Marketing and promoting products and services have existed for as long as there have been products. Modern marketing has evolved from print to radio to television to digital in just over 100 years.
In a crowded market, how can brands stand out from the competition? To drive brand awareness, loyalty, and ultimately sales, it’s important to provide informative and enjoyable content. Content marketing achieves this.
The purpose of content marketing is to share information.
To drive engagement, brand awareness, sales, and customer loyalty, content marketing develops and disseminates relevant and valuable media content.
Content marketing focuses on providing consistent and useful content that adds value to people’s lives, resulting in positive impressions that may ultimately result in sales.
A variety of content marketing tools are available today, including websites, social media, podcasts, blogs, apps, print publications, and press releases.
How content marketing has evolved
In 1440, the printing press helped create pamphlets that marketed products and services. Since our early ancestors painted caves, humans have likely communicated through content.
John Deere, a manufacturer of agricultural equipment, released The Furrow, a magazine aimed at providing helpful information to farmers as an example of modern content marketing. The magazine also included engaging stories that readers enjoyed. Millions of readers, many of whom weren’t farmers, read The Furrow. By creating valuable, relevant, and enjoyable content, they put the reader first, which proved to be a successful strategy and the foundation of content marketing as we know it today. To this day, The Furrow is still being published.
Content marketing emerged from these endeavors and a few notable efforts in between: building an audience by delivering useful information to make people realize they need a product or service.
Many brands followed John Deere’s lead and began creating content designed to attract target audiences. Michelin, the French tire company, published the now infamous Michelin Guide in 1900, a large-scale publication intended for car owners and travelers. The Michelin Guide aimed to encourage more people to buy cars and travel on the roads (and to buy their tires) during a time when cars were not widely available. Today, Michelin Guides are still being published, though they are more of restaurant guides.
Numerous consumer publications targeting specific audiences have been released since then, giving brands their first opportunity to place targeted advertisements. Among them were Popular Mechanics, Advertising World, and Architecture Magazine.
In the 1900s and 2000s, new forms of content marketing emerged as a result of powerful new communication mediums such as radio and television. The term “soap opera” was coined by Proctor & Gamble in 1933 when they sponsored a serial radio drama with their new soap product. TVs were introduced into people’s homes in the 1960s, resulting in the birth of multi-channel marketing. Multiple platforms allowed brands to spread their content and messaging.
Then, in the early 2000s, social media brought content marketing to its final form: a pervasive marketing opportunity for brands across new platforms. Multi-channel marketing, social media, and search engine optimization (SEO) have ushered in a new age of content marketing. The main channels brands use to reach their audiences are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and many others. It’s true that we have come a long way since The Furrow.
What does content marketing look like today?
Trends in content marketing for 2023
Digital evolution has given brands access to more sophisticated marketing tools and channels to reach their target audiences.
The following are the major trends in content marketing for 2023:
People watch more than they read these days. It is easier to cram more information into a video with quick editing and exciting music than it is to cram information into a static image with a slogan. A video is preferred by nearly 70% of consumers when it comes to learning about a product or business.
While video production can be costly in some cases, the advantage is that videos can be shared across platforms, increasing audience engagement. In the digital age and the metaverse era, branded video content will always drive engagement, loyalty, and sales for businesses.
Through long-form written content, blogs can provide relevant and valuable information to audiences. Their ability to disseminate content in creative, engaging, and thought-provoking ways that generate brand awareness and loyalty is similar to The Furrow and Michelin Guide.
We release regular blog content on our SwaysEast blog designed to provide our audience with the most relevant and informative content on all things technology and marketing. We cover everything from smart marketing, AI, and how to start a business (and everything in between). The goal is to educate and inspire them to make a mark in the marketing world, and if we can help in some way with our smart suite of tools, then our work is complete.
3. Social media
Social media is the most effective channel for brands to reach their audiences since nearly 60% of the world’s population uses it (4.62 billion people). Through social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, brands can engage with current and potential customers through multiple types of media content (videos, music, messaging, photos, live streams, etc.).
Social media’s instant, always-on, and pervasive nature makes it the most powerful tool for brands to share their branded, targeted content. Brands can also express themselves through social media in new ways, often directly with their followers.
Globally, podcasts have over 424.2 million active listeners, making them one of the most popular emerging channels for brands. A number of brands and media outlets have started creating podcasts to create and spread content that adds value to listeners while also serving as a marketing tool.
Brands can share relevant content in long-form and often in a casual way via podcasts. Conversational communication allows for a deeper penetration into content aimed at providing value to audiences through the expression of opinions.
Take your content marketing to the next level
It is a good idea to bolster your content marketing initiatives with quality content that focuses on niche topics if you want to further your brand’s reach in your market. The goal is to turn your content marketing into knowledge marketing. What does this mean?
Create and share thought leadership content to set your brand apart from the competition. Brands can become subject matter experts and thought leaders by focusing on a relevant business topic. People are more likely to engage with your content when you become an authoritative voice on a subject.
In order to drive brand awareness, loyalty, and sales, content marketing is all about providing audiences with relevant and engaging information. If brands become authoritative thought leaders on particular topics that are relevant to their audience, they will be able to deliver more meaningful content.
What the future holds for content marketing
As a new form of deeper engaging content marketing, more brands will aim to become thought leaders. We will no doubt see more pervasive content marketing approaches being adopted in the future as our business landscape develops.
Our methods of reaching audiences are also evolving as our digital world evolves. Brands will have new and exciting opportunities to create and share their content in the Web3 era and metaverse.
We have progressed from print to binary marketing in just over a century. In the next 100 years, it will be impossible to imagine what ways and means we will be able to deliver content marketing to audiences.
SwaysEast offers a suite of smart digital marketing tools to help brands create innovative solutions and experience their very own AI digital marketing success stories. Book for a FREE APPOINTMENT today.