3 Content Lessons Learned From The Red Bull Soapbox Race in Atlanta

A miniature food truck. A giant fish. A pair of high heel pumps. Just imagine the roar of the crowd as miniature versions of these careen down 10th Street in hopes of winning the title of Red Bull Soapbox Champion. Not since the thrilling conclusion of Little Rascals have so many 20-somethings been transfixed by a soapbox race.

This was the scene on Saturday at the Red Bull Soapbox race in Piedmont Park here in Atlanta. A crowd of almost 50,000 turned out to see the latest installment in Red Bull’s ongoing tour of exciting — and often unconventional — sporting events.

Although the energy drink maker still has only one core product, Red Bull spends millions each year on signature events like Saturday’s soapbox race. With a majority share in a multi-billion dollar industry (and growing!), one certainly can’t argue with the results of their strategy.

Red Bull has these large scale events down to a science. Although entirely consumer-facing, Red Bull has a few great lessons to teach B2B marketers about crafting content that generates crowds of excited fans and devout followers.

Know Your Audience
Although Red Bull’s events can often seem a little random or unusual, I guarantee that they are carefully vetted and selected by the Red Bull marketing team. As I looked around at my fellow spectators on Saturday, many of them were young adults and 20-somethings with their families. In other terms, Red Bull’s prime demographic. Red Bull has clearly zeroed-in on which events will bring their target market in to engage with the brand.

Content Lesson: Truly great content will garner interest regardless of the topic. But that interest will do your business no good unless it is from your target audience. Make sure you fully understand your audience and what type of content they will be most interested in. Combining great content creation with an idea or event that interests your target market is a home run for a B2B marketer.

Make it Fun
Whether you are at Red Bull’s recent cliff diving competition or their annual Flugtag event, one thing is certain: it’s going to be fun and exciting. Red Bull has gone to great lengths to associate their brand with the most extreme, exciting and interesting sports the world has to offer. This has allowed them to stand out from their ever-growing number of competitors and breed a loyal following.

Content Lesson: The proliferation of video and infographics in recent years is not a coincidence. Your audience is exposed to thousands of pieces of content every day, many of which are more interesting than your most recent buyers guide. This doesn’t mean you need to abandon your case studies or white papers–they’re both still valuable–but you should be making a concerted effort to make your content stand out from the rest of the pack. Explore more visual channels like infographics or video and rework your existing content to be more exciting and compelling.

Promote, Promote, Promote
I spent much of the race in awe of Red Bull’s promotional process. From television commercials to street light banners, they took every possible opportunity to get the word out about their event.

Content Lesson: Shamelessly promote your content wherever you can. The more visible you can make your content, the better it will serve your goals. Post on your social media outlets, seek out industry influencers and submit it to thought-leading blogs in your industry. Great content is nothing without great exposure.

While a consumer-facing brand like Red Bull may seem like an unlikely role model for B2B marketers, we can learn a lot from the promotional juggernaut. Follow the above suggestions and you can bring the excitement and energy to your content that Red Bull injects into each one of their marketing initiatives.