Red Bull’s World: The Secret Ingredients of Revolutionary Content Marketing

When the Content Strategist assigned reporter James O’Brien to pop open Red Bull’s adrenaline-fueled content approach, he encountered a lot of closed doors.

So he spent the last few months prying them open to reveal a content empire of extreme proportions. The article is being presented in partnership with Mashable, which is hosting the full story on its site.

O’Brien reports in the piece, “How Red Bull Takes Content Marketing to the Extreme,” the brand that most content marketers point to as the top brand in the content game today prefers not to talk about how they do it.

“The marketing strategy that has worked best for us is not to publish our strategies,” a Red Bull representative told him before the company refused all further requests for interviews. Even without the company’s input, O’Brien managed to uncover a great deal about how Red Bull creates and runs its ever-growing content machine.

The company’s website presents a universe of extreme sports and stunts. It features content produced by Red Bull Media House, which produces some of the top sports videos and coverage available anywhere. It is the go-to site for video of people doing amazing things.

What is conspicuously absent is material about the energy drink the company produces, which raises the question: Is Red Bull a drink company that produces content, or is it a publisher that also sells beverages?

But that’s the wrong question, Rebecca Lieb, an analyst at Altimeter Group, told O’Brien. The answer is that the company is both of those things, and it’s not possible or useful to try to determine which part takes precedence because both are crucial and intertwined in the branding of Red Bull.

“Nobody is going to go to a website and spend 45 minutes looking at video about a drink,” she told O’Brien. “But Red Bull has aligned its brand unequivocally and consistently with extreme sports and action. They are number one at creating content so engaging that consumers will spend hours with it, or at least significant minutes.”

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