Talk content marketing case studies with any consultant or big brand marketer right now and one name consistently comes up: GoPro. Yeah, the guys who make that cool camera that you can affix to pretty much anywhere that has captured some of the most amazing video on the web recently. What makes GoPro so successful?
Sure, they have a product that lends itself to a great story—through video. And yeah, they get TONS of user-generated content submitted on behalf of all the people that use their camera. But you know what? They could have come out and touted the features and benefits of the camera. They could have focused more on the product itself. They could have acted in a much more traditional way. But, they didn’t. And it has paid off. Big time. Just take a look at their newsroom—not your typical newsroom by media relations standards.
Instead of the usual list of press releases, logos to download and contact information (which, I guess, I’d still like to see), you get a heavy dose of top-shelf video with links to short blog-like posts and very truncated news releases sharing each news item. You also see their tweet stream, and a list of testimonials. Or, take a peek at their Facebook page. What do you see? I see an expert mix of promotional content (not too much) and user-generated content in the form of video and photos of the day—a regular series, as noted by the title.
Or, what about their YouTube channel? What is really their Holy Grail. 1.8 MILLION subscribers. That’s for a brand, folks. Not that subscriber counts are everything, but you typically don’t see those kinds of numbers for companies. By comparison: Starbucks has 28,000 subscribers; Old Spice has 411,000, and Audi has 420,000. Here’s why GoPro is brilliant. Sure, most of the videos on the channel are produced by the company. But, almost every single one of the videos is under 1:30 in length. You will NOT find any, rambling 5-plus minute brand videos here. Of course, the videos are incredible. My recent favorite is the guy wakeboarding in rain water in the ditch on the side of a country road–CRAZY !
But, what’s brilliant about GoPro is not all the videos are focused on these crazy, Red Bull-like adventures. Sure, there are a number of videos capturing crazy ski runs, surf boarders and the like, but there is also the amazing video of the firefighter bring the little kitten back to life.
Or, this video of two kids competing in a Soapbox Derby (um, who lets their kids ride in one of these soapbox things going what appears to be 20 mph about 2 inches off the ground!).
Or, what about this video of a grizzly bear literally almost eating a GoPro camera?
You can see what GoPro is doing here? They’re hitting different demographics. Parents. Extreme sports lovers. Sports lovers. Simple, but smart.
What about what GoPro is up to on Instagram? Again, huge numbers: 2 million-plus followers on the platform. But, more importantly, more smart content here from GoPro. Or, as it turns out, from their fans!
Follow them on Instagram, and you’ll see a steady stream of user-generated pics and videos. Love this recent pic that is not also their Facebook cover pic!
Way too many cool pics to share here. Worth a follow if you’re an IG addict like I am. But, they’re also smart about how they use the platform. In addition to casting the spotlight on all the great UGC they receive–they regularly SOLICIT IT. Case in point.
They also do a nice job utilizing IG video–as they did here highlighting The Weeknd’s concert footage (great foray into the music biz and as a way to target music fans using the #GoProMusic hash tag).
All in all, its pretty easy to see why GoPro is consistently held up as one of THE case studies when it comes to content marketing. Sure, they have a product that lends itself to this kind of stuff. But, like I said, they could have chose a different direction. Plenty of companies do. Focusing on the features and benefits of the product. GoPro decided to go a different way.
To show the experience of shooting video on its product.
To let its customers be its storytellers.
To let its customer define its brand for them.
That’s not something most brands are willing to do. But GoPro has embraced it full bore.
Kudos, GoPro. Kudos.