This content is created collaboratively by Skift and Travel Channel.
In the era of user-generated travel content, GoPro reigns king.
The video gadget company, started as a way to capture first-person surfing videos, has become synonymous with travel, adventure and extreme sports. It’s given destinations a budget-friendly way to create social buzz and has empowered average travelers to shoot their own adventures from unique perspectives.
Around the world, GoPros are being strapped to the helmets of skydivers and motorcycle stuntmen, capturing up-close moments with lions in African deserts, and giving never-before-seen views of amazing feats.
As part of the The Way I See It digital series, Travel Channel strapped GoPros to a colossal pogo stick to capture a dizzying first-person perspective how one stuntman lives and travels.
Hotels like Marriott are renting out complimentary GoPros for guests at 17 of their Caribbean and South American properties, prompting guests to capture their adventures and share with hashtags like #GoPro and #TravelBrilliantly over social media. They’ve built a mini-site to highlight the best guest-generated videos.
Similarly, Mammoth Mountain has partnered with GoPro to showcase its trails, and has concurrently built a powerful social brand while doing so.
“When it comes to building a social brand around content, GoPro helped write the book. Its audience is massive, its content is consistently viral, and most importantly its strategy results in sales,” Mammoth’s CMO Erik Forsell said in an interview with Skift.
“On our end, we have the biggest social audience of any mountain resort, largely the result of our content strategy, and we have a brand that resonates with an affluent, active audience. Look at the two entities separately and there’s a lot in common. As a marketer you want to align your brand with the best and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
GoPro’s own viral marketing strategy is built on similar ground. With over 3.2 million subscribers, the company’s YouTube channel is the platform’s third-most popular for 2015, packed with with nearly 3,800 user-submitted content and is closing in on 1 billion views.