What Digital Marketers Can Learn from a 130 Year Old Company

Can a 130 year old brand be at the forefront of digital marketing? If it’s GE, absolutely.

With the dedication of a rock solid social and content task force, the American icon and household name turned popularity ratings around after a major dip during the recession of 2008. Six years later, they’re developing compelling, creative content and enjoying 30% better returns.

So what can brands take away from GE’s success in the content world?

Be true to your brand, but don’t be afraid to experiment.

From quick-hit listicles on a branded Buzzfeed page to bite-sized Vine science experiments, GE partners with agencies to push out clever short-form content that appeals to a socially-savvy audience and worked with each channel’s inherent strengths. Each mini campaign rings true to GE’s heritage of innovation, but was just unique (and a little crazy) enough to motivate participation from  a younger crowd. The results? More than 100k followers and 1.25 organic engagements to date on Vine.

Give your fans a look inside the way you work.

While other social channels use a careful blend of humor and geekery, GE uses Instagram to take fans to the heart of the brand’s factories and facilities. In May, GE plans to launch it’s second annual Instawalk, featuring a real-time tour of the brand’s Cape Cod Air Force facility as shot by fan photographers inspired by wind energy and mobilized by social media.

Keep it coming… and coming…

Brands just can’t create a few pieces of content and expect results. GE has created a vast library of content that ranges from two separate Tumblr blogs that showcase the brand’s history and future and current science/technology news, a 3D printing scheme for the holiday season, calendar-specific stunts for Pi Day and World Gravity day, attention-grabbing Pinterest boards like Badass Machines and so much more. By creating such a diverse range, GE has the ability to test what works and amplify the stickiest content with paid media to extend their reach.

And with that reach, GE has evolved in the consumer mindset from being a lighting, appliance and industrial products manufacturer to a company committed to innovation across consumer and commercial industries.


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