Analysis of the Current Marketing Strategy of Red Bull

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Introduction

Red Bull is an energy drink company based in Austria. It is the global market leader by volume in the energy drink segment. The company bases its marketing strategy on hype and extreme sports, which are in line with its slogan, “Red Bull gives you wings (Collier 2013).” It sponsors and holds proprietary rights to several extreme sports, including space diving, skiing, cliff diving, and mountain riding. The company has also invested in several mainstream sports such as Formula One and soccer clubs (Collier 2013). It invests heavily in content production and owns a record label called Red Bull Records. This paper proposes a multi-channel digital marketing strategy for the company.

Current Marketing Strategy

Most of Red Bull’s digital marketing happens on its website, social media, and YouTube. Red Bull mostly targets young men aged 18 to 34 who are physically active in its campaigns. It connects with them by sponsoring energy supping sports that require physical fitness and mental sharpness such as mountain biking, motocross, rowing, and skating (Collier 2013). It also creates content including videos, video games, and music featuring celebrities during its events and on its digital platforms (Bull 2013).

Red Bull owns sports clubs and teams that bear its name and logo on their outfits. It also has a strong presence in the gaming platforms and has apps that encourage consumers to interact with the brand on their smartphones. Most of the content on the Red Bull website focuses on thrill-seeking, adventure, and other ways of pushing boundaries rather than its flagship drinks. All this content aims at increasing brand connection and visibility (Collier 2013). The website runs like a content site rather than a corporate website and appeals to target consumers who are accustomed to spending hours streaming content on YouTube (Collier 2013). The aim is to keep visitors engaged and hooked through a constant flow of exciting content and activities. The company is also a star on Facebook, with over 40 million likes and an average of over 46 million weekly visitors to its page. All the content across channels sell the message that “Red Bull gives you wings.” The content depicts people at different sporting activities and demonstrating superior levels of sporting performance and excellence. All the images and clips depict people in action reinforcing the impression that they are flying (Brito 2014). Most of the captions on Facebook are short and snappy and consistent with the digital strategy of replicating content sites. Similarly, the Twitter feed depicts people in action. The content is often action-oriented media captions with a relaxed and informal attitude rather than corporate smugness (Brito 2014). Most of the hashtags are short but very captivating to sports enthusiasts. The media team constantly adds new content to keep visitors engaged.

Similarly, the Instagram feed is action-oriented with an emphasis on giving wings to people by depicting them in extreme or daring situations. The YouTube channel features long duration videos carrying a similar theme to the social media content (Brito 2014). The content is very insightful and engaging and attracts thousands of user comments. It has channels for different sport categories and its other investments. The company’s blog features content on the various activities it sponsors and has invested in. Red Bull TV is a multiplayer platform that connects all types of devices (Brito 2014). It offers free content of Red Bull events, including music, sports, culture, lifestyle, and insightful content. The gaming content helps customers engage with the brand and learn while also building brand loyalty.

Red Bull operates like a media rather than an energy drink company. The strategy involves following the target audience by researching their interests and marketing to them with content and high visibility (Kim 2016). The company has a dedicated media team that produces content that is of equal or better quality than that found in mainstream media channels such as Buzzfeed and ESPN. The aim is to engage the target audience with content that matches what they watch on popular media channels and content sites (Kim 2016). The aim is to create content that the target audience would like to watch while drinking their products. The digital marketing is built on the three pillars of creating compelling and engaging content, hiring a very competent and motivated digital marketing team, and commitment to the branding message of high-octane physical activity.

Marketing Strategy

Digital marketing employs pull approaches because it is the customer who initiates the engagement by searching for information about the brand or related content. The marketing team will continue with Red Bull’s tradition of targeting young adult males with their marketing messages and content (Ryan & Jones 2009). The marketers will customize the content to the tastes and preferences of this segment of the population. They will also target it in a way that attracts audience interest and engages them once they start consuming the media.

Further, the digital content channels will be integrated with social media to ensure a seamless transition for users from one platform to another. The integration will be based on the 4Cs of coherence, consistency, continuity, and complementarity (Ryan & Jones 2009). The marketers will engage customers with creative ideas to encourage brand consumption and sharing.

Website Principle and Design

The marketers will continue with the user-friendly website design that is currently in place. They will maintain the simple and elegant but very functional design that enables users to browse through content seamlessly (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick 2019). The designers will develop it in a way that users can browse from a wide range of electronic devices (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick 2019). It will also have text alternatives to all the media content such as transcripts for videos and audios so that visitors can read them for clarity.

