The Blog

by Calvin Grover

GoPro or it didn’t happen

The furthest reaching social content shifts from pictures to video

We all know the days of free-to-play social marketing are withering away. We’re at the mercy of the almighty algorithm, always trying to find the stickiest, furthest reaching, most engaging (dare I say “snackable”?) content that solves the organic reach crisis.

But let’s back up. In the early days of social marketing, the phrase “Pics or it didn’t happen” embodied the basic content strategy—after all, posts with pictures were 75% of all Facebook content and were generating 87% of social interactions on Facebook (eMarketer, 2014). It was safe to say that few people would not see or engage with your content if it did not have a visual.

But as the 1’s and 0’s of social algorithms change, a new standard is emerging: “GoPro or it didn’t happen.”


Pictured: Nick Woodman, GoPro CEO Photo: Gregg Segal / Inc

Pictures are now the content type with the least organic reach on Facebook (!!!), according to a recent report provided to Business Insider.

The leader now: all-powerful video, which generates 2.3x more organic reach on average than photos (reaching an average of 8.7% and 3.7% of page likers respectively), and has become the furthest reaching type of content on Facebook (SocialBakers).

Videos average 2x more organic reach than photos on Facebook

Why the change? As we’ve discussed earlier, in-feed video has become Facebook’s major focus with auto-playing videos being viewed more than 3 billion times per day on Facebook. They are not content with letting YouTube dominate online video, leading them to generate buzz around their video platform by algorithmically favoring video content.

We could be content to stop at the change from “Pics or it didn’t happen” to “Video or it didn’t happen” but consider this: GoPro built an empire on video content, becoming the de-facto standard in social video. Want proof? Their YouTube channel adds to the bottom line and not just through GoPro sales. When a YouTube channel racks up millions of views per video, YouTube will pay to put pre-roll in front of it—even if it’s branded content.

Take almost any video on GoPro’s channel (here’s one) and watch as the pre-roll, well, rolls. Money in the bank, thanks in large part to an engaging video style.

With video reigning as the new king/queen of social content, what are some keys to success? Here are some tips from Digiday, all of which happen to match the GoPro style:

  • Grab attention in the first 3 seconds (the standard unit of a Facebook video play), people scroll quickly these days.
  • Don’t rely on music/audio to drive the message as auto-play video is often muted.
  • Optimize; Speak to different audiences with creative, these won’t just be re-purposed broadcast spots. This is especially true if the content has a paid element for distribution, there are litany of targeting options to get the right content in front of the right people. Think one-size fits none.

Next time you’re about to press send, just remember: “GoPro or it didn’t happen.”