Social marketing has brought about an abundance of creativity from some brands, with some creating viral content and amazing overall campaigns.
We’ve seen the invention of everything from the Old Spice Man and Real Beauty Sketches from Dove. One brand that has mastered social marketing early on is Red Bull.
Red Bull has grasped social marketing in a unique way that has directly impacted their business in big ways.
We’re going to take a look at 4 different things Red Bull can teach us about social marketing so that you can adapt their strategies to fit your business wherever possible.
It’s undeniable: Red Bull marketers have amazing content campaigns, and they’ve found a way to promote their product and build a brand without spamming the heck out of users with post after post of artfully-posted pictures of their product.
1. How to Recruit Brand Ambassadors
Brand advocates and brand ambassadors can play an important part in promoting your brand. Word of mouth marketing is often significantly more influential than any branded, “traditional” marketing businesses distribute themselves. Brand advocates are loyal, raving fans of your product, and they’ll happily spread the word of how amazing you and your product is.
Red Bull is currently recruiting college students to become brand ambassadors in one seriously genius move. They’re recruiting members of their target audience—college students who are famous for being caffeine addicts—to promote the product on their campuses.
The student brand managers are responsible for:
Driving the brand image on campus
Promoting the product
Introducing other students to the product for a “lifetime” of loyalty
By doing this, they’re placing excited, enthusiastic advocates in the middle of their target audience, getting amazing word of mouth marketing. With students searching everywhere just to land an unpaid internship for work experience, this is a powerful opportunity that gives “management” and “marketing” experience.
Everything about how they’re recruiting brand ambassadors- and benefiting from them- is kind of genius.
2. How to Encourage & Utilize UGC
Just as brand ambassadors are important, UGC is everything in social marketing. Many consumers believe that user generated content is the most authentic form of marketing brands use. Many prefer UGC from their peers instead of content from industry influencers.
Red Bull regularly encourages the creation and sharing of UGC across all of their social media channels. This provides them with an enormous library of content from users that they can utilize at any time.
They’ve created their brand around an active, sports-heavy, exciting lifestyle. With the content at hand, it’s easy to get users submitting endless streams of content. Everyone from surfers to skateboarders to professional divers will jump at the chance to show off their new tricks. Add in a potential prize, or maybe being featured by an enormous corporation? It’s not a surprise they get the amount of engagement that they do.
Unlike most brands- and most recommendations- Red Bull doesn’t always attach a hashtag to all of their posts. They use specific hashtags for specific contests to track the UGC. While this is effective for them, I recommend that most brands still focus on a single branded hashtag.
3. How to Use Influencer Marketing
Though customers trust UGC the most, influencers still have their place in marketing. Red Bull has done an incredible job with their influencer marketing campaigns.
One of the biggest assets of their influencer marketing is that they feature content that showcases a number of diverse but extremely talented athletes. They feature divers, bikers, freerunners, and racers all across their social posts. Many of these athletes are famous or semi-famous in their fields, and are either sponsored by Red Bull or at events sponsored by Red Bull. This means the branding will probably pop up somewhere in the image.
Influencers aren’t a substitute for UGC, but they can expand your visibility and reach extremely quickly. Influencer marketing can generate massive short term attention, which can increase new followers and get a lot of attention on a campaign. You can use this to launch new campaigns or to keep their momentum going, which Red Bull has consistently done.
4. How to Sell a Product Without a Sales Pitch
Starbucks can drive huge sales by sharing images on Instagram of their holiday coffee cups and their pumpkin-flavored everything, but this isn’t always an option for other brands. Red Bull successfully promotes their product without putting the focus on their product through a sales pitch. They’re focused on their audience, and their marketing campaigns are exceptionally effective because of it and not in spite of it. This keeps the focus on their brand, which benefits the brand directly.
Red Bull consistently tags influencers, sometimes tagging both influencers and photographers.
Red Bull is able to do this so effectively because they understand who their audience is and what types of content they want to see. They focus on content and their audience instead of their own product. They make sure that their audience will find their content and social posts engaging. As long as they’ve got their branding somewhere on it, they’ll benefit from it. Having their logo in the background of a really cool image is much more beneficial than having their product be the focus.
Red Bull shares images of sponsored athletes or sponsored events, which means their branding is somewhere in the picture.
Ultimately, they’re creating a community around their brand, which creates brand advocates and loyal, raving fans. This helps them promote their product indirectly, but much more effectively.
Red Bull has always had strong social campaigns, and that positive effect has sustained for years. By keeping their momentum going and continually adapting to new marketing trends, they’re able to stay ahead of the curve. Add in some creativity and a strong understanding of their audience, and you’ve got the social marketing maverick that Red Bull is today.
What do you think about the 4 things Red Bull teach us about social marketing? Which strategy will you adapt from Red Bull to benefit your business? Which do you think would benefit you the most, and which do you already use? Share your thoughts in the comments below!