Content marketing is actually a new term for a 100+ year old industry. John Deere launched The Furrow magazine to its tribe of farmers in 1895, and The Furrow is still around today, getting delivered to over a million farmers in 14 languages.
According to their website:
[The magazine] provides to the reader a mix of current issues in farming with both local and international background, and best practice examples as well as exclusive news and facts on John Deere products and company strategy.
So the brands who are winning in the marketplace today are the ones who become informational resources for their customers – this is content marketing at its essence – by creating compelling, relevant and valuable content on a consistent basis.
Corporations have been telling stories to help sell products and services for a long time… take the Sears Mutual Radio Theatre show, Proctor & Gamble’s soap operas, and more.
Many companies sort of lost their storytelling muscle when mass media came around in the mid 20th century, so most companies started focusing on advertisements and traditional marketing.
Now, because attention is so hard to get and our customers can easily ignore all the advertising, we get customers’ attention by giving them information that is very helpful and useful that we become a trusted resource for them.
But do prospects and customers really just want more content?
Absolutely not… no one want to receive more “content” like white papers, newsletters or blog posts. However, customers don’t look things this way thinking, “Oh I need to find some more content from Red Bull.”
What they do want is good information that is going to help them live better lives, have better careers and make things easier, or whatever the case is.
So as long as your content is truly helpful, they won’t reject an answer to a question they have, or some help for a problem they’re trying to solve.
And that’s why content marketing is here to stay.