GoPro, a maker of digital video cameras and accessories, practically has a lock adventure based video and UGC marketing. Their products, originally created to enable extreme sports enthusiasts to film their exploits without having to jury-rig a setup or find someone willing to hold the camera, are a natural fit for heaps of adventurous user video, and amazingly impactful UGC marketing.
Knowing this heap of user video creates an incredible marketing opportunity, the company actively shares the content their users make. They have Video of the Day and Photo of the Day contests, a popular YouTube channel, and heavy presence on other social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They have brilliantly harnessed the power of UGC marketing into their channels, engaging customers and building a powerful brand.
But what if you happen to market a product that isn’t used to generate content? Or is not quite so naturally a fit for UGC? There are still lessons to learn from the way they do things at GoPro.
3 UGC Marketing Lessons from GoPro
1. Plug into customer passions
One key element that makes GoPro such an amazing content marketing tool is that the company’s video cameras tie directly to the passions of customers. There are other digital video cameras out there, but none that quite capture the spirit of adventure like GoPro. That’s because the company understands its audience and what they want to do with the cameras. Which is…to show off their amazing experiences to family and friends and share their passion for their sport and their unique worlds.
It’s convenient that the GoPro Hero camera also creates content that GoPro can share as part of it’s marketing program. But what can you do if your product isn’t a content generating machine like GoPro’s Hero digital video cameras?
Think about your audience’s passions and what makes them tick.
Take Red Bull, for example. They make an energy drink, but it’s fair to say that a lot of people know Red Bull best not for that product, but for their other exploits. Such as sponsoring music festivals, cliff diving competitions, snowboarding events, and motorsports. The company understands that the messaging for their energy drink ties directly into its audience’s desire for adventure. As their marketing message makes clear…Red Bull, the drink, gives you wings. Their other activities are designed to give “wings to people and ideas,” too.
2. Use video storytelling to entertain and engage
You only need to watch one or two videos shot with the GoPro camera to get a feel for how well even amateur videographers can capture beauty and mystery and the spirit of adventure. This medium is unique for its ability to entertain and engage. Many GoPro users take the time to edit their videos and add music to make the experience complete. And it doesn’t take extreme sports to get attention. Check out this very popular video about owls made with a stationary GoPro camera, very close to home.
There is enough user-generated video from GoPro that it would take you almost three years to watch it all. But, even if your brand doesn’t have that much video content, you can certainly use video to engage customers and tell your story.
For example, in the Starbucks YouTube channel, they share lots of videos about how to make coffee. And they also have videos highlighting Starbucks as a place to meet new people and maybe even change your life. That’s not extreme. Nor is it user-generated, or anything that anyone would need an indestructible GoPro camera to film. But these are the kind of heartwarming stories that shore up the power of the Starbucks brand and steep users in the experience.
3. Keep brand messages to a minimum
For their marketing purposes, the beauty of GoPro is that the viewing audience knows that all the video content they see is created with GoPro cameras. The medium is the marketing message, as it were. So there is no need for a hard sell or overt brand messaging. Whether it is user-generated content shared on their website or via social media, or videos created with their partners like the NHL, GoPro doesn’t spend too much time talking about GoPro itself.
What can you do to tell your company’s story and get to the heart of your brand messaging without hitting users over the head with it?
What about tying into the GoPro phenomenon directly? Look at Marriott. In certain locations, they have GoPro Hero cameras for their guests to borrow, to film their own adventures. They share these on their own channel as part of their Travel Brilliantly campaign and ask users to share via social media, as well. It’s a great way to get guests engaged in their vacation experience, share inspiring videos with future guests, and make Marriott the hero by enabling guests to capture their own experiences in a new way.
You don’t need to be a company that makes a content generating device like a digital video camera to get useful content marketing lessons from GoPro. You just need to understand your users’ passions, tap into the power of video to tell a story, and be willing to embrace adventure, in whatever form that takes for your product.