We have all heard the term before, we nod our heads in pretended understanding of the words, but most have no true understanding of their meaning.  Sure, we can split the words apart and decipher what they mean individually, but that still won’t lead us to the proper definition of the noun, content marketing.   We aren’t speaking of the feeling of contentment, when you are satisfied but rather, content.  That is, “The things that are held or included in something.” So, split apart, we have the definition for content and the definition of marketing.  Whereas marketing is, the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.”  In a perfect world, we would blend the two definitions together and get something like, the things that are included in the business of promoting or selling products and services.  Right?  Well, kind of.  Today, we will help to breakdown this broad term into something more specific that is tangible enough to grasp logically. 

According to dictionary.com, content marketing is defined as, “a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.”  In essence,  it is “A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” In short, it is giving your consumers quality content that is relevant to them.  We apologize that you had to read all those words in order to come to that conclusion.  There is a lot of stuff out there that muddy the waters when it comes to content marketing, making it difficult to decipher what it really is. So, how long has this been around and how can you do it?  For the history side of this strategy, we turn to contentmarketing.com.

In 1895, John Deere issued a magazine called, “The Furrow.”  The magazine is credited with focusing on the consumer, rather than the brand John Deere.  What began as a quarterly-issued magazine grew to a monster publication that had 4 million consumers at its peak in 1912.  Currently, it is still going strong at 570,000 subscribers worldwide.  What the magazine did was familiarize readers with their brand while keeping them informed on other agricultural news.  While “The Furrow” is still credited as being ahead of its time in content marketing, according to contentmarketing.com, it was not the first of its kind.  Below you will find three other forms of content marketing that date even earlier than 1895.  

1732 – Benjamin Franklin first publishes the yearly Poor Richard’s Almanack. The goal is to promote his printing business.

1801 – Bookstore Librairie Galignani employs creative content strategies to grow its business, including opening a reading room and printing a newspaper that featured articles from influential authors and books.

1861 – Samuel Wagner launches American Bee Journal, a magazine that is still being published. (https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2016/07/history-content-marketing/)

The examples above show us the earliest known forms of content marketing.  So, how is this relevant today?  For starters, these strategies are still being used.  Currently, content marketing is a vital strategy used by many product giants regularly.  Below are eight examples of content marketing campaigns that were a huge success.  For details on each campaign, visit this site: https://marketingland.com/content-marketing-done-right-8-examples-can-learn-149088.

  1. Coke’s “Share A Coke” Campaign
  2. Buffer’s Open Blog
  3. Hootsuite And A Game of Social Thrones
  4. Microsoft And Stories
  5. HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing
  6. McDonald’s Question Time
  7. GoPro And Visual Content
  8. Share As Image

The handful of above examples show how each company keeps their content current, in turn engaging their consumer.  Content marketing is an excellent way to show how your brand shines.  If you are interested in learning exactly how you can start your own content marketing campaign, check out this site:  https://optinmonster.com/how-to-create-a-successful-content-marketing-strategy-in-8-simple-steps/.

Source: https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2016/07/history-content-marketing/

Source: dictionary.com

Source: https://contently.com/2013/10/03/the-story-behind-the-furrow-2/