Two years ago, I took a look at how General Electric was harnessing the power of YouTube creators to tell its story. Well, I recently took a look at GE’s social video strategy and discovered that the company, which was founded in 1892 by Thomas Edison, is using sponsored videos – particularly on Facebook – for both B2B and B2C digital video marketing strategy.
GE & Sponsored Video Content
According to Tubular’s Dealmaker software, GE’s corporate brand has been working with 15 partners who have uploaded 100 videos to the main social video platforms so far in 2017. Combined, this sponsored content has more than 15 million views and over 200,000 engagements, making the videos a significant medium to carry the brand message to a wider audience.
The most popular sponsored video is “This paper airplane has taken 9 years to make.” Uploaded to The Future Is Now’s Facebook page on June 19, 2017, this sponsored content currently has 5.7 million views and 109,000 engagements. It tells the story of Luca Iaconi-Stewart, a 25-year-old paper artist from San Francisco, who created a model Boeing 777 completely out of manila file folders. He even replicated the GE90-115B, the world’s largest and most powerful engine.
GE’s second most popular sponsored video is “This is additive manufacturing.” Uploaded to I Fucking Love Science’s Facebook page on May 3, 2017, this sponsored content currently has 2.5 million views and 33,500 engagements. It shows an advanced form of 3D printing that is changing the future of manufacturing. Additive machines turn digital designs into complex printed parts. GE is pioneering this process.
GE’s third most popular sponsored video is “Wind power is being converted to help power nearly one million German homes.” Uploaded to I Fucking Love Science’s Facebook page on May 31, 2017, this sponsored content currently has 1.7 million views and 24,600 engagements. It shows how GE is helping to bring clean, renewable energy to light up a country.
Tied for fourth place is “Adam Savage tests a massive jet engine in a new episode of GE In The Wild, out on YouTube now!” Uploaded to I Fucking Love Science’s Facebook page on May 10, 2017, this sponsored video currently has 1.6 million views and 6,689 engagements. The test is conducted at GE’s facility in Peebles, Ohio.
Also tied for fourth place is “Unring a Bell.” Uploaded to Discovery’s Facebook Page, on January 17, 2017, this sponsored video currently has 1.6 million views and 19,600 engagements. It examines the old adage, “You can’t unring a bell” once it’s already rung. Well, GE acoustic engineers created a “quiet zone” that temporarily silenced Yangon’s Ka Lay Wa Temple Bell in Myanmar, which is one of the world’s biggest and loudest. Using technology similar to that used in a GE subsea acoustic leak detector, the GE team created “destructive interference” – which occurs when two sound waves of equal frequency and opposite phase cancel each other out.
A second version entitled, “’You Can’t Unring a Bell’ – Unimpossible Missions – GE,” was uploaded to GE’s YouTube channel on the same day. Although YouTube defines “views” very differently than Facebook, this second version currently has 1.1 million views and 6,751 engagements.
And GE, which describes itself as a “digital industrial company,” has uploaded five more sponsored videos to Facebook this year, which each have at least a million views, and yet another video to GE’s Instagram account, which has 1.2 million views. So, the 125-year-old company’s social video campaign demonstrates that GE knows how to generally electrify a B2B audience.
GE: Using Sponsored Video to Reach B2C Audience
But wait, there’s more! GE Appliances is using sponsored videos to generally electrify its B2C audience, as well. According to Tubular’s Dealmaker, GE Appliances has 3 partners that have uploaded 26 videos in 2017. Combined, this sponsored content has 75.2 million views and 1 million engagements.
The most popular video sponsored by GE Appliances is “The obsessive chef cutting board makes perfect cuts.” Uploaded to INSIDER Kitchen’s Facebook page on May 26, 2017, this sponsored content currently has 23.7 million views and 329,000 engagements. This cutting board is made for perfectionists.
The second most popular video sponsored by GE Appliances is “Portable pizza oven.” Uploaded to INSIDER Home’s Facebook page on May 26, 2017, this sponsored content currently has 14.7 million views and 220,000 engagements.
The third most popular video sponsored by GE Appliances is “Garden tower grows 50 plants in one device.” Uploaded to INSIDER Home’s Facebook page on May 30, 2017, this sponsored content currently has 8.1 million views and 181,000 engagements.
The fourth most popular video sponsored by GE Appliances is “Shipping container pool.” Uploaded to INSIDER Home’s Facebook page on June 6, 2017, this sponsored content currently has 4.7 million views and 62,200 engagements.
The fifth most popular video sponsored by GE Appliances is “Home stencils can beautify anything.” Uploaded to INSIDER Home’s Facebook page on May 25, 2017, this sponsored content currently has 4.0 million views and 66,900 engagements.
And these partners of GE Appliances, which has been one of the largest manufacturers of major appliances in the world for decades, have uploaded nine more sponsored videos to their Facebook pages this year, maintaining the brand’s tradition of innovation and continuing to bring good appliances to life.
So, the company that Thomas Edison founded way back in 1892 is demonstrating that sponsored video can be used for both B2B and B2C marketing. And that’s an illuminating lesson that video marketing should study closely in 2017.