The light, portable, and easy to use HD camera, GoPro, hit the scene around 2004 and after over ten years of sales there have been millions of user videos uploaded to YouTube.
A few years ago I bought my first GoPro camera. After spending two years learning how to ski I wanted to have something to remember my time with friends as I started going on more and more ski trips. There was a lot of buzz around the then still relatively new camera so I thought I’d give it a shot.
Enter the PowPenguins
In March of 2014, my friends and I hit the slopes in Telluride, CO. We spent a few days playing around with the camera and on one bluebird day we all donned matching penguin suits and captured some awesome footage. It only took a couple hours to find a full clip we loved and an awesome song and put the two together on GoPro’s free video editing software. A few more points and clicks and my video was live on YouTube.
Redefining Inbound Marketing
Soon after uploading my video and releasing it to the interwebs, I unexpectedly received an email in my inbox. Beatriz, a User Generated Content Coordinator at GoPro, sent me a message via my YouTube channel.
I was totally stoked! My first GoPro video just got posted and GoPro was already reaching out to me about using my footage. I agreed to the terms and already started planned another shoot with my friends which would take place in Vail, CO three weeks later.
User Generated Content
This brought into focus the real secret to GoPro’s recent growth: User Generated Content. They weren’t creating new advertising campaigns designed in some back room, but were actually getting user content up on their channel and in some cases turning them into TV commercials. Genius. Everyone wants 10 seconds of fame and GoPro was simply tapping into that drive to get great content that they could curate and inspiring existing and new users with the hope of having their video be the next to go viral. Be a hero.
New Kids on the Block
Since then, there have been a few new companies to enter the scene. One cool company is Meerkat that allows users to stream live video. Instead of editing footage afterward, which can be a pain, you can just stream everything in real time. For GoPro, that would require some sort of mobile hotspot but the new cameras already have built-in WiFi capabilities.
Powder Penguins, concluded
To be clear, I didn’t end up getting featured on GoPro’s YouTube channel. I signed the agreement that allowed them to license my footage and uploaded all my videos. This won me two free mounts. I then negotiated gear rental for a second PowPenguins shoot that I planned with my friends and made another video which included shots at other angles. Afterward, I uploaded all of that footage as well. Nothing ever happened after that but I got a pretty cool experience out of it as well as some swag. GoPro got my footage and a new hardcore advocate.
To check out other GoPro videos by me and friends, click here.