GoPro Marketing: A Lesson On How Market Leaders Are Made

What if your product could sell itself? What if your customers consistently act as advocates for your brand? That would be every marketer’s dream come true, right? But can that really happen? GoPro proves that it’s possible! That’s why we are going to talk about GoPro marketing today. 

GoPro’s marketing strategies have been unique and exemplary. Today it’s hard to discuss action cameras without mentioning GoPro. How did the brand garner so much attention and become a market leader? You should also know that the brand had its own fair share of stumbling blocks. And yet, look where it is now. In 2021, GoPro generated a revenue of about 1.16 billion U.S. dollars worldwide. So what did the brand do differently? Let’s discuss the brilliance of the GoPro marketing approach and how it can inspire marketers around the world. 

What’s special about GoPro marketing – stats that prove the facts

GoPro has emerged as the king of user-generated content. The brand is a perfect example to show the potential of leveraging user content. But the brand’s popularity was not built overnight. 

In 2004, the commercial market for action cameras opened up when Nick Woodman sold his first 35mm film camera. That was the birth of GoPro. Today the action camera market has grown by leaps and bounds. It’s projected to reach a value of 10.5 Billion U.S. dollars by the year 2026. And GoPro is one of the leading names in the industry, perhaps the first name that people looking to try action cameras hear about. 

The brand’s growth journey has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride. From sponsoring users to actively collaborating with social media influencers, there are many creative elements in the GoPro marketing approach. 

In addition to all this, GoPro is a pro when it comes to social media marketing. Don’t believe us? Numbers speak for themselves. GoPro joined YouTube in 2009, hardly a decade ago and today the brand has over 10.6M subscribers and more than 3 billion views. But it’s not just on YouTube. In 2018, the brand was tagged 40 million times on Instagram. What really stands out is that a majority of the content you find on the brand’s social media pages is generated by actual users. 

Evaluating the GoPro marketing strategy is definitely a productive creative exercise for any business owner and marketer out there. So, without further ado, let’s begin. 

It all begins with an innovation 

Nick Woodman, inventor of the GoPro action cameras came up with the idea of an action camera during his surfing trip in 2002. None of the cameras were able to accurately capture all the excitement and thrill of surfing when he was trying to capture pictures to share with his family. That’s when he started working on his own version of an action camera. 

The name GoPro came from the fact that, during those days when action cameras were not so popular, you had to “go pro” to have a photographer record your surfing sessions. Nick Woodman wanted every surfer to have this. He wanted every surfer to “go pro” with his cameras. 

If you look at the most successful businesses in the world, they all began as a way of solving an existing problem. The willingness to innovate is what set these businesses apart. So, if you are still contemplating launching your business, dare to innovate. GoPro grew slowly but steadily expanding its marketing strategies. Want to get inspired? Let’s talk about some ideas that worked for the brand. 

GoPro marketing – lessons for marketers 

To talk about the GoPro marketing approach we need to talk about the importance of proactively involving customers in your marketing efforts. When customers share stories about your brand and the experience, they are influencing the purchase decision of at least one consumer out there. Or they are bringing new leads by creating interest in your brand. They become credible sources of information. 

The best part is that they do not even have to have a huge following. Most of the creators have their friends and family members on their social media pages. And these are people who are more trusting of their opinions. As a result, when customers share any information about your brand or give feedback or leave a review, they directly influence the purchase behavior of existing customers and prospective leads. 

GoPro clearly understands the influence customer stories can have on a brand’s growth and makes the most of it. And the best part is that it stays away from clichéd approaches. Most of the stories that the brand shares have a tinge of the brand’s flavor along with the authenticity of the customer story. Let’s see how GoPro does that. 

Let your product speak for itself 

If you keep telling customers that you can solve a problem or if you keep talking about this fancy idea that will impress customers, it’s not enough. Customers need proof. That’s why demo videos are some of the most popular marketing aids. GoPro takes demo videos to a whole new level. If you notice most of the ads and social media content from the brand, there are very few words because the brand lets the products speak for themselves. 

The above campaign is one example that shows how the brand lets the product’s excellence shine in its ads. When Felix Baumgartner performed his space jump in 2012, it was a historic moment. GoPro HERO2 cameras were used to document the event. The brand focused on the story, the moment that gave the audience goosebumps rather than talking too much about the product. That’s one way into your customers’ hearts. Content like this stands out in a sea of all-words-and-no-action brands. 

When customers know what they are paying for, when they know that the quality, features, and performance of your product are worth the money they spend, there will be less skepticism in placing an order. 

Make the most of user-generated content 

We cannot talk about the GoPro marketing approach without speaking about user-generated content. Because this is one of the few brands that place user-generated content at the forefront. 79% of consumers report that user-generated content has the power to influence their purchase decisions. People trust people more than brands- it’s as simple as that. 

On most of its social media platforms, GoPro shares user content which includes high-adrenaline videos shared by users from around the world. 

Don’t just share – engage and appreciate 

Now that many brands know the importance of UGC, they share videos and images shared by customers on their social media pages. Simply sharing them on Instagram Story and tagging the user is one way to do it. While this works, what’s an even better idea? Pay attention to what the shared content means to the user. Here is an example. 

Here GoPro does not just share the video shared by a GoPro customer but also gives a shoutout to the user by acknowledging and taking time to appreciate the importance of the shared moment. 

Kimp Tip: When you share user content on social media, you need as little processing as possible. Raw content strikes the right chord. But you can always add your brand’s flavor in the form of logo animations, intros, and other add-ons, as you see in the above GoPro video. This feels non-intrusive and yet makes an impression. 

