Some of the best examples of content marketing come from our past. Imagine the jaunty door-to-door salesman of the year 1900 giving you a free cookbook. If you were to open the cookbook it would be full of recipes and helpful cooking tips. The cookbook would show you handy ways to use the company’s product in an informative manner. This is the essence of using content to market, giving consumers an opportunity to connect and engage with information about nearly anything.
This mode of marketing has been around longer than you think. Some of the first farmers’ almanacs in the United States were printed during the early 1800s and contained content marketing, not unlike the blogs we see today. An editor of the time would have written about the coming season, the best time to plant certain crops, and recommendations for new equipment. There were articles about canning and pickling, crop rotations, and livestock breeds. These publications were also entertaining with articles on stargazing and astrology. After a day of tending the fields or caring for livestock, a farmer could put his feet up by the fire and read relevant information about his industry. The publication would help in his decision making and possible change the way he viewed certain topics.
This style of marketing has gained resurgence with the advent of the internet. And as the World Wide Web grows, articles that grab a reader’s attention will have them thinking, perhaps even behaving differently towards certain subjects. This is the power that the unobtrusive manner of content marketing has on consumers. It is a style that dovetails nicely with the human psyche. It is a method of marketing that involves an ongoing process; a stream of fresh communication to readers. Marketing can be geared toward the issues that readers feel are important.
Some companies may hire in-house copy writers to fill blogs and other websites with content marketing. Others use a more practical method: crowd sourcing. This is where articles are generated by freelance writers. The freelancer writes about specific subjects, using keywords to fulfill the marketing content requirements and wishes of said companies. This method promotes a new economy where writers get a chance to earn money and companies can keep their costs down by avoiding the need to pay the salary of an additional team member.
Freelance writers now become like the editors of old, giving information and entertainment to readers, while providing companies customized content marketing. This style of marketing is the mode of the present. It is most likely the future. It certainly has its roots in our past.
By Jahn Terralumina