Aligning Content Marketing with Brand Values in a World of Social Media: GoPro’s Approach to its Online Video Marketing Has Created a Win-Win for the Brand and its Most Avid Customers

Go Pro Skiing

(GoPro Website, 2014)

At the end of March 2014 Google published a Brand Channel Leaderboard that listed the top brand channels on YouTube for the months of January through March. At the top of this leaderboard was a company called GoPro. The versatile camera really lends itself to the type of marketing strategy that is oriented around online videos and while Google has not posted an update to its Top Brand Channel Leaderboard since March 2014 a recent article in the New York Daily News calls attention to some of the more recent statistics related to the performance of the company’s online strategy. Some of these stats include:

  • 6,000 videos per day are posted on YouTube with the word “GoPro” in the title or description of the video.
  • 100 hours of video with the word “GoPro” in the title or description are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
  • 2,000,000 plus subscribers to the company’s YouTube brand Channel and 500,000,000 million plus views of videos on the brand channel.

These are just some of the interesting numbers associated with the company’s online video marketing strategy and as you may have guessed from some of the verbiage in the statistics above a lot of this content is not being created by GoPro internally. The company’s customers create videos (using a GoPro camera) of themselves engaging in high octane activities (for the most part, some of the more popular videos also feature babies falling asleep suddenly and puppies playing) and then upload them to YouTube and other video sharing sites. In some cases GoPro offers to highlight these videos on its YouTube Brand Channel. This offers the creators of the content access to the brand’s two million plus subscribers and countless other visitors. For aspiring athletes and other types of entrepreneurs this offers the added benefit of helping them to promote their names and their businesses to a reach that might not have otherwise been possible.

For GoPro this approach to essentially crowdsourcing a large portion of its video content has some clear advantages in that it enables the company to provide a larger breadth of content than it could otherwise. It also helps leverage the creativity and adventurous spirit of individuals around the world. GoPro has recently developed a team of around 30 employees whose express purpose is to look for and review great user created content online to determine if it could be used for marketing or licensing.

This facet of GoPro’s marketing strategy appears well aligned to the brand and provides a vehicle that effectively shows the value of the company’s products in a way that arguably adds greater credibility and trust to them than producing an advertisement with a high power Madison Avenue advertising agency. As an added bonus it’s a whole lot cheaper. For brands, this method of turning their customers into brand advocates within social media channels has increasingly become an effective approach to promotion.

While all of the stats and signs of engagement from the brand’s customers are very appealing to the company, it’s still important to recognize the impact of any marketing investment within the context of benefitting the company’s bottom line. So from a marketing management viewpoint here are some questions to think about within the context of online video marketing and social media channels:

  • Would you invest in online video marketing if you were the marketing manager in charge of developing the marketing mix for a company? What internal and external factors would you consider in order to make this decision?
  • In order to show the value of an online video marketing campaign or platform what metrics would you select to show the impact of the efforts and how would you articulate their connection to the bottom line to an executive outside of your department?

Below is a video that was distributed on GoPro’s Brand Channel on YouTube and on its website that highlights the type of videos that GoPro helps spread through the reach of its digital channels.