July 24, 2014
Posted by: Monica Selby
By now, you’ve probably heard the buzz about content marketing. Everyone’s talking about it, and everyone’s experimenting with its potential.
But, what exactly is content marketing, and is it really right for your business?
Content Marketing 101
Content marketing is simply using relevant and valuable content to attract and educate your potential audience. Thanks to the wealth of free information on the Internet, consumers no longer have to spend a fortune to learn a new skill or pick up a few tips. Businesses capitalize on that by offering free information that hooks an audience and makes them more receptive to future offers.
Yeah, it sounds a little like a bait and switch, but good content marketers provide real value to consumers. Your audience can actually learn something from your content, and you generate sales leads.
Content Marketing: A Brief History
Content marketing is nothing new. In 1895 John Deere launched a magazine called The Furrow. While it offered a convenient platform for John Deere to spread their brand recognition, it also provided good content for the farmers who read it.
In the 1930s soapmaker Proctor & Gamble launched dramatic radio shows around soap brands like Duz and Oxydol. Hence, we have the “soap opera.”
Toy companies really got into the game in 1982, when Hasbro and Marvel created the G.I. Joe comic book. The stories sold the toys sold the stories...you get the picture. Disney, of course, has become a master at this kind of licensing and content marketing through its films, books, toys, and amusement parks.
And, of course, the Internet sped everything up. In 2007 Blendtec uploaded its first YouTube video and saw a 700% increase in revenue. By 2010 the Content Marketing Institute was established, and in 2014 you can hardly be considered “in business” until you have a blog.
So, while content marketing may be buzzy in tech circles these days, it’s really nothing new. Brands have been doing it for years.
Is Content Marketing Right For You?
The fun thing about content marketing is that there are so many options to fit your company. You can produce multiple kinds of content across multiple channels, publishing when it fits your schedule (as long as you’re consistent.)
Some options to think about:
Really, any format that distributes information to an audience has the potential to become your go-to content marketing platform.
We’ll be talking more about content marketing here on the DevDigital blog, but if you’re curious now, give us a call. We have some great content marketers on staff, ready to help our clients expand their influence and grow their sales.