poster Child of Content Marketing

80 mg of caffeine, 100 mg of taurine, 600 mg of glucuronolactone – ah well that’s the content in a Red Bull drink.

First drink was sold in 1987 Austria. After 30 years, 169 countries and more than 60 billion cans, the company is world’s most recognizable and profitable energy drink – with a premium price tag and a not-so-good taste.

Recently every marketing blog and conference seems to mention Red Bull as an example of brilliant marketing strategy – encouraging clients to follow in their footsteps.

Wondering why? Because Red Bull Gives You Wings.

 

But It’s not in the content of their drink. It’s all about their Content Marketing.

Red Bull sends a 40-year-old male in stratosphere – tells him to jump out of a helium balloon from a height of 120,000 ft – free falling at the speed of sound.

As you probably know what they say about going that extra mile. Well Red Bull went 23 extra miles in the vertical direction all for the sake of creating content!

Content provided by Red Bull is thrilling, engaging – tells an incredible story and leaves you wanting for more.

They’re a storytelling brand and own the realm of passion.

Whether it’s about music, gaming or action sports – these areas have cultures, stories and stars. Red Bull is paying a huge amount of respect to these audiences.

The brand is not treating customers like demographics but like the passionate people they are.

Mainstream media wasn’t good enough for filming and photographing these areas, so they took the ownership of it. With Red Bull Media House and Red Bulletin magazine they professionalize in their media operations.

 

If you consider the origin of Red Bulletin, the uncompromising effort of Red Bull in generating quality content is evident.

The brand was sponsoring Formula One racing back in year 2005. They wanted to deliver the results of the event immediately after the race through their printed guides.

They curated information about the drivers and facts about the races, then pre-printed the magazine in bulk ahead of time. They also brought a printing press to the track and as soon as the race was over, they quickly printed the result and distributed it along with the magazines as the attendees were leaving the race.

Red Bull is a publishing empire now which also happens to sell energy drink.

If we can learn something from them – the only way to do content marketing is to be a story.

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Content Marketing: You Learn From The Best

Content Marketing: You Learn From The Best

Content has been ever-present but marketing has been about interruption in recent times. They interrupt you while you’re watching a TV or reading a magazine – and the bane of a good mood, those irrelevant company calls.

At first these desperate attempts were good at gaining attention, but what did the brands do with it once they were successful? It just hung there like the advertisements.

Earlier we had few channels and limited source of information. Now it’s an age where science and art are fused in a single honey: content and internet.

There are billions of people online and numerous sources of information. In a crazy and loud market like this quality is the only thing that can differentiate you.

The veil of illusion has been lifted off and people know when they’re being marketed to. Nobody cares about your product – people are trying to solve their own problems.

This direct situation opens up a new dimension for marketing. You don’t need to get through your customers, they’re already open to you.

But the moment you talk about your brand they’ll shut you out. Like a decent human being, your product has to be about more than just itself.

Trust is earned by sharing stories and our job is to uphold that trust. Your story should hold a promise of something valuable, and you need to deliver on that value.

John Deere's The Furrow

Along with the content – content marketing has also been there forever. The first ads really were the content offering value and solution. At some point we got sidetracked and started to talk about ourselves instead of connecting with customers.

If not the oldest, one of the best examples of content marketing is John Deere’s magazine The Furrow.

John Deere is an American manufacturer of agricultural equipment. Its magazine, The Furrow provides information to farmers on how to turn more profit.

Articles in The Furrow are neutral to the point where you may wonder whether this is really John Deere’s magazine. It recognized the need for customers to have an unbiased source of information. Anything that farmers can use to improve their operations makes it into The Furrow.

If you look at the entire history of the magazine, you’ll not find the words “John Deere” mentioned more than around 20 times and that’s going back about 120 years.

Procter & Gamble are yet another example of brilliant content marketing strategy. Imagine a soap company trying to sell more soap, how’re they going to do it?

They asked questions like ‘who are we targeting?’ Women! ‘What are their problems?’ They’re trying to build a household, their life is hectic and lacks entertainment.

So when they’re taking a break why not give them something they can relate to, narratives and characters that are meaningful to these individuals. It will be so immersive, they’re going to come back tomorrow.

This is how the “soap operas” came into existence. Procter & Gamble hired production houses to hire actors and writers, and then never interfered or put any directives. They let artists do their best to create something authentic.

They didn’t try and sell their story – they simply chose to tell their story.

Business Unusual

And finally we’re returning to our roots. Marriot is an example of this change.

They’re openly saying that they’re a media company and their goal is to be the leading informational provider in the travel industry.

Marriot launched a global creative and content marketing studio solely for this purpose. Their focus is on developing content: digital projects, TV projects, film projects and even animation.

It becomes ugly when you put your logo on the screen and pause it for like 10 seconds. When you let creators do what they do best, things will start to look and sound real instead of being real-time.

Marriot is setting up an example, this shows when you can’t rely on media you’ve to become the media.

You naturally see it in the environment when it’s more like a culture than a program. Programs are boring and they die off after a certain time period. Whereas cultures thrive.

If you consider the case of all these successful content marketers, we can connect the dots on certain important points.

Being specific and relevant: find a niche or create a niche or find a niche within a niche but most importantly target your audience.

Deciding a content style: textual, visual or audio.

Sharing the content with consistency: weekly or daily.

And no matter what you sell, don’t be just B2B or B2C when you can always be P2P: connecting person to person and people to people.