red-bull-online-video-case-studyRed Bull has created an incredibly powerful brand, largely through the use of online videos. Its YouTube channel grew by nearly 250,000 subscribers in January alone, taking it to a total of 1,452,411. Now if that’s not a successful brand, we don’t know what is.

But just how does Red Bull do it?

Fresh, Regular Content

Red Bull puts out a lot of content. It uploads several videos to YouTube every week, which provides a lot of exposure for the brand. The more videos there are, the more videos people will watch – and if people are exposed to a brand a lot, they’re more likely to remember it.

And with consistent content, Red Bull is able to grow its subscriber base consistently, meaning its reach spreads further and it draws in even more viewers.

Putting out so many videos also shows a commitment from the brand to give its viewers what they want, which – in Red Bull’s case – is high octane adventure videos. Which brings us to our next point…

Relevant Online Video Content

Red Bull knows its audience. It’s positioned its beverage as the go-to drink for people with a lot of energy who want to do awesome things. People who drink Red Bull are adrenaline junkies or, more importantly, they’re people who want to be adrenaline junkies.

To that end, the video content Red Bull puts out revolves around extreme sports, skateboarders, snow sports, and anything else with a dangerous edge to it. It also puts out a wide variety of videos, from short 30 second teasers to TV-length features, therefore appealing to a wide variety of users.

Epic web video Content

There are plenty of extreme sports videos circulating around the web. What Red Bull does better than the rest is create really epic videos.

Remember that time Felix Baumgartner skydived from the stratosphere? Yeah, so does everyone else.

To add to the epicness, the video was streamed live, creating a massive buzz around the internet and a moment everyone shared. Everyone was talking about it at the exact same time, which only heightened the effect.

Red Bull puts out videos that stand out from all the rest – they’re different, they’re bigger, and they’re better. And that’s how they get noticed. They take a huge amount of investment now but they have scaled to this point from humble beginnings. They were sponsoring local breakdance competitions in 2005:

All of Redbull’s videos make you want to share – they inspire awe

Shareable content goes hand-in-hand with epic content. There’s a reason everyone around the world watched the stratosphere jump live: everyone knew about it, because everyone talked about it.

If you create epic content and make it easy to share, then people will do so. YouTube is a widespread medium for sharing videos – everyone knows what it is, and everyone knows how it works, making YouTube the perfect foundation to build a viral video marketing strategy on.

Telling Stories
Telling stories is a key part of Red Bull’s video marketing success. Each video is a miniature story, and each one gives viewers something to relate to, something to connect to. And if viewers relate and connect to your video content, it has an emotional impact on them and gives the brand a sense of purpose.

Telling stories is the perfect way to form a real bond with your audience, because it shows that you are human – and that is what people relate to.

Here Parkour athlete Ryan Doyles explores Dubai in his own unique style:

Redbull gives back to the community

It’s abundantly clear when watching Red Bull videos that it gives back to its community. It funds, sponsors and invests in talented extreme sports athletes, giving them exposure and helping them build a career around what they love. The athletes’ names are always featured in the videos. Doing this not only provides Red Bull with the material it needs to put awesome videos together – it also shows its wider community (the people who watch the videos) that Red Bull is actively helping these athletes find their place in the world.

Here a 12-year-old nails the first ever skateboarding 1080:

No Overt Marketing; focus on brand association

It’s rare for Red Bull’s videos to actually feature its product – and it’s definitely never the main point. The emphasis is instead placed on the epic stunts the athletes are pulling off. Sure, the logo is featured on the clothes the athletes wear or on a backdrop behind a ramp, but that’s usually the extent of it. Sometimes a video will feature somebody grabbing a can of Red Bull towards the end – but the focus is always on the athletes and the incredible feats they accomplish. As seen in this video:

Building Loyalty

The theme that ties all of the above together is loyalty. Red Bull has been so successful because it’s built a brand that commands loyalty from its audience. Offering up regular, relevant, epic content for free shows that Red Bull is committed to giving its viewers what they want.

Telling stories gives Red Bull a humanity its viewers can relate to, which strengthens the bonds people feel towards the brand. Giving back to its community and resisting the temptation to make the actual product the focus of the videos is a more subtle way of connecting with the audience; it shows a certain respect towards the viewers, which in turn means the viewers respect the brand right back.

In short, the reason Red Bull is so successful is because it’s the king of online branded video content. It’s turned its brand into an experience, rather than a simple energy drink – and video is the ideal medium to accomplish this. Video can help form a highly engaged audience that shares content widely, because it so easily allows a bond to be formed with the audience.