October 15, 2013

GE Receives 30 Percent 'Extra Value' for Every Content Marketing Dollar Spent

Five years ago, General Electric (GE) was in trouble. When the 2008 recession hit the market, the electricity company felt its brunt—and the result was a dive in popularity amongst the public.

What GE needed was a comeback to remind the public that the company was still relevant despite the difficult economic climate it was embroiled in. So, GE turned to a burgeoning new marketing strategy to get people excited again and bring new eyeballs to its website—content marketing.

But did it actually work? At the end of the day, it’s all about the bottom line. As it turns out, five years after implementing its content marketing strategy, GE crunched the numbers to see whether it was worth its effort. According to GE CMO Beth Comstock, content marketing indeed played a large part in the company’s comeback. 

"We've done some research on our content marketing," said Comstock in a recent Adweek article. "And we get 30 percent extra value for every dollar spent."

Comstock credits the rise of social media as a major part of GE’s recent success. While platforms such as Facebook and Twitter were just beginning to take off when GE first started experimenting, the social platforms have come to play a large part in GE’s rebirth. Now, the company is approaching almost one million likes on Facebook. GE is also realizing the benefits of combining video with social media and has begun to use Vine and Buzzfeed as platforms for spreading content across the Web.

"I think social media has been a big part of it because it makes us relevant in a lot of new ways," said Comstock. “The business strategy has had more focus, and social media has helped channel it.”

So, how can your company achieve the same ROI that GE produced? By adopting a robust content marketing strategy and explaining your services and products through the creation of creative and compelling content instead of forced advertisements, which is the basic philosophy of content marketing.

It is important to remember that there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to content marketing. A content strategy that works well for one company might not work well for another. Companies must therefore experiment with different types of content marketing tactics, using data as a learning guide to accurately measure the ROI each step of the way.

"We've been on a five-year journey,” explained Comstock, “and we are still trying to figure this out.”

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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