The definition of content marketing is:
“A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Content marketing is an effective strategy for providing relevant and useful information to your audience. Even before the digital age, where blogs and social media raised the profile of content marketing, brands used magazines, and paid media to push content.
In 1895, John Deere published the first issue of their magazine, The Furrow. The magazine is widely recognized as the first brand magazine. The Furrow told stories that farmers would enjoy and relate to, with information inside that they could use on their farm. The basic recipe of content marketing has always been the same: to educate and entertain.
The Furrow was a success and was followed by more content marketing. Jell-O released a recipe book about cooking with their product in 1904 to help educate consumers about the potential benefits of cooking with Jell-O.
1982 had perhaps the most dramatic change in content marketing. Marvel and Hasbro created GI Joe cartoons and comics, to sell their action figures to children. The 1980s had several product-related children’s television shows. Perhaps the generation that was raised on these cartoons contributed to the rise of content marketing that we are seeing today.
None of those innovations in content marketing are as dramatic as the shift that has occurred thanks to the proliferation of the internet, the increasing popularity of blogs and the advent of social media. With the constant changes, what does content marketing look like in 2017? This infographic from Point Visible outlines some insightful stats to help answer that question: