Imaginative Content Marketing at Work

For marketers of a certain age, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom represents a pioneering television series, as well as a classic example of native advertising. Leave it to the imaginative folks at GE to develop a modern update of the form. “GE’s Fallonventions,” a recurring bit showcasing young inventor-innovators, premiered on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in February to rave reviews—and nearly 400,000 subsequent YouTube views. The feature represents just one of the many elements of GE’s content marketing capability, which Alexa Christon, GE’s head of global media innovation, recently discussed via email:

When and how did you decide to take your content marketing to a more robust level?

It’s been more of a natural progression for us, from being first movers on platforms including Instagram, Vine, Tumblr, and, to creating partnerships with The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, we really look to platforms and content that inspires and delights, informs, and, ultimately, allows people to get to know GE in a meaningful way.

What are some signs that more content marketers are looking to develop media outlets?

Some brands are pursuing their own content studios and moving away from using traditional agency models. What’s prevalent right now is brands figuring out how to communicate their unique voice on existing platforms with unique content, leading to more meaningful relationships with their audience. We have, an online magazine we publish that features stories about innovation and technology alongside articles about issues important to GE.

What was your motivation for creating

Our motivation is to go where our audience is and look at ways of engaging them across many platforms with content that resonates. We strive to be found in places where we can have an authentic voice.

How does this form of content marketing benefit the company?

It really helps tell a deeper story about what we do and highlight our people and customers in rich and entertaining ways.

What are the primary content-marketing risks you monitor and manage?

Generally, we want to make sure the intended purpose of the message and our brand is coming through. That’s the balance of using great content and constantly looking to delight and inform the audience, while staying ahead of the curve.

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