In digital marketing, a universe which moves at warp speed, some things are enduring, and content remains king. After all, isn’t that what we are all searching for…insightful and informative content presented in an intriguing manner which royally suits our needs?
I decided to explore how elements that support appealing content and effective SEO evolve and remain relevant to drive business objectives.
Defining Content Marketing
With more than one way to define content marketing, the Content Marketing Institute has provided several, and one that is particularly descriptive is as follows: “Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
A Few Fun and Instructive Examples of “Content Marketing” From Yesteryear
Bearing this in mind, it is helpful to understand that the concept is not in fact new, although the distribution channels surely are, and it can be both fun and instructive to take a look at what we would now call “content marketing” from yesteryear. Let’s take a look at how a few companies offered valuable content in the form of “helpful hints” or useful advice free of charge and found their customers through counterintuitive channels.
Here is an advertisement for Goddell-Pratt tools, with a helpful hint for driving screws right in the ad copy as well as an offer to send a booklet free of charge for the asking.
It might be tempting to think that this advertisement appeared in a magazine geared toward mechanics, but I found it in the February 19, 1916 issue of The Literary Digest. Knowing the penchant for home improvement today, it is interesting to note that the literary person of yesteryear also enjoyed tinkering around the house.
Providing valuable content in the form of booklets free of charge was not limited to large companies, and here we see an advertisement from an entrepreneur selling hairpieces, but also offering “…the finest work on fashionable hair-dressing ever published, Sent free.”
This advertisement was placed, not in a magazine devoted to health and beauty, but rather in the July 1886 issue of The Chautauquan, a magazine devoted to culture, covering such topics as science, philosophy, current events, among others. The entrepreneur, Mrs. C. Thompson, understood that being educated and desiring to look one’s best are not mutually exclusive objectives and helping to solve a lady’s “bad hair day” with complementary advice could surely foster trust and customer loyalty.
Content Marketing Today
Today content may take many forms, including e-books, videos, and white papers among other formats, all with the goal of providing genuinely useful information presented in an entertaining manner to aid a customer or potential customer to solve a problem, thus making life a little easier.
Once you have created your content and crowned your king, he can’t be left sitting in the palace. He must go out amongst the people and fortunately, today we can literally reach our customers and clients where they are through data provided in a variety of ways, including through mobile devices and geo-marketing, to bring them useful information and the products and services they desire.
The Final Analysis
In the final analysis…there is no final analysis. In the ever evolving digital world, King Content, though shining as brightly as he who was once known as the “Sun King” will not be visible today without continual attention to your SEO and social promotion strategy. In fact, there now more than 200 factors that organic search ranking algorithms consider, with said factors themselves being under constant adjustment.
But taking the time to focus and adjust may provide your King Content with a reach and geo-target influence far beyond his domain.
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