National Geographic's introduction to Z Corp., a manufacturer of 3D printer systems used in the additive manufacturing process, came from an online search and a YouTube video. The society's cable TV channel eventually included its visit to Z Corp. in its "Known Universe" program.
Julie Reece, director of Marketing Communications for Z Corp., said show producers became interested in her company when they saw a four-and-a-half minute video showing how to scan an actual steel wrench, then make an exact, working copy of the wrench using powdered resin in a Z Corp. 3D printer. The amazing thing was that the screwing mechanism on the wrench, which Z Corp. printed in a red color, actually worked, and the narrator from Nat Geo used the wrench to unscrew a nut from a bolt. Strangely enough, Z Corp. didn't even post the video to YouTube, as it belonged to National Geographic. It was picked up and posted by someone in Iran who finds and posts interesting videos.
Reece said she began experimenting with social media about two years ago, but not everyone in the company was convinced of its value in a B2B setting. However, any doubts anyone at Z Corp. had before the video went viral have been put to rest. "The week of July 8 the lead flow through our web site began to explode, and we started getting all kinds of comments about how amazing this technology is," Reece said. "We couldn't ignore it - it was going crazy and had hit 1 million views that first week. The video had gone viral!"...