What we call Content Marketing today is a marketing strategy that has actually been around for over 100 years. The term “Content Marketing” was apparently coined around 1996 to describe information being distributed by companies for the benefit of their customers. Here are a few examples.
The John Deere Company began distributing a magazine called the Furrow in 1895 that contained informative articles designed to help farmers. Remember people will buy from people they know and trust. When these free10 X 13 news sheet magazines landed in their mailboxes, farmers responded and John Deere sales went…up.
Not only that, the magazine is still around. It is still printed in 12 languages in 40 countries.
Every body knows Betty Crocker. General Mills began publishing Betty Crocker Cook Books as early as 1933. The first ones sold for 25 cents. What better way to encourage folks who love cooking to buy from you than providing them with hundreds of delicious recipes.
Here is the cover of the original Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book printed in 1950. (My Mom had one of these)
The Michelin Guide was developed by the Michelin Co. and offered maintenance tips and travel information. Originally published in 1900, it was given away free. The Michelin Guide is still published today covering most of the major countries and cities in the world. While they are no longer free, they are inexpensive.
Here is the guide from 1912
In 1899, the Genessee Pure food company acquired a little known company producing a product called Jello. Genessee placed ads in The Ladies Home Journal and managed to achieve some success.
Then in 1904 Genessee took a huge gamble with an untried marketing strategy. They flooded the country with door-to-door salesmen selling Jell-O and giving away free cookbooks that told how to use the product.
Here is a Jell-O Cookbook from 1930
You can see what we call Content Marketing has been around for a long time.
The disadvantage to these old methods was they cost a lot of money to produce and distribute. The risk of loss was high if the promotions didn’t work.
Today, thanks to the internet, the cost is ridiculously low.
If you would like to see how low, just click on Why Website Marketing and see.
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