Unless you were in complete marketing hibernation during 2014, you are probably somewhat familiar with the term content marketing.
But does this newfangled, ubiquitous term actually mean anything to you? Or is it one of those marketing phrases you glaze over, ignoring it until the next popular trend comes along?
In other words, do you think of content marketing as a fad or as something with staying power?
“Content marketing is owning – as opposed to renting – media. It’s a marketing process to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating content in order to change or enhance a consumer behavior.”
So, when you strip the term content marketing down to its most basic definition, the most surprising thing about it is … how unsurprising it is.
And why is it unsurprising?
Because the term content marketing is simply a new term for an old practice – the practice of using storytelling and thought leadership to drive business.
According to Content Marketing Institute, John Deere was the first to market with content back in 1895.
Way back 120 years ago, the company began publishing The Furrow magazine as a way to give farmers tips on how to be more profitable. Today, The Furrow is still the world’s largest circulated farming magazine.
So if we think of content marketing as “creating content to change or enhance a consumer behavior”, then content marketing has already been around forever. And it’s therefore safe to say the practice will continue to thrive, albeit in various forms, well into the future.
Why? Because people love a good story.
If you think about it, you can find terrific examples of content marketing in the small, immediate world that surrounds you every day.
Take, for example:
- The school that offers free workshops to teach parents how to talk to their kids about sex or drugs (to engage parents in the school community and help them become better caregivers)
- The gym that offers free nutrition seminars (to get people thinking about their health while exposing them to the gym’s facilities)
- The health food store that publishes weekly recipe guides (to encourage customers to make home-cooked meals – and buy more of their products)
These are all ways institutions, organizations and companies are creating content that provides value above and beyond their direct products – in order to get you to buy (or buy into) their offerings.
In my small, immediate world, I recognized the power of providing valuable content before I even knew what marketing was. Because what was I doing when I wrote and distributed a neighborhood newspaper in the sixth grade that – oh, by the way – included what was essentially a banner ad that promoted my babysitting availability?
I was content marketing.
Content marketing is all around us, at all levels, influencing our decisions, our purchases and our brand loyalty every day.
Content marketing is not a fad. It’s forever. Are you ready to tell your story?
If 2015 is the year you take content marketing seriously, contact us or consider signing up for a Script Your Story session. You’ll get the actionable big thinking you need to kickstart your content marketing strategy – the right way.
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