Brands as Stories

How GoPro's content strategy targets creative consumers

GoPro are the new gold standard in content marketing, usurping Red Bull as the content marketing industry’s current favourite case study – but why?

You could point to the fact their mini video cameras built for attaching to yourself or your equipment are perfectly suited to the high-octane, show-off culture of extreme sports – a market Red Bull had pretty much to itself until recently - but that’s a little too simplistic.

The product is undoubtedly brilliant; easy to use, future-proof, affordable and it lends itself to telling a great story, but it’s the way they’ve embraced letting their customers take control of the brand that really makes them stand out.

When we at Truth think about content marketing and how brands tell their stories to the greatest effect, we consider a phenomenon we call ‘creative consumers’. These are consumers who are now used to claiming ownership of brands and culture through social media and they’re an incredibly powerful tool for brands who can harness them to create new consumers. 

 

Look at GoPro’s hugely successful Facebook page with over 20m fans, or their even more impressive YouTube channel, which with over 2m subscribers makes them the fifth most popular brand on the network. Most of the YouTube content is produced by the company, but in a similar way to Red Bull, they’ve partnered with the people who are out there doing this crazy stuff and the content is just that, no rambling product descriptions or dull corporate ads, just loads of short, sharp clips of people doing amazing things with cameras strapped to them.

Their Instagram account is also absolutely packed with the kind of user-generated content most brands would kill for and they’re clever about continually putting out requests for more, with their fans happy to oblige.

Most camera companies stay focused on the features and benefits of their products but GoPro turn the focus to the experience of using the product, letting their customers be the storytellers and allowing them to define the brand.

And it’s not just extreme sports, you’ll no doubt have seen the coverage of the kite surfer who’s GoPro fell off his board and kept filming at the bottom of the sea until the battery ran out, before being found a few months later in perfect working order.

That’s the kind of endorsement a brand can’t buy and it’s also the kind of storytelling a brand can only get from handing itself over to creative consumers.