The history of Content Marketing is a very interesting topic. Generalizing, it is possible to define two functioning views when it comes to the origin of the concept itself and the meaning it hides. In this article, I will present the differences between the two ways of thinking, and outline the etymologies of how content creation has evolved and how the evolving technology has influenced it.
1. Content Marketing
CM understood as creating and publishing content to promote a given brand. In implementation, it is much more subtle than an ordinary push advertising message. Its essence boils down to the fact that it meets the expectations of the consumer, providing him with solutions to the problem, entertainment and information. The tools with which the content is created are not so important, but the effect that is achieved.
It is very important that in content marketing activities a brand should be recognizable only as a content provider.
a. Content Marketing has existed for 2, 3 years. This is the first view we encounter. There is talk of a huge CM boom, presenting such activities as innovative and completely new to the market. According to one of the authors of Forbes Content Marketing, two years ago it did not exist at all. In fact, this point of view does not negate the fact that user content has already been created much earlier. He defines the difference in the intention of such actions. The content that has been created in recent decades is attributed to the role of fun and curiosities, while contemporary Content Marketing, which is booming, is primarily useful.
b. Content Marketing has been around for decades (1895).The second point of view presents the CM phenomenon as a trend that has existed since the beginning of civilization. One could say that the term storytelling, i.e. storytelling by brands, fits exactly into CM. Proponents of this view argue that brands have long told consumers about themselves and their products. An important element that is changing is the evolution of the message and the tools by which it is presented. Considering the whole subject matter through this point of view, we are also able to notice a certain revolution that took place. The aforementioned revolution concerns the slow decline of advertising and the transition to the era of content production, i.e. the release of the media in a way. Until the Internet became popular, traditional media relied on control and monopoly in communicating information, thanks to which that the process of reproduction and the content distribution chain was very costly. Brands have always told stories, shared information, only today it is more popularized.
2. What is the phenomenon of modern Content Marketing?
a. First, digitization and general internet access have opened up completely new possibilities for brands. Today, anyone can create a document or video and present it to other users. CM is also available to more companies, there is no need for large budgets for such communication, because the costs of communication using digital media can be close to zero.
b. Second, the bar has stopped being set too high for the published publications. You don’t have to be a generally respected journalist writing for the best newspapers to gain recognition or create a community.
c. Third, the approach of journalists to work in non-media companies has also changed. When browsing job advertisements more and more often, we can see recruitment for positions such as: copywriter, content designer, inbound marketing specialist. Writers, editors and journalists work in these positions – they are ready to cooperate with brands in creating valuable content.
The three above-mentioned elements are called barriers that have been broken by Content Marketing in recent years, thanks to which its popularity is growing so much.
3. History of Content Marketing.
Brands have been telling stories for years to attract and convince consumers. The beginnings of Content Marketing can, of course, be traced back to the print media, and their development was parallel to the spread of the mass media.
Below, I will present a brief historical overview of the formation of CM, paying attention primarily to the information distribution channel.
a. The first magazine appeared in 1895 , when Irish John Deere published „The Furrow”, a monthly magazine advising farmers on how to achieve greater profits. The magazine has 1.5 million copies in 40 countries and 12 different languages.
b. In 1900 , the Michelin brand (tire manufacturer) issued a 400-page guidebook with a distinctive red cover. The publication was a guide for drivers traveling through France. She gave tips on how to take care of your cars, find accommodation and where to eat well. It also contained addresses of mechanics and workshops.
c. In 1904 , Frank Woodwark, while looking for a recipe for his company, used a strategy where he equipped all his sellers with free copies of a cookbook with recipes for jelly. Such inspiration turned out to be a great inspiration for customers, and just two years later sales of $ 1,000,000 were achieved.
The three points above provide an example of combining useful information with the product itself. Providing consumers with valuable information and combining it with the product shows that it has been an effective method of promotion for decades.
d. In 1982 year , the partners created the Hasbro Marvel GI Joe comic leading to a revolution in marketing toys. Interest in the product was gained by telling stories about it. They created the story of a character who is the fighting hero of the Cobra team. His mission is to oppose terrorism that wants to gain power over the world.
e. In 1987 , Lego launched „Brick Kicks” magazine, the current name is Lego Klub Magazine. The content created for the needs of magazines and the press has dominated and provided great opportunities for brands for many years.
f. The next element of the information revolution was the rise of television and the rise of the Internet.
g. However, the real revolution took place in 2000 , when services such as MySpace, Friendster, Facebook and YouTube were launched, and the first corporate blogs such as Channel 9, created by Microsoft in 2004 .
h. The next stage in the development of CM in terms of brands was 2007 , when the video was used for viral purposes. A specific combination of CM and a viral. It was made by Blandtec, the first movie was called „Will It Blend”.
i. Recent years have seen an exponential development of modern media, technology and the broadly understood Internet. More and more people are starting to create content. We become cornered by it. The times have come when we receive a lot more information than we can absorb, and people increasingly have to segregate information. Internet users began to select websites and pages selectively, tracking and regularly visiting places that are of interest to them. The ones that produce high-quality content.