The Red Bull Stratos world skydiving event on October 14, 2012 was more than a platform for Felix Baumgartner to set a new skydiving record. It was the latest well-executed move in an exceptional content marketing strategy from the Austrian energy drink company.
Forbes reported that more than 8 million YouTube viewers watched Baumgartner plummet 24 miles at a rate of over 830 miles per hour, free-falling to earth faster than the speed of sound and breaking the high-altitude skydiving world record. Those 8 million people, plus countless more who learned about the jump via the Internet, radio, print, and television coverage, now know the name Red Bull.
The Red Bull Stratos project illustrates how the Austrian-based energy drink company masters the ingredients of an effective content marketing strategy and provides valuable lessons for content marketers everywhere.
Short snappy headline: With just three words, Red Bull covers its company name and indicates what the event is about (jumping from the edge of the stratosphere). It is a short, snappy, easy-to-search, and easy-to-share keyword phrase.
Know your customer: Red Bull knows its customers are thrill-seeking, energy-driven, young, or young-at-heart. Red Bull Stratos appeals perfectly to this demographic. Adventurous and risk-taking, this event appealed to the target audience, capturing their attention quickly.
Reflect your brand, don’t sell it: Though the Red Bull logo appears several times during the YouTube video, viewers don’t have to suffer through a sales pitch. As with other Red Bull marketing content, the content comes first and the brand second. Red Bull sponsors extreme sporting events that align with their customers’ interests, and effectively puts their brand in front of the customer’s face without annoying in-your-face selling techniques.
Create content people want to share: The Red Bull Stratos event was an excellent example of exciting and entertaining content that people want to share, and they did. According to the British newspaper The Telegraph, 40 broadcast networks across 50 countries covered Baumgartner’s jump. It generated more than 3 million tweets.
Design a comprehensive content strategy: The Red Bull Stratos event didn’t occur in a vacuum. It was the latest in a long list of creative content produced by the energy drink company. The marketing arm of the company, RedBull Media House, consistently produces a variety of high-quality, engaging content as part of its comprehensive content strategy. From keeping up with its Formula One racing team, to providing content coverage of mountain biking, sailing, and running competitions, each element fits together to encourage consumers to read its content, share it, build its brand, and ultimately buy its products.
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