Year 2000: I started working in the custom publishing business doing account management work – producing custom magazines and newsletters (mostly print) for B2B brands.
Year 2001: First used the term “content marketing” while I was Penton Media (the largest independent trade media company in North America). Didn’t catch on at all.
Year 2004: 776 – Number of search returns for “content marketing” in Google. “Custom publishing” nets 64,100 during the same period.
End-of-year “custom publishing” results on Google equal 219,000. “Content marketing” beginning to catch up at 92,000.
Year 2010: Content Marketing Institute is launched. Content marketing as a discipline goes mainstream. Google returns (with no quotes) top 280 million for content marketing, almost 30 times the number returned for custom publishing.
According to Google Insights, the week of December 26, 2010 to January 1, 2011 is the first week in history that “content marketing” scored higher in Worldwide search interest (all categories) than “custom publishing” (see below).
Year 2011: RIP: Custom Publishing
In going further into Google Insights, looking at only the business category, we find…wait for it…a shocking discovery.
By the end of January 2011, content marketing scores a 100, while custom publishing scores a zero, nada, null…
Cremation or embalming?
And, digging a bit deeper, we find that the percentage growth in content marketing versus the baseline business category is 223%. Custom publishing came in at minus 100 (probably not enough data). Our friends in the content strategy world came in at a healthy 212%.
Now if only content marketing was a stock.
RIP custom publishing…you served us well.