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Influencer Vision Pays Off For GoPro

Warc, April 23, 2015

CHICAGO – GoPro, the camera brand, has driven marketing success by working with a highly diverse group of influencers – from athletes in extreme sports to popular mommy bloggers.

Todd Ballard, GoPro's senior director/lifestyle marketing, discussed this topic at IEG's Sponsorship 2015 conference in Chicago.

And he argued that the brand's "family of ambassadors" has a crucial role in consistently delivering the type of aspirational, inspirational material which encourages consumers to buy its devices.

"What's really made GoPro successful to date is finding those taste-makers and those influencers within each market and in specific niches," he said. (For more, including how the brand is tapping user-generated material, read Warc's exclusive report: GoPro thrives on "virtuous cycle" of content creation.)

"It's kind of the inside-out marketing of start with the influencers and let them influence the masses."

With over 130 athletes in more than 35 sporting disciplines – from skiing and snowboarding to surfing – producing content on its behalf, GoPro has been able to provide unique perspective in a wide variety of ways.

"At the top of that food chain are our athletes and all the different properties that we sponsor that help create that aspirational content," said Ballard.

"We are setting the bar in different sports verticals and different lifestyle verticals to really show … what type of perspectives could be caught from a GoPro camera."

Beyond the sporting world, the company's efforts have extended to partnering with musicians, bloggers and many other people able to demonstrate the power of its products.

"As the brand evolves into new areas of family and travel … that can be bloggers or other influential people that we feel will inspire the masses to get their camera, go out and create content – which, at the end of the day, is what we feel really drives marketing better than any company-led marketing initiative," said Ballard.

Effectively leveraging such a broad roster of partners in a manner that is authentic and brings tangible benefits for both sides is no simple task.

"They all come with their own set of challenges – between an athlete and a musician and a mother who is an influential blogger," said Ballard.

But as a brand with ambitions of providing flawless video and photos anywhere from the homestead to half-way up a mountain, GoPro has witnessed the positive results of these efforts play out first-hand on the web.

"We have our users generating and sharing content, and that's what we're inspiring people to do through our ambassadors," reported Ballard.