Want to edit your videos and add branding elements to them? Choose a Kimp Video subscription. 

Focus on storytelling to showcase your brand personality 

GoPro’s content strategy is way ahead of its competitor due to one little reason – the brand shares stories more than ads. You see people skiing, surfing, scaling mountains, getting close to nature. All these memories, all these stories are what make the content shared by GoPro special. 

The brand has a clearly defined personality – it makes products built for the outdoors, and for adventure seekers. All the content it shares aligns with this personality. Scroll through the videos on the brand’s social media page and if you feel wanderlust-stricken, we don’t blame you. 

Storytelling works in marketing because it focuses on evoking an emotional response. When you see a biker ride through rugged forest trails it makes you yearn for that thrill. When you look at vloggers sharing their travel videos shot with a GoPro, it makes you want to pack your bags and plan your next trip. The fun, the thrill, the chance to experience the experience virtually make strong emotional connections. That’s what makes GoPro’s content marketing strategy work. 

Break things down for your customers

GoPro makes some of the most advanced feature-packed action cameras on the market. When you say that the GoPro HERO11 comes with a 4K 120 Superview, Hypersmooth 5.0, Autoboost and other features, it looks good on paper. But not all customers get the meaning and the significance of these features immediately. So, GoPro breaks it down for its customers.

In the brief yet catchy product sneak-peek videos the brand shares it includes live examples of what the feature means and where it comes in handy. This puts these features into perspective and therefore makes an impression on its customers. 

You might have all the sophisticated features that critics will appreciate but unless you simplify them for your end users, you are still missing the mark. 

Want to create animated video ads to demonstrate the features of your product? Get a Kimp Video subscription. 

Actively interact with your customers 

One-way communication in the form of sharing videos and images on your social media page doesn’t make much of an impact in the long run. They might get people to like your account and even follow it if your social media page aesthetic appeals to them. But for engagement, you need regular interaction. GoPro does not stop at sharing content on its social media pages. The brand is also known for its regular live sessions on YouTube and other channels. 

Many brands host live sessions on social media. But one way GoPro differs is that even in its live sessions, it put customers first. These live sessions are not promotional, nor do they talk endlessly about the product. Instead of raving about the rave-worthy features, these action cameras have the brand lets users get a taste of live experiences. 

In 2016, GoPro partnered with the live-streaming platform Periscope and threw a live-streaming party for users from around the world. By integrating the app with the GoPro cameras, the brand let users live stream their adventures directly from their cameras.

Social media live sessions are the modern-day versions of offline events. Though nothing beats the tangibility of offline events, a live session is an unacceptable alternative. But yes, GoPro does not restrict itself to online virtual events alone. The brand is also known for its regular offline interactions with its customers. 

Community-building builds trust  

Keeping all your customers disconnected in their own siloes does not help in the long run. Focus on community building. When customers start interacting with each other, when they start discussing your brand on social media, it garners more attention. And conversations between customers are more credible proof of your brand’s quality and the experience you create. Together they can turn into powerful advocates for your brand. GoPro utilizes this idea brilliantly. 

The GoPro Creator Summit is a perfect example of this. 

The summit happens annually with creators from several countries coming to one place to create memories, to go on adventures. 

In 2020, with the pandemic and lockdown when an offline summit was not an option GoPro still had a virtual summit compiling snippets of adventures shared by people from across the globe. Even the simplest hikes and backyard adventures became wonderful stories. Consistently connecting with your customers in such ways has a huge impact on branding. 

Reward your customers 

Online contests and giveaways are a rage on social media these days. Rewarding customers who share their feedback encourages them to share a more genuine brief of their encounter with your brand. And this in turn boosts your brand’s social media engagement rates. 

The GoPro Million Dollar Challenge is a good example. This is where the brand encourages customers to share their moments captured using a GoPro camera and rewards the best entries submitted. 

For minimal efforts, customers get attractive rewards, and therefore the brand is more likely to skyrocket mentions on social media and thus strongly expand its reach. 

Another way in which GoPro approaches this is the GoPro Sponsorship. This is where adventure-seekers who own a GoPro camera can apply for a sponsorship for their next travel in exchange for engaging content. 

Focus on your social media aesthetic 

When you prioritize user-generated content, there is one challenge. Each video or image shared tends to be different. Because every user has a different style when it comes to content creation. So, how does GoPro tackle this? By making the most of social media features to maintain its social media aesthetic. 

GoPro also balances brand content and user content so as to create a lively mix of posts on its social media pages. It makes use of pinned posts on Instagram to keep customers updated about products in the spotlight and also as a way to create a strong first impression. 

And while sharing branded videos, GoPro uses templates for connected posts so as to instantly tell customers that a particular set of posts are about a particular product or campaign. Here is a snapshot from GoPro’s Instagram page.

Go pro with Kimp designs for your marketing ideas inspired by the GoPro marketing approach 

From minor edits to existing videos to fresh animated product videos and catchy images GoPro has a visually rich social media presence. What better proof than this for a brand meant to help content creators capture share-worthy moments? In fact, brands across industries now heavily rely on the use of images and videos to tell their stories, start conversations and promote their products. You should too. But consistently creating visually engaging content can feel like a tedious task. That’s where an unlimited design service like Kimp can make a difference. With the Kimp Graphics + Video subscription, for example, you can request unlimited videos and graphics for your brand both for social media and print media. 

What are you waiting for? Give it a try. We have a free 7-day trial option.