The strategy for Red Bull will be to enable the brand to rise in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for energy drinks and extreme sports on Google. The aim will be to optimize search results for both natural and organic searches for the two categories (Ryan & Jones 2009). Since Google constantly changes its search algorithms, the marketing team will be on the lookout for changes and adjust search optimization to produce the best results with every new set of guidelines and resources (Klapdor 2013). The team will work with web designers to ensure that there is a text-only link to every page of the website. The structure will enable search spiders to easily access and index the site (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick 2019). Each page containing media content will have corresponding text hyperlinks so that the crawlers can easily find them. The marketing team will analyze the different keyword combinations and obtain the best. They will then compare the keywords to those that competitors use to find unique keywords that have the potential to increase traffic to the site while avoiding the competition (Ryan & Jones 2009). For instance, the team will be incorporating location-specific keywords for extreme sports rather than using generic terms (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick 2019). The marketers will then avail them to the designers to integrate them with the existing content. These keywords will apply for both optimization and sponsored listings.

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Social Media

Social media provides several opportunities for engaging the target audience with constructive conversations. The company will continue to engage users through blogs, social networks, peer review networks, and other interactive forums. The aim will be to build meaningful relationships with them and gain valuable insights about their perceptions of company products and content (Ryan & Jones 2009). The marketing team will enhance Red Bull’s social media presence and activity by encouraging users to comment on the content posted on various channels. The sites will also include features for rating content and tagging it into different categories for easy browsing (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick 2019). The web designers will integrate the sites with other content platforms through plug-ins and APIs. The aim will be to establish contact with customers and engage them through constructive dialogue. The integration will facilitate backlinks and sharing among consumers.

Company representatives will engage users by participating in conversations about the brand and content associated with Red Bull. The aim will be to foster relationships with these users and assure them that the company is concerned about their experience with the brand and anything related to it such as sponsored events (Klapdor 2013: Saleh & Shukairy 2011). The social media experts will keep themselves acquainted with the latest trends and information associated with the brand. They will also be knowledgeable on the topics of interest to the target consumer group (Ryan & Jones 2011). In particular, marketers will follow influencers and ensure that they are well versed on the issues they discuss. Engaging them and challenging them will prevent them from creating a distorted representation of the brand. The conversations will also provide valuable ideas that the company can use to enhance its brand and reputation.

Content Marketing

Successful content marketing involves creating exceptionally crisp and compelling content that attracts the attention of the target audience and encourages sharing on social media and ongoing engagement with the brand. The company’s media team will create engaging content that the target consumers are willing to consume (Ryan & Jones 2009). The content will include both static media and rich media that encourage users to interact. The company’s website and other platforms will use cookies to record customer search behavior and use it to provide customized search results and make automatic recommendations for content that the customer may want to view.

Every time a customer visits a site, the site will recognize the device and automatically produce taglines that may be of interest to the visitor (Saleh & Shukairy 2011). The compelling, crisp content is key to maintaining a captive fan base, and the company’s media team will continue hiring creating writers and producers to create quality media for readers and viewers (Saleh & Shukairy 2011). The content will enable the company to maximize the number of high-quality inbound links to the company website and other content sites as a way of improving SERPs.

Search Marketing

The company will maintain its strategy of avoiding direct advertisements using banners and other forms of overt marketing and instead engage customers through content and discussions. The marketing team will engage customers through dynamic dialogue that they will enhance through search engine optimization (SEO) and social media optimization (SMO) (Saleh & Shukairy 2011). SEO marketing will confer the brand with increased online visibility, ensuring that it will be at the top of all search results related to energy drinks and entertainment searches (Saleh & Shukairy 2011). It will ensure that the brand tops all organic search results and search terms that are mostly used by the target market. The marketing team will use google analytics to identify the unique keywords that are likely to lead to brand specific conversions. This approach will ensure that marketing yields the highest return on investment. The team will find keywords on sites such as Google trend that maintains a track record of the trending words and phrases about a particular topic such as extreme sport (Saleh & Shukairy 2011). They will include customized searches for different countries as some content may be more popular in one country than another. There will also be internal links that will enable users to access other content on the company website or channels that are related to the media they are consuming (Lacy, Diamond & Ferrara 2013). The company will also engage influential bloggers to write content linking to their sites. Links will also appear in the company’s monthly bulletin which enjoys widespread readership.

