Red Bull

12 terrific Tumblrs for brand inspiration

A few weeks ago, I said goodbye to my 34 year-old self with the last high-five I’ll ever be legally allowed to give, and begrudgingly shook the age of 35 by the hand with a firm and mature grip.

It was a defining moment that also saw me exit the average user age of some of my favourite social networks (although for Snapchat I was already 15 years too late).

Red Bull vs GoPro: taking content marketing to the extreme

It’s the big one. The bout to beat them all: ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’. ‘The Thrilla in Manila’. ‘The Brawl for it All’… These will all seem like mere ‘Fisticuffs in Magaluf’ when this contest is over. 

In the red corner, unsurprisingly… Red Bull, with its commitment to broadcasting the most extreme of escapades to a worldwide audience, including a whopping 3.7m YouTube subscribers and a high concept strategy of putting thrills and spills before energy drink sales.

In the blue corner, strapped head-to-toe in tiny cameras so viewers can witness every single punch in glorious high definition clarity… GoPro, with its intimidating dominance of social video, constant gracing of the top ten biggest brands on YouTube and an effortless ability to marry its products perfectly with its content.

Two giant brands. One arena that can barely contain them both and one glorious winner, turkey-trotting over the shattered bones of its crushed opponent. 

I am but the lowly referee, cowering to avoid the blows, but too fascinated to look away. So let’s take a glance at these titans in the content marketing and social worlds and see which will be crowned the ultimate champion.

Ding ding…

What is experiential marketing and why do you need it?

Just when you think you’ve gotten to grips with every new phrase or buzzword in the world of digital marketing, another comes along to make you go “uhhhhhh…?”

During my first year at Econsultancy I’ve been making a point of writing beginner’s guides to any new terms or phrases I find particularly baffling, or that I might suspect other people may find baffling too. 

Today I’ll be looking at experiential marketing. A phrase I have repeatedly spell-checked more than any other. But first, some clarification is needed…

14 best branded Instagram videos from August 2014

This month’s round-up of brilliant branded Instagram videos comes bearing an exciting new upgrade.

Last week Instagram introduced a new standalone time-lapse video tool called Hyperlapse, which is actually quite brilliant. I wrote about it in greater detail here: Instagram’s Hyperlapse: social video toy for brands

It’s very early days yet but it will be interesting to see how quickly brands begin using the tool and how many different creative ways time-lapse can be used.

In the meantime, here’s a breakneck Hyperlapse trip around the Econsultancy office…

Native advertising: The emperor’s new clothes?

Great native advertising cannot be automated.

To think about selling on a CPM basis and defining native advertising as simply a question of format, rather than content, is wrong.

The value of a native ad campaign resides in the quality of the content, therefore the engagement with the piece – and that’s more than just a click, it’s time on page and a share count (and potentially an associated action).

At the IAB Content Conference, I listened to a number of speakers with interesting angles on native advertising.

Here I’ll share Nick Bradley‘s (Northern & Shell) healthily sceptical view of native, including (more positively) some examples of native advertising done well.

For a full intro to native advertising see the new Econsultancy report, Native Advertising: What it means for brands and publishers.

Content marketing, social media and the artist: can brands be the new patrons?

The imaginero (maker of images) has always found it tricky to make a living.

Even painters we now regard as masters died without fortune and sometimes in poverty. Painting was a trade. It paid as such.

Of course, when means for mass reproduction came along, artists or their gallerists could distribute works that would meet public approval and this made some very rich. But even then, many of the best suffered a lifetime of penury if their works didn’t conform to the tastes of their time.

Fast forward and the emergence of the commercial internet has meant artists can promote themselves. The din is greater than ever and it’s hard for artists to get heard.

However, commerce, the internet, increase in media consumption and social media specifically make for greater demand than ever for visual design. As web design gets both more commonplace and more sophisticated, companies seek to differentiate themselves with better branding, advertising and content marketing.

And perhaps brands are getting serious about patronising new artists?

Whatever time an artist lives in, patronage has always been the surest way to security. Whether of the King of Spain or Charles Saatchi or Debenhams.

Yep, Debenhams.

YouTube strategy for brands: 10 of the best

Only 74 of the top 5,000 YouTube channels are from brands.

This research comes from Touchstorm’s latest study, The Touchstorm Video Index, covering Q3 2013 and concentrating on the ‘YouTube 5,000’, an elite group of channels with at least 43m views each.

Of those 5,000 channels, only 2% are owned by brands. That means there are 4,926 teenagers with webcams, older people with camcorders, vloggers with flipcams, bedroom animators with smartphones and various other fashionistas, musicians, close-up magicians, action figure critics and amateur film-makers who are completely dominating the platform and squeezing out the big companies.

What can brands do about this? Is there any hope for them?

Here are some key findings from the report, along with our own insight, ideas for strategy and a look at the brands who are using YouTube successfully.

Four brands taking content marketing to the next level

Content marketing has only a loose definition; some think of it as informational content added to a website to improve search ranking, others see it as a way to drive traffic to a website from social.

Going a little further, many brands select a content niche that often has little direct relation to their products. Creating content like this often isn’t enough; at this stage, content marketing moves into sponsorship, patronage, charity, brand association and media ownership on a scale most brands only dream of.

So who is taking content to the next level, and what scale are we talking about?

So you have a mobile site. What happens next?

57% of users won’t recommend a business if they have a bad mobile site, a simple statistic that speaks volumes about the current landscape in mobile commerce.

Global mobile web usage is increasing exponentially and most businesses know they need a mobile strategy.

Building a mobile-friendly website is just the first step. What happens after that? 

At Searchlove this morning, Distilled’s digital marketing consultant Bridget Randolph provided her own insight and guidance.

How Red Bull uses Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+

Red Bull is a great example of a brand built almost entirely on social media, with some mind-blowing PR stunts thrown in for good measure.

Therefore it’s a great case study for our series looking at how different brands use the big four social networks.

We’ve previously examined how Walmart, ASOS and John Lewis use social, with Google+ generally proving to be the weak relation compared to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

But does the same prove to be true for Red Bull?