Today, Red Bull executed one of the most amazing social media marketing campaigns… period: Red Bull Stratos.
For those of you who haven’t been following along, Stratos was a world record attempt by daredevil Felix Baumgartner at breaking 4 world records including highest free fall, fastest free fall, longest free fall, and highest manned balloon flight. In the end, he successfully jumped from a capsule carried to the edge of space by a balloon, roughly 128,000 feet (39km) above the earth. When in free fall, he broke the speed of sound travelling at a maximum velocity of 1,136km/hour. Needless to say, this was an incredible feat.
If you would like further information about this amazing project, check out the Red Bull Stratos official website or their official Twitter profile @RedBullStratos for the most up-to-date information.
Another amazing accomplishment of Stratos was its social media and digital marketing program that ran concurrently with the preparation and live coverage of the actual jump. This program will undoubtedly continue for some time that will yield all sorts of amazing content. From the day I saw the first promotional video for Stratos, to yesterday’s amazing live coverage of Felix’s jump, I’ve been blown away by this program from a marketing, advertising and content creation standpoint, and now want to share a few lessons we can learn from this program.
Following are 6 of the key lessons that can be learned from the Red Bull Stratos social media and digital program:
1 – PRE-PROMOTION
WHAT RED BULL DID: Red Bull did an excellent job promoting Stratos with videos documenting the history of the records that Felix was attempting to break, documentation of Felix’s preparation, a website providing information on the technology being used to break these records, and on.
HOW YOU CAN APPLY THIS: Pre-promote, pre-promote, pre-promote. Nobody will know what you are doing, or what you’re all about without promoting it. When you invest in pre-promotions, when your event, product, or service launches, you’ll have a pre-built audience waiting to get involved in your activity, and you’ll have a much better chance of ensuring its success.
2 – ABUNDANT, HIGH-QUALITY CONTENT
WHAT RED BULL DID: If you know anything about Red Bull, you know they make energy drinks, and amazing, awe inspiring content, and Stratos has not disappointed. The pre-promotion and preparation videos have been excellent and captivating. The Stratos Twitter profile has been pumping out compelling updates including Twit Pics and Instagram shots from test flights, various preparations, briefings, and the actual event. And the live stream on YouTube shattered viewership records.
HOW YOU CAN APPLY THIS: Find opportunities to create strategically relevant, high-quality, engaging content in everything that you do. Also, think divergently about who might be interested in different types of content that you can produce. A behind the scenes look at your business operation won’t attract millions of views like a Red Bull video, but it might be interesting to future employees and help to cut your recruitment costs. There are numerous opportunities for content creation for any business, you just need to be creative with identifying content opportunities, and how you will ultimately use that content for your benefit.
3 – PLATFORM SPECIFIC CONTENT
WHAT RED BULL DID: During every phase of preparation leading up to the big jump, Red Bull created content that was specifically designed for each of their social platforms. Tweets were to the point and packed with a re-Tweet worthy stat, statement or quote. Facebook posts were visual in nature, but took advantage of the added real estate for copy to give more in-depth analysis or commentary related to the picture. Blog posts were longer form content that gave in-depth coverage of the event for interested fans.
HOW YOU CAN APPLY THIS: Avoid creating one update for Twitter and simply reposting it to Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and other social media platforms. Craft your content to be optimized for each of your social media and digital properties and you’ll be rewarded with higher interaction and engagement rates.
4 – INVESTMENT
WHAT RED BULL DID: They had an unbelievable idea, and invested… big time. In a case like this, a monumental investment was necessary because a man’s life was at stake, but they invested heavily in all of the periphery and supporting communications and content creation for Stratos.
HOW YOU CAN APPLY THIS: When you have an incredible idea for content creation, social media or digital marketing, make the most of it and give it the best chance of being a success by investing what’s necessary to make it amazing. I’m not suggesting that you throw your money away – you wouldn’t do that even if I suggested it – but just make sure that your ideas are supported sufficiently enough to realize your vision. Your consumers will reward you for it with views, likes, follows, shares, comments, affinity, and on.
5 – COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
WHAT RED BULL DID: Through preparations for the jump and the live coverage of the jump itself, Red Bull involved their community on an ongoing basis. They answered numerous questions on Twitter, allowed their community to ask Felix questions during the post-jump press conference, and created a consumer promotion to allow fans to guess where Felix would touch down after his jump.
HOW YOU CAN APPLY THIS: Involve your community with your brand to give people a reason to stay interested in what you are doing. This also will work toward building brand affinity and loyalty. Further to this, consumers will have the sense that they are building a relationship with the brand, and people behind it, which is really a primary goal all social media marketers should have.
6 – STORYTELLING
WHAT RED BULL DID: From beginning to end, Red Bull wrapped Stratos in a compelling story of passing the torch from the old veteran to the young adventurer. In this case Joe Kittinger, the former world record holder of all records Stratus aimed to break, served as a primary consultant and supporter to Felix Baumgartner. Through the course of Stratos, Felix and Joe’s relationship was featured as strong support to the actual jump and served as a human-interest story that drew us all in.
HOW YOU CAN APPLY THIS: Tell a compelling story online and through social media that is inherently related to your brand. This will draw people to your brand, have the ability to create an emotional bond that didn’t previously exist, and give them a reason to return for more information, details, or the next chapter.
If you haven’t been following along with Stratos, I urge you to check it out as it was a tremendously executed digital and social media marketing program, and resulted in truly awe-inspiring content.
What did you think about Red Bull Stratos?
Were you following along from the beginning?
What did you think or feel when you saw Felix step out of the capsule and plummet toward Earth?
What Stratos-related content do you hope to see from Red Bull in the coming days and weeks?
It would be great to hear from you in the comments or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Photo Credit: Red Bull’s Facebook Page