For the PPCs, the team will focus on the long-tail keywords as they tend to have a higher return on investment than the short-tails (Ryan & Jones 2009). The designers will then create pages that optimally utilize each keyword pattern. The keywords will also appear in the title tag as the title is critical to getting top rankings in the SERPs. Each page will also contain useful and insightful content, including transcripts of all the audios and videos to improve rankings. Red Bull is already a leader in content creation and will immensely benefit from improved SERPs. The designers will also optimize all the primary navigation tools such as the Homepage, taglines, and themes with keywords (Ryan & Jones 2009). The current format allows users to instantly access content rather than bogging them down with navigation handicaps. The marketers will continue the company’s approach to marketing through content and engagement. The team will be careful to avoid unethical practices such as search boosting using Black Hat SEO techniques such as keyword stuffing, cloaking, invisible text, and buying links (Diamond 2019). Such schemes can cause a temporary boost in traffic but with the risk of long-term reputation damage for spamming (Diamond 2019). Most search engines penalize such tactics by lowering the rankings of associated sites.

Online Reputation Management

The marketing team will run public relations campaigns both on social media, mainstream media sites, and on company-owned platforms. They will make press releases related to sponsored events, new partnerships, and clarifying the company’s position regarding major controversies (Kingsnorth 2019). The press releases will follow the mainstream media inverted pyramid structure and will appear on the mainstream media. These campaigns will utilize SEO to ensure that the story tops search lists on Google (Kingsnorth 2019). They will also have linkbacks to company sites that provide an elaborate explanation of the issue. The marketers will also get affiliated bloggers to create links to the story on their posts.

Apart from Facebook and Twitter, the marketers will extend conversations to content submission sites such as Reddit. Such sites are valuable in eliciting constructive debate on upcoming events or new developments in the company’s portfolio (Dodson 2016). The marketers will also visit review sites and respond to customer complaints or other concerns raised on such platforms. Such reviews will inform the company on the areas it is excelling and what needs improvement (Dodson 2016). The company will engage influential bloggers to promote its events and other content that it publishes through collaborations, where bloggers will write articles that link to the company content channels and those of partners. Company marketers will then follow up debate on the topic in the comment section and share information with the readers (Dietrich & Livingston 2012). The company already has a Wikipedia page, and the marketing team will continue to update readers on the latest developments related to the brand and its partners (Dietrich & Livingston 2012). They will also actively edit disinformation on the site by replacing it with accurate and authoritative information backed with sources.

Ethical and Legal Concerns

The media team will desist from creating content that is misleading and will also inform users of the dangers of consuming Red Bull in excess. The media will explicitly indicate that energy drinks can pose health risks when mixed with alcohol as they tend to mask the intoxicating effects of alcohol (Collier 2013). However, they will clarify that all Red Bull beverages are endorsed by health authorities as a safe when consumed in moderation while the caffeine in the drink is safe to mix with other energy and alcoholic beverages (Brito 2014). They will also demonstrate scientific evidence that caffeine had cognitive benefits that boost performance by increasing concentration and reaction speeds on YouTube. Even though most countries do not require energy drinks to indicate the amount of caffeine in their products, Red Bull will voluntarily specify the caffeine content in all its drinks (Brito 2014). Where states have banned an ingredient, the company will comply by removing such compounds from the products sold in that country (Dodson 2016). Going forward, the company will avoid exaggerated marketing messages that may invite litigation and stick to verifiable claims.

Technology for Collecting Metrics

The marketing team will use server log files to assess performance in different areas such as traffic to various sites and the effectiveness of different platforms used in the integrated marketing mix (Arikan 2008). The log files will also provide information on the location of different visitors and the route they used to access the site (Arikan 2008). The process will be enhanced using page tagging software that will track each visitor that comes to a company website or channel. The site will also use cookies to track unique users whose browsing activity may be masked by shared or dynamic IPs. Cookies help identify individual users and identify them when they return to a site. They also help customize search settings for enhanced user experience and tracking the user’s browsing habits (Chaffey & Smith 2017). The cookies will help generate rich data that the marketers will use for analyzing website statistics. However, the company will avoid the unethical practice of tracking users across websites even when they visit non-affiliated websites as such practice violates user privacy (Chaffey & Smith 2017). Further, each site and channel will request users to make explicit consent to allow the company website to use cookies on their computer.

The key performance indicators for the marketing team will be conversion rate, page views, unique visitors, bounce rate, and cost per conversion. The conversion rate will assess the number of media users who eventually become loyal followers and consumers of the energy drink (Chaffey & Smith 2017). Page views will assess the number of pages or media files a visitor consumes. Unique visitors metric will record the number of visitors per month and year. Bounce rate will record the number of visitors who arrive on the landing page and leave immediately (Chaffey & Smith 2017). Cost per conversion will compare the total expenditure on a particular marketing campaign against the beverage sales.

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