So content marketing has been around for a little while, and sayings like “Content is King” have become pretty commonplace without any real regard for the changing reasons behind that saying. Although true, an understanding of the multi-faceted purposes behind content marketing is key for anyone seeking to grow their online or offline business utilising this powerful strategy and it’s many tactics.
The Original, The Purist and The Cynical Reasoning Behind Content Marketing
The original reasoning
Some think that content marketing is a pretty 21st century fad. It’s not. The idea of generating “content” for the purpose of achieving marketing goals is not new. Back in the early days of automobiles and industrialised farm equipment, John Deere were creating content for their customers and prospective buyers. This was in the form of the John Deere magazine [Reference Needed] called “The Furrow”.
The Furrow aimed to provide educational material to the people whom John Deere identified as customers. His market. Farmers.
The educational material essentially helped those farmers be better farmers. Improved performance = value. John Deere was utilising The Furrow as a mechanism to deliver value to his market in an accessible format.
The accessibility of the format of content meant that awareness of the John Deere company and it’s product range could be gained through “The Furrow” Magazine.
Awareness is the first stage in turning a non-customer, eventually into a customer. There are many other stages, but awareness is a critical one.
The content in The Furrow was valuable to farmers. It was the type of information they were already seeking. They weren’t looking for John Deere necessarily, but they were looking for information on how to be more productive, more effective and simply better farmers.
The Furrow created “Pull”. This “Pull” was into the Sales & Marketing Funnel of the John Deer Company. “Content Created Pull”.
To get the significance of this, contrast it with traditional billboard advertising. The customer is not looking for the billboard, and won’t seek it out. The hope is that if you locate the billboard in a place that naturally already “Pulls” people towards it, you will borrow the “Pull” that the location has, you can “Push” the advert onto those people. Do you see the difference?
John Deere was generating his own “Pull”. Traditional advertising typically Borrows “Pull” from something else that’s either unavoidable, or in some cases valuable, so that it can “Push” awareness onto people.
Both “Push” and “Pull” can produce results in terms of awareness. The difference is distribution and targeting. If people in a market are seeking something, they will “Pull” it from far and wide. If you are “Pushing” something onto people in a location, your choice of location is critical to ensure your message is getting to the right people. You could waste a lot of “Pushing” on people who aren’t even in your market.
So valuable, and in this case educational content was pulling in Farmers from far and wide, building awareness of the John Deere brand. Like a magnet to steel.
Jumping to the Cynical reasoning
Creating content is a way of telling google your website is alive and still has a pulse. That’s it.