Three characteristics of Red Bull's social media content strategy (2023)

Red Bull has become almost as synonymous with sports, music and stunts as it has with energy drinks.

The brand has taken the world by storm with a combination of sports team ownership, sponsorships and partnerships powered by its globally distributed multi-platform media company, Red Bull Media House.

In 2014, the then managing director of Red Bull Media HouseWerner Brell explains, "what we do must always come with some kind of salary, be it advertising, licensing or co-production deal". In other words, Red Bull's media house is effectively subsidizing some of its own branding and advertising (or vice versa, however you want to think about it).

Red Bull media housefocuses on sports, culture and lifestyle content across TV, digital, audio and print, producing and licensing a wide range of global live events, compelling and inspirational local storytelling with original programming of short, feature and full-length films and Films from around the world the world.

Fueled by its media house and ownership of sports teams and events, Red Bull has managed to blur the lines between entertainment and marketing.

Red Bull distributes much of its content via social media and that is the focus of this article; to see what tactics and strategies the energy drink brand is employing to quench their audience's thirst for high-octane content.

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Red Bull's mandate extends beyond sport to encompass music, culture and lifestyle, and this breadth of interests creates broad appeal in its target market.

Red Bull has multiple social media accounts covering its own sports teams (e.g. Aston Martin Red Bull Racing), sports in which it has collaborated with athletes (e.g. Red Bull Snowboarding or Surfing) and its music accounts ( eg Red Bull Music Academy, which closed last year).

Taking the brand's Formula 1 team as an example, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing's social accounts are among the most active alongside the brand's main social accounts, with millions of followers across all major social platforms and a lot of follower engagement. This is particularly common on Twitter, where F1 enthusiasts can start discussions or join in conversations with the brand.

The same goes for Red Bull Music Academy, a platform spanning radio, print and digital designed for emerging artists and fans. as Ed Gilletthe writesfür O Quieto:

“In doing so, RBMA came closer than most to achieving the best that a brand-funded music platform could achieve. It's clear that his team and collaborators cared deeply about the creative culture being nurtured within him; Ease of branding and funding separate from click-through rates or advertising coercion allowed this culture to exist as an end in itself rather than being constrained by the immediate need to sell energy drinks.”

In the world of soccer, though, RB Leipzig is Red Bull's 11-year-old soccer teamfaced setbacksIn his introduction to German football, he exemplifies Red Bull's willingness to push the boundaries of what a brand is capable of and the types of content it can produce.

"I hope that#Tottenhamthereafter#round of 16Do you know who we are!"@TimoWernermi@yussufyuraryin the previous conversation#Champions League-cracker ????

Alle Videos????

— RB Leipzig (@DieRotenBullen)February 17, 2020

Red Bull's social content is also driven by its partnerships with athletes. Exclusive YouTube series like "Who is JOB?" (adapted from professional surfer James O'Brien) are effective tools to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at an athlete's life by showcasing the athlete's branding and popularity Use to reach audience segments in a way that feels authentic.

The raw, unfiltered nature of some of their documentaries helps Red Bull showcase their athletes in ways even traditional sports brands can't, and further demonstrates the effort and risk they are willing to produce content.

Interestingly, Red Bull claims sodoes not accept applicationsof people looking for sponsors, indicating the brand is selective about which athletes to partner with and content to co-produce, and that confidence extends to its use of Red Bull technology.

In conversation with FIPP, CEO of Red Bull Media House for TV, publishing and operations, commented that Red Bull Media House is "very aware that they need to push the boundaries of technology to continue delivering innovative ideas and platform experimentation," an attitude that a brand that understands that their content delivery needs to be dynamic in order to continue to thrive.

Video is everything

The most important thing that strikes you about Red Bull's approach to social content is its reliance on video. Virtually every post on his various social accounts is a video.

Red Bull's main channel on YouTube has more than 9 million subscribers, with another 3.9 million on its smaller channels. You'll find mini-series, short documentaries, longer video content and live streaming events across motorsports, surfing, music, gaming and winter sports.

On Instagram, Red Bull shares similar content, but in a much shorter form, with creative ways to repurpose the content.

Red Bull’s most famous video was of course his world record.”space jump' with Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner in 2012. The event was broadcast live on YouTube and attracted2.6 million mentions on social networksDuring the day.

It could be argued that Red Bull and Felix' Space Jump paved the way for livestream brand activations like Nike's Breaking 2, where sports brand followed Eliud Kipchoge's attempts to break the las dos en punto marathon barrier.

Using the Red Bull perspective in videos is another clever way for the brand to bring their sponsored events to life this timeYour partnership with GoPro, which started in 2016.

The brand has experimented with GoProPoint-of-View-Videos, high-quality 360-degree photos and close-ups of the action on their social channels; Diversifying the type of content consumers expect and providing fans in the front row of what's happening.

Red Bull's Air Race, Soap Box Race and Rampage are among the brand-sponsored events that take viewers to their live streams or post-event content and are great places to look for Red Bull video usage.

product (or lack of)

Although Red Bull still traditionally advertises that wayTV commercialsFor its energy drinks and humorous print ads, Red Bull does very little product marketing on its profiles. You'll occasionally see a can of their famous energy drink (see below), but you'll never see a post explicitly selling it, or its benefits and taste.

The brand has chosen to place its distinctive logo and branding colors on everything from its athletes' apparel, props and equipment to the vehicles used in its many land, air and sea races. Red Bull is obviously seeing the big picture by promoting its brand codes without having to add a can of soda.

Take Red Bulls Organics drink for example.Released in 2018to offer its consumers a "100% natural and certified organic" soft drink, Organics will be difficult to find on an official social media account.

This would surprise most other FMCG brands that use social media as a vehicle to drive interest and sales for their new products.

Red Bull Media Network CEO Gerrit Meier perfectdescribes the brandsay, “We don't believe in traditional marketing; We don't do big TV commercials, we never have... we believe that events and great content can activate us and that's what we love to spend our money on. Doing that and having brand relevance absolutely keeps driving the core business. But now we also do a lot of things that make you think, “Wow, that has nothing to do with branding”, but it still generates good content.

Red Bull isn't like most other FMCG brands and the lack of a social media presence for a new product shouldn't come as a surprise. The brand seems to resist using social media as a transactional channel, instead using social reach to communicate its essence and the great content that makes the brand famous.

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