Red Bull is one of the most popular brands on social media. How they pulled it off is an inspiring social media case study. Discover Red Bull’s secrets to being the energetic brand with the incredible video and social media marketing.
Social media case study: Red Bull
Unlike other brands, Red Bull rarely advertises its energy drink on social media. Instead, their social media marketing efforts are focused on the various sporting activities and events they sponsor. They also regularly feature the careers of both sponsored and unsponsored athletes in its social media content.
The different marketing approach has proven successful for the brand, as they have a large following on social media. YouTube is where they have their largest fan base, with more than 6.4 million subscribers. This has made it the 6th most popular brand on the video streaming site.
One of Red Bull’s most popular uploads is Red Bull Stratos, featuring Felix Baumgartner’s 39-kilometer freefall from space in 2012.
The video has since attracted a staggering 42.5 million views.
How Red Bull succeeded on YouTube
The popularity of the Red Bull Stratos video is a testament to the effectiveness of the brand’s marketing strategy on YouTube. The core of this strategy lies in getting its audience to experience the same thrills that athletes enjoy through the videos shared.
To better sell those experiences, Red Bull creates an engaging narrative for each video. In this video featuring Danny MacAskill, that narrative centers on revisiting one’s childhood dreams.
Red Bull takes this strategy further and goes on to provide more insights into the lives of the athletes it features. Aside from highlighting their feats, the brand also presents the various trials and challenges that they go through to achieve success. This allows the audience to relate more to these sports personalities and connect to the experience they are sharing in the videos.
Red Bull doesn’t just do single video features. The brand also has several original series under its Red Bull TV banner:
- Who is JOB: Featuring pro surfer Jamie O’Brien.
- MX Nation: A behind-the-scenes tour of the pro motocross circuit.
- The Book of John J: Featuring snowboarder John Jackson.
All these shows further immerse the audience into the exciting lives of athletes.
A different approach to YouTube branding.
One noticeable thing about Red Bull’s YouTube channel is that its energy drink products rarely appear on screen. Instead, its brand visibility comes primarily in the form of its logo seen on the uniforms worn by the athletes, and banners displayed at the sporting events it sponsors. The last branding is a logo watermarked at the bottom of each video.
To further establish brand recall, Red Bull ensures that it has a steady stream of videos to engage its audience. The brand posts almost daily, sometimes posting several videos in a single day. This gives its viewers plenty of content to watch, making subscribing to them even more valuable.
Why Red Bull is a hit on Twitter
Red Bull’s main Twitter account mostly features the same subject matter as its YouTube channel. Red Bull are sure to tweet stories that are distinct from those on its other social media accounts, such as this one.
— Red Bull (@redbull) October 15, 2014
Red Bull also keeps its Twitter accounts dynamic. It regularly changes things like bios, cover images, and pinned tweets, adding visual interest and drawing more attention. The changes are also typically done to match the current campaigns Red Bull is running. This increases awareness for the featured campaign.
Engaging more audiences
Owing to the large variety of sports and sporting events that it features, Red Bull has a diverse audience to cater to. To better capture that audience, the brand also maintains related accounts that focus on specific genres, including:
- @RedBullesports: Dedicated to the esports scene.
- @RedBullTV: The account for its online sports channel.
- @RedBullRacing: The official account of its Formula One racing team.
They even have regional accounts for specific countries. Each of these accounts creates content that their specific audiences would be interested in.
To keep its Twitter followers continuously engaged, Red Bull has made it a habit to respond to the mentions on the platform. The brand responds to the comments in a lighthearted manner, showing the energetic persona that it is associated with. Red Bull’s Twitter replies are also some of the few instances where it gets to directly promote its product.
— Red Bull (@redbull) October 30, 2017
Even in such promotions, the brand still keeps its persona intact. Using humor in your social media marketing is a sure way to connect with your audience.
How Red Bull conquered Instagram
Keeping in line with its brand philosophy of bringing the excitement to its audience, Red Bull ensures that it always has interesting stories to tell on Instagram. They also create compelling captions to tell more about the stories behind the content they post on the platform.
To further get followers interested, Red Bull tags the people, places, and even brands that appear in its posts. This encourages discussions about the tagged subjects, and increases engagements with their content.
Creating more exciting content
Red Bull also leveraged its partnership with GoPro to enhance its Instagram. The deal has the brands joining together to create content for Red Bull’s sponsored events. GoPro’s influence can be seen in the dynamic first-person perspective shots incorporated in Red Bull’s Instagram videos, such as this one.
The energy drink brand also reaches out to influencers from the various sporting fields, like extreme sports, for building its Instagram library. This is not limited to athletes. Red Bull also connects with people like adventure sports photographer Christian Pondella.
Aside from collaborating on the actual content, Red Bull also regrams the content created by influencers, strengthening its association with them.
What you can learn from Red Bull’s social media success
In all of its images and videos on social media, Red Bull always emphasizes the image of energy and athleticism. This serves as the core of the brand identity that it has built around itself both online and offline.
That identity ties in well with its energy drink product, illustrating the kind of boost that consumers can get from drinking Red Bull. The association allowed the brand to promote its product without a direct sales pitch to its audience.
Clearly defining your brand’s identity will help you develop content that best represents your products. From there, use effective branding strategies and tools like Devumi’s YouTube Views to spread the identity further. This will make it stick in the public’s consciousness longer.
Know your audience well
Having a clear understanding of your audience will help you connect with and bring your brand to them. Red Bull knows that many of its customers are also sports fans. Hence, its social media content is centered on the subject. It also knows the excitement that its audience has for these sports, emphasizing that idea further in its content.
Red Bull’s knowledge of its audience also lets it recruit brand ambassadors from their ranks. This is an important strategy you should incorporate. Brand ambassadors allow you to initiate an effective word-of-mouth campaign that will increase your reach. They actively push for this type of content using contests and hashtags:
Know how to leverage influencers effectively
Red Bull has a unique approach to using social media influencers. Instead of having popular athletes directly endorse its energy drinks, Red Bull simply lets them do what they do. Through extensive branding techniques, such as sponsorships, Red Bull ensures that its logo is always visible in the activities that these athletes do. The strategy strengthens the brand’s association with sports culture and cements its identity in the eyes of consumers.
You might not have the resources to offer sponsorships to influencers, but you can still reach out to them in a variety of ways. By selecting the ones that your audience can best relate to, you can more effectively promote your products through them.
To further maintain your brand identity and better connect with your audience, being authentic is vital. Red Bull showcases this by actively engaging its audience on social media and genuinely sharing their enthusiasm for sports.
#Repost @danielricciardo: Mexico I still got a lot of love for you regardless of the outcome of my weekend. You're still great and the energy surrounding that place is something else. A couple congrats from my side, first to Max and the rest of the team on a dominant win. Second to Lewis on his 4th title. Kept your cool all year. See y'all in Brazil ✌🏼#MexicoGP #RedBullRacing #F1 #DanielRicciardo
By establishing a strong bond with their audience over similar interests, Red Bull has effortlessly used social media to promote their brand.
Be like Red Bull and energize your social media marketing
Red Bull clearly knows its way around social media. It established itself as the premier sports energy drink by effectively conveying that image through its exciting content. This has helped create a dedicated fan base of not just their product, but also their content.
The single piece of information that you need to take away from this is that your content ideas will always be the most important aspect of your social media marketing.