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Two months ago we asked Kraft Foods to dish out their recipe for successful content marketing. Since then more and more marketers have been requesting additional perspective from fellow leading advertisers. Therefore, we decided to interview three more Fortune 500 companies that appear to be effectively running part of their organizations as publishers. First we sat down with Erin Anderson, Interactive Marketing Manager at General Mills who oversees Tablespoon for the CPG. Next we visited with Katrina Craigwell, Digital Marketing Manager at GE.

Brandon Gutman: How do you get people to discover your content?

Katrina Craigwell: The best way to create discovery is to plug into communities. We look at environments where people with interests in science and technology are actively creating and sharing content. The GE Instagram feed has been a great example of this, and we’re exploring how we can do more with tumblr, Viddy and others in the coming year. Once we have the content and the right home for it, we look at a mix of paid, earned, shared (GE communities in social) and owned (GE owned digital properties) distribution to get it in front of the right audiences. Having a paid element in the mix often helps us build momentum behind a piece of content at launch, which is critical in terms of giving it the chance to take off if it can find broad appeal.

An image from the @generalelectric Instagram feed

What is the ROI on your content marketing efforts? How do you measure success?

We continue to look at the standard site and social metrics – unique visitors, time spent, pages/visit, follower counts, social engagements and sentiment. We’ve also been looking very closely at sharing. We’re working to map user paths from one piece of our content to the next to see how we can help guide different users along the right narratives, as well as understand how far our content is being shared, by who and in what context. At the end of the day, if the content isn’t good enough for the end user to want to share it with a friend or colleague, we haven’t quite succeeded. From the lens of brand awareness and reputation, the act of sharing is a key conversion metric.

Your sites Ecomagination and Txchnologist are a true brand initiative — associating the General Electric brand with innovation, science, technology and environmental solutions. Describe how you see these sites fitting in with the overall GE brand strategy?

One of our biggest challenges, and biggest opportunities is communicating the depth and breadth of what we do in an understandable format, for a consumer audience. Digital is the medium where we can help our audiences to discover our jet engines and steam turbines, in addition to knowing our light bulbs and appliances, in an engaging environment.

All of our Corporate content properties, from GE Reports, to ecomagination, to healthymagination, to Txchnologist and GE.com itself, tell a different part of this story. GE Reports is our longest standing content property and has been the go-to online resource for an official account of our activities. ecomagination, healthymagination and Txchnologist are destinations where we can host conversations about clean tech, personal health and the future of science and technology. On GE.com, we’re working to take a 132 year old brand, and create a modern, dynamic window into its businesses.

Katrina Craigwell from GE

Together, these properties help us illustrate the aviation, energy, healthcare and transportation industries at large, and how GE is innovating within them.

Tune in tomorrow when we sit down with Julia Fitzgerald, Chief Digital Officer at Sears Holdings.

Follow Brandon on Twitter at http://twitter.com/brandongutman

Find more of my content about brand leaders at http://brand-innovators.com

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by Brandon Gutman
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Brandon is an expert connector and seasoned business development professional. As Principal of Brand Approved, he's led the advisory to become the bridge between brand marketers and best of breed service providers that are reshaping the industry.

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