A media transformation story
- To transform the Red Bull-owned channels from pure communication tools to destination points for a large and loyal audience.
- To establish Redbull.com and Red Bull TV as credible media brands.
- To know and better understand customers and consumers.
The status quo
Lots of content was already there, with a little strategy behind. Communication managers commissioned content for PR distribution: press releases, footage, and highlight videos of achievements and events.
Red Bull Media House was born in 2007 to act as a brand news agency. In 2011, Redbull.com and Red Bull TV were little more than a container for repurposing PR content. A big archive, not engaging and difficult to navigate.
To start, I undertook
- audience research,
- a content and capability audit
- and a product and UX audit.
Three drivers of the Red Bull owned digital channel transformation:
- Orchestrate content across channels, do not think silos.
- Do not broadcast. Every channel deserves specific content.
- Put the owned media at the centre of the PESO ecosystem.
The crucial strategic decision: to create content portfolios with optimal versions for each distribution channel and develop an exploitation scheme (inspired by the media industry windowing strategy) so to maximize eyeballs on the external channels (social, syndications, earned) and to convert them into recurring visitors to the owned channels.
Content strategy pillars
- Audience-driven, not communication-driven. A safe mix of branded and not-branded content centred around audience interests and relevancy.
- Day by day work to cover themes, follow them up and establish a leadership position on those themes.
- The Help-hub-hero model in action: a mix of always-on, evergreen content plus hero moments and news.
- Content atomisation: many items, formats and outputs for every relevant story. Content made and ensured fit to repurpose, repackage, mix and match to create new content.
Organisation and management.
Upskilling the communication managers. From traditional communication managers to expert commissioning editors with digital rights and rich media skills, extended role into executive production, creative directon and contract management.
A new team
A brand new editorial team at HQ, made to > Centralize content planning across channels and countries. > Develop original content for international use. > Take on content governance: guidance, templates, guidelines and quality assurance. > Coordinate transcreation and localization. > Develop channels´ audience: SEO, SEM, syndications and paid campaigns. > Program and manage TV and live events.
Hire and grow
Hire talents and create a distributed network of production partners, writers, journalists and creatives to support the internal teams and the local communication managers: 100+ freelancers, 50+ small and mid production partners. Educate teams and stakeholders on media critical topics: SEO, SEM, Digital data collection, reading, interpretation.
We went organic, but not only. Our north star: to convert eyeballs and social reach into visitors to our owned channels and to engage them to develop recurring visitors, get subscribers and logged-in users.
Product and technology
- Governance. Control and keep track of what went where and with what impact. Brand consistency and common editorial voice on video, text, photos and across countries.
- Audiovisual management. Digital rights, tagging and taxonomies, collaborative content editing and approval workflows.
- Ability to quickly adapt to new opportunities: new channels, new experiences, new distribution means.
- Transitioning from traditional CMS to headless.
- Full enterprise DAM and DRM.
- Centralized tools for social media management.
- One global Content Calendar.
- Centralized collection of digital audience data from all channels, both anonymous and personal (subscribers, logged-in users), to create a unified audience view.
- First- and third-party-cookies to implement a brand-driven re-marketing program for visitors of Red Bull properties.
- Role-based dashboards and ready-to-call reports fitting the different department and stakeholder needs.
By the numbers
- Audience development. Owned digital channels from 100.000 monthly Uniques to 11 million in less than three years.
- Team size. 21 FTE core editorial team in Salzburg, Austria.
- 50 countries and 36 languages covered with localized content.
- Our “hero” moment. 8 Mio unique concurrent viewers Red Bull Stratos on Youtube 2012.