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Content Marketing Is Not New, But the Opportunities Are [Video]

One of our goals for my opening keynote at Content Marketing World was to make sure the marketing professionals in the audience understood that content marketing is NOT new.  This two minute video tells the tale (this video opened the conference):

Most people think that content marketing is a new thing, but it’s been going on since the time of the cave paintings.  John Deere, and their customer magazine The Furrow, is given credit for the first content marketing initiative.  At that time, farmers needed to be educated on the latest in technology so they could be more successful. Instead of buying attention, they created a print magazine in 1895, teaching farmers all about the latest in technology and trends for farmers.  Over 100 years later and 1.5 million in distribution to 40 countries, The Furrow could be the most successful content marketing initiative in history.

Some other timeline facts you may not be aware of:

  • 1900 – Michelin develops the “Michelin Guides” to help drivers maintain their cars and find decent lodging.
  • 1904 – Jell-O distributes free recipe book that leads to $1 million in sales by 1906.
  • 1930s – P&G creates and sponsors radio “soap” operas.
  • 1982 – Hasbro partners with Marvel to create G.I. Joe series of comic books, which leads to a revolution in the toy industry.
  • 1987 – LEGO launches Brick Kicks magazine (now LEGO Club magazine)
  • 2004 – Microsoft launches Channel 9, one of the first corporate blogs from a major brand.
  • 2007 – BlendTec develops Will It Blend? video series.
  • 2008 – American Express launches Open Forum.
  • 2008 – P&G creates for adolescent teen girls.

And on and on…

Brands have been telling stories for centuries. Content marketing is not new.  Even so, there are more opportunities than ever before.

If content marketing was a baseball game, then we are just getting out of the dugout for the first inning.

Today, there are literally no barriers to entry when it comes to content marketing.

As Newt Barrett and I discussed in our first book, Get Content Get Customers, the following reasons have left the door wide open for brand marketers to become THE publishers in their industry.

  • Buyers accept content from corporate sources more than ever.
  • Shrinking media budgets are leaving an opportunity for YOU.  You can invest in the research and content that the traditional media in your niche aren’t willing to do.
  • Technology is accessible to companies of every size.
  • Journalists, editors and content agencies like we have at Junta42 are willing and able to help you tell your story more effectively.

So, although creating valuable, compelling and relevant content (storytelling) for your customers and prospects has been going on forever, there is still time to make your mark as the leading informational expert in your industry.

For more on developing a content marketing strategy that works, Managing Content Marketing (my new book with Robert Rose) will help.