Marketers have long assumed content shared by friends or other influencers carries more weight than paid placements. Now GE has some proof.
Working with social-media site Buzzfeed, the company commissioned digital-advertising measurement firm Vizu to test a campaign last fall in which the marketer distributed “The GE Show” video through Buzzfeed both in paid display placements and sharing, then tested how attitudes changed among people exposed each way.
People exposed via sharing had a significantly bigger lift in positive attitudes toward GE — associating the brand with such things as creativity and innovation — than people exposed via paid placements. […]
Overall, 42% of the responses about GE from people in the control group that didn’t see the content were positive, compared to 55% of responses from people exposed via paid advertising and 77% for those exposed via sharing.