December 13, 2018

Here’s How GE Is Making Manufacturing Cool Again

General Electric (GE) is a massive and, in corporate terms, ancient company.

Founded in 1889 by Thomas Edison (yes!) in partnership with J.P. Morgan and Anthony Drexel as a way to consolidate Edison’s various electrical business interests, GE today employs more than 313,000 people worldwide and produces everything from aircraft engines, to healthcare products, to lighting solutions, alternative energy products and more.

It’s a $122 billion multinational conglomerate that, at least lately, has been battered down a bit in the news as it goes through a long corporate reorganization. 

But in the midst of all the bad news about GE is the simple fact that this nearly 130-year-old company is really making a name for itself in the world of B2B content.


A few years ago the company put together an inspired Instagram campaign dubbed #GEInstaWalk that delivered:

  • 8 million views of GE’s Instagram 
  • 3 million reach per tour
  • 3,000 new followers

What sort of content did it show? Photos of factory floors, of course.

Per OptinMonster: “GE combined the campaign with influencer marketing, getting six Instagram influencers and several superfans to do the #GEInstaWalk. That meant touring their manufacturing facilities and taking, uploading and hashtagging pictures.”

It might sound strange, but it was actually very effective for the company because… well, factories are cool. Heavy industry is interesting. And these are things – like massive jet engines being assembled, or locomotives being repaired – that most people, certainly most people on Instagram, don’t often get to see.

As the company explained it: “The #GEInstaWalk is a real-time tour inside GE’s most cutting-edge facilities, as seen through the eyes of Instagram’s best photographers and avid fans of GE technology.” 

GE took what might seem like a dull business and brought to life through content.

I mean, just check out some of the assets…

They made it awe inspiring…

They made it visually stunning…

They incorporated video…

And they make it personal…

What a great way to tell the GE story.

“Boring” company? Check. “Boring” products? Check. 

But, by embracing the personal and visual side of what they do, GE has been able to tell its real stories directly, just as the people who work for them and buy from them experience. 

That’s what I mean when I talk about the power of story, beyond just “content.”

Sure, #GEInstaWalk was content. And, sure, it was a marketing campaign.

But it was more than that, in large part because it was so well done. There’s more to telling a story and getting a message across that just screaming “buy this!!” at people. Now that I can see just what goes into GE’s businesses, and see the people involved, I feel closer to them as a brand and more bought-in as a potential customer.

Next time I need a wind turbine, I know exactly where I’m going.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know. I’m always looking for examples of quality content that gets the job done.

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