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What We Can Learn from GE’s Digital Marketing Strategies

Aside from being at the forefront of technological innovations, what else does industrial titan General Electric excel at?

Believe it or not, it’s digital marketing.

General Electric’s strategic approach to its online marketing campaigns is admired by both seasoned and rookie marketers alike. GE is all over the different social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

The brand is exploring new frontiers with help from Wattpad creative writers as well.

Of course, not all brands have the budget to dominate every social platform out there. But General Electric has a thing or two to teach today’s digital marketers.

Reflect Your Vision in All Your Efforts

What makes GE’s content so endearing? Is it the stunning visuals? The hundreds of shares on social media? The answer: none of the above.

If you observe the types of content that General Electric shares online, you’ll see that they are all about innovation, new technology, or looking at science with a new perspective. It’s GE’s vision for its company and for the world.

This is the main reason they stand out above their competition. In order to successfully market yourself online, you’ll need to first find WHAT you do that’s different.

In the case of GE, they want to bring science closer to average folks. They want to make it fun, entertaining, yet educational.

Be The First To Try New Platforms

When it comes to profit, familiar is better.

Trying out something new will no doubt eat up valuable resources and require fresh talent. Depending on your industry, trying something new is just a waste of time and money. In digital marketing, however, it could spell the difference between staying relevant OR being forgotten.

General Electric knows this. That’s why they are usually the first brand to begin a marketing campaign on a new social platform before its competitors.

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Back when Snapchat was still gaining traction with brands, GE joined in the fun – just in time for the 45th anniversary of the moon landing. They created their first Snap on July 15, 2014, accompanied their announcement with a “special surprise” for fans.

The following year, the industrial company had its very own geofilter to get young fans fired up and ready for the holidays. The Snapchat feature, activated only with location services, showed a specific GE travel filter for photos so you can tell friends and family where you’re headed.

The brand hoped to remain relevant to Snapchat’s young demographic because they are the “next generation of customers, investors, and employees”. Wise words indeed from a brand with a vision.

Interested in knowing how Snapchat can help promote your business through geofilters? You can now create on-demand geofilters that showcases your logo, business name, or any other type of promotional content that you’re authorized to use. Make sure to register for an account first before you could try out this marketing strategy. This is great for local businesses who want to spread the word about their enterprise or event.

Relate Your Brand To Modern Ideas

One of the most challenging aspects of digital marketing is connecting your brand’s message to what people are talking about. This can be exceptionally tricky if you’re in niche markets such as construction and engineering. After all, who wants to chat about science, innovation, and manufacturing?

Always on the forefront however, General Electric was able to rise up to the challenge and even succeeded in attracting people to their campaigns.

Their Pinterest profile is proof of what happens when creative digital marketing ideas meet trending topics.

Another brand that refuses to fall behind on trends is hemp-clothing maker, Jungmaven.

Founder Robert Jungmann’s ultimate goal is to get everyone wearing hemp t-shirts to help mitigate climate change. To make his goal a reality, he makes sure the Jungmaven line is just as competitive when it comes to style.

Their Instagram account is filled with inspiring and trendy images that are an obvious hit with their 29,600 followers.

Partner Up

Today’s consumers are smart. They have the web and social media at their fingertips.

They are no longer easily swayed by TV ads, Facebook promotions, or BuzzFeed videos (entertaining as they may be).

Today’s consumers want to be a part of something BIG. Millennials, in particular, are highly concerned about social impacts and becoming change agents.

If you want to achieve big things, you need to think BIG – and pair up with someone big, too. That’s why GE once teamed up with National Geographic to give an old message a new twist. Their series, “Breakthrough”, was all about cutting-edge innovations that explore how far we can go to pushing the boundaries of science.

Think Long-Term

It’s definitely tempting to want to go viral.

After all, you’re guaranteed hundreds if not thousands of hits overnight.

Plenty of digital marketers even plan their strategies based on viral success stories like Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” or Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor.”

While these brands have definitely won in the arena of online marketing, the REAL question afterward becomes: now what?

A viral digital marketing campaign is awesome, especially if you’re a small firm who wants to compete with the big boys in your industry. However, businesses should also think about long-term marketing. How will your strategy hold up in five or ten years from now? Are the things you’re doing now aimed at ensuring consumer loyalty? Is your marketing plan designed to withstand changes in technology and the web?

That’s why GE has diversified its marketing tactics to reach more of the younger generation, which they consider being their company’s future.

They’re not just inspiring buyers: they are also attracting potential investors and employees. According to CMO Linda Boff in an interview with Adweek, General Electric had always been about stories of bringing people passionate about science together. Unlike viral sensations, stories stick.

If you look closely, you’ll see that their online marketing content is ripe with stories: even their photos have a tale to tell.

ge-wattpad
GE also invested in creative writers on Wattpad to put a new spin into their old Science comic books. General Electric’s official Wattpad account currently has more than 40,000 Followers, and their featured story “Our Place in Space” has been read 20,000 times.

Another long-term strategy that GE is implementing is customer reviews.

They are today’s version of word-of-mouth advertising. Not only are they a powerful tool when it comes to local SEO, but customer reviews are also great social proof that your products and/or services are better than competitors.

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Customers who visit the GE appliance website can leave testimonies about the electronics they bought. If they have issues or concerns, a GE representative is also standing by to provide assistance.

In an overly competitive world of electronics, perhaps one of the best things that could separate you from your rivals is excellent customer service – told through stellar reviews.

Thanks to this strategy – as well as their exceptional attention to customer service – they have managed to remain strong despite the growing preference for tech giants like Best Buy.

Remember: viral hits are just that – viral hits. General Electric and ABT Electronics have proven that by combining digital marketing tactics with good old-fashioned concepts, you can be competitive for the long haul.

Conclusion

General Electric is not the only brand in the market today that utilizes clever digital marketing techniques. You too can play it smart by observing what they do best and then adopting them into your own campaign. You don’t have to spend millions on partnerships or ads: it’s all about having a clear picture of where you want to be.

About the Author: Al Gomez is an SEO consultant and digital marketer. Chat with him on Twitter at @alseoblog.

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