Many business owners would tell you that the term 'content marketing' is this new buzz word in marketing practices. However, they could not be further from the truth.
Back In The Day...
In fact the roots of content marketing can be dated back to 1895! Content marketing can take many forms from website content, emails and social media posts to things like videos. However in its purest and original form content marketing appeared as magazines and publications that were sent out to consumers or were available to buy. This form of content marketing has adapted and evolved as the years have gone by; however, the principal focus has always been the same, to inform, educate and build a relationship - NOT sell. The evolution of content marketing has played a large role in our society and how we communicate with companies (and each other) and will continue to influence our relationships with businesses for decades to come.
So What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing in its purest form consists of creating and distributing high value, informative, educational and non-branded content. The objective of this content is not to sell but to establish your company as an authority in its industry. The simplest way to do this is to be informative and add value. By demonstrating your knowledge (and offering this for free with no catches) potential consumers learn to trust your brand and this will develop into a long term customer engagement. Which as we all know leads to a higher chance of conversion because the consumers are already 'warm' to your company and brand.
The Impact of Good Content Marketing On Our Brand Perception:
The first example of content marketing was John Deere's “The Furrow”, a publication focused around farmers and the farming community, sharing information, tips and tricks. This form of content marketing is not a sales or advertising promotion. Yes, the publication is associated with the John Deere Brand and may feature some of their machinery but the focus of the content is informational regarding the industry, NOT the machinery they sell.
This format, originally outlined by John Deere, was used and adapted by a range of companies including Michelin who produced The Michelin Guide. Like John Deere's 'The Furrow' this publication was started in 1900 and again still exists today. The original purpose of this content was to:
Provide guidance on how to run and maintain your car
Outline good places to eat and stay while travelling
This simple publication has evolved into an industry standard and award system and has become an integral part of how we view that industry, for example the prestigious Michelin Star System for restaurants. Interested in finding out more? Why note check out our guides full of tips and tricks below or keep tuned as we will be looking at the impact and future of content marketing in our post tomorrow.