Multinational Conglomerate GE Goes All In On Content Marketing

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GE has developed a large audience for its brand content.

Major brands are using custom content as an increasingly important part of their marketing mix. The world of content marketing, from digital native posts to lush print magazines, is thriving—one of the few areas of ad-based media that’s booming outside the duopoly of Facebook and Google.

In fact, the global content marketing industry will grow at an annual rate of 16% per year through 2021, reaching $412 billion by the end of 2021, according to a report published last November by the British market research firm Technavio.

Marketers, dissatisfied with the performance of traditional display ads and digital marketing, are building meaningful customer relationships by telling stories, not about themselves, but about their customers and the interests and values they share.

It’s little wonder, then, that brands are hiring journalists and setting up their own content operations, and media companies are setting up content-creation studios to help brand marketers meet their objectives.

One marketer deep into brand marketing is GE, the 126-year-old multinational conglomerate that operates in the finance, aerospace, healthcare, and energy industries, among others. The company had 2017 revenues of $122 billion.

Tomas Kellner

[GE on Junes 26th will be dropped from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the venerable stock index that for over 100 years has tracked blue-chip stocks and served as a performance indicator for not just the stock market, but the entire economy. GE as recently as 2005 was the most highly valued publicly traded company in the U.S. It will be replaced on the Dow index by Walgreens.]

The company produces GE Reports, a web-based magazine with daily content, and GE Brief, a twice-weekly newsletter that has 100,000 subscribers and a total audience of double that.

I recently chatted with Tomas Kellner, the editor in chief at GE, about how a giant finance-and-manufacturing company obtains value from content marketing. The main thing, he says, is to understand that content marketing works because it’s about telling stories that are relevant that people want to read. At that level, it’s a simple concept.

Written by Tony Silber and originally published on Forbes