Content marketing is certainly not new. It is generally accepted that one of the first businesses to use content marketing effectively was John Deere in the late 1800s. In 1895 John Deere started publishing the magazine titled The Furrow in order to provide farmers with a resource of practical information that would increase their success. At the same time, it helped establish John Deere as the expert on all things related to farming. The magazine is still printed today in 12 languages and distributed in 40 countries.
For the same reason, companies both large and small are now embracing the concept of content marketing to deliver practical and relevant information to their customers. The emphasis on useful and relevant information means that customers and prospects are becoming increasingly sensitive to bias and deceit, demanding transparency from businesses. Rather than relying on advertising alone, customers are reading reviews and comments of those who have a personal experience of the product, service, or the business itself – often without knowing much about the reviewer.
All this leads to the need for today’s businesses to adopt a new marketing strategy. Content marketing consists of focusing on creating and distributing information that a specific target audience will find pertinent and engaging. Rather than emphasizing the features and benefits of a product or service, content marketing is communicating without direct selling. It is providing information that educates your customers and prospects so they can make better buying decisions. It is giving control to customers rather than businesses.