At ondemandCMO, we are all about helping brands tell their stories. How do we do this? One key aspect is content marketing. Content marketing has gone from a concept, to an unusual marketing technique, to the focus of the marketing world over the past century. Take a look at a few key events that have pushed content marketing to its prominent position in the marketing world.
Content Marketing Highlights:
1895 – The Furrow
John Deere published the first official piece of content marketing: The Furrow. This magazine was initially created to help farmers learn general business skills. Recently, John Deere has adapted The Furrow to teach farmers how to utilize technology to further success. It has 1.5 million copies circulating in 40 countries around the globe.
1904 – Jell-O Recipe
Jell-O distributed free copies of a recipe book that contributed to sales of over $1 million by 1906. This was one of the first times content marketing was directly related to a significant increase in sales.
1982 – G.I. Joe Comic Book Series
Hasbro partnered with Marvel to create the G.I. Joe comic book series. The series spurred the G.I. Joe pop culture phenomenon. It was the first comic book ever advertised on TV and later led to a cartoon series.
2004 – Channel 9
Microsoft launched the first major corporate blog, Channel 9. The name was based on the channel nine system that airlines use in-flight for customers to get to know their pilots. Today, over 65% of businesses have an active blog.
2006 – Nike+
Nike, Apple and other global brands partnered to create a product that maps runs and tracks progress. This is an example of how technology is a content marketing opportunity.
2011 – The Explosion of Content Marketing Resources
Over the past 5 years, hundreds of books, blog posts, and resources on content marketing have popped up. It is no longer an unusual marketing technique – it is the norm.
The Next Step: Content Excellence
Coca-Cola created the idea of “content excellence” as part of its Content 2020 advertising strategy. This strategy stated “If you’re going to be successful around the world, you have to have fat and fertile ideas at the core.”
The purpose of content excellence is to create ideas that are so exciting that they cannot be controlled. How does Coca-Cola do this? It focuses on making marketing a conversation. Its brand story needs to be so engaging and authentic that it motivates people from all over the world to initiate conversations. Then, Coca-Cola acts and reacts to these conversations 365 days a year!
Ok, so it might be doable for Coca-Cola to pull-off content excellence… but what about the rest of us? Here are a few angles to consider when developing your company’s content marketing strategy:
- Leverage existing consumer behaviors
You know who your target customer(s) are – meet them where they’re at. How do they spend their free time? How can you meet them there?
- Provoke conversations
Keep an eye on the current trends and hot topics. Is there a way for your company to create content that will give people the need to respond?
- Develop deep emotional connections
People are moved by emotions. How can you emotionally connect with your customers? Can you make them laugh or cry?
Content marketing has developed exponentially over the past century, and it appears that it will continue to gain popularity over the next several years. Is your company ready?