From the way we talk about content marketing, you’d think it was a new thing invented for use on the internet. But content marketing goes way back. I mean, waaaay, back. Look at this example from the History of Content Marketing Infographic.
More recent examples include a safe driving book from Michelin Tires which was published in 1900 and the free 1904 Jell-O recipe booklet which led to millions in sales for the product.
It’s an intuitive leap – if you help your customer do something better, faster or safer, they’ll think kindly of you and consider buying your product.
According to a new infographic from Demand Metric, 60% of people have been inspired to seek out a product after reading about it.
In other words, it’s all good–ish. Lately, there’s been a lot of concern about content marketing masquerading as unbiased articles on the web. We don’t want to feel tricked into reading what might not be true. What it really comes down to is trust. Here’s a list of 5 Excellent Action Movies. Does it matter if the list comes from Entertainment Weekly or Netflix? What about Stan the DVD blogger vs Universal Studios?
People will grumble if it’s from Universal because chances are only their films made the list. But that Jell-O recipe book was loaded with recipes that included Jell-O products and everyone was okay with that.
Let’s move on:
At first I was surprised by the 90% number of this graph, but a lot of things fall under the term “content.” If your company has a blog, a YouTube channel or posts helpful tips to Facebook, that’s all content. I’m not surprised to see the B2B guys are out in front. This infographic is a perfect example of how general content can be used to promote a company. This informative graphic doesn’t specifically advertise Demand Metric’s services but I’ve now been introduced to a company I didn’t know. Simple.
Marketing companies are experts at this. They run webinars and create free ebooks, slideshows and DIY templates that help the less experienced market their own businesses. Many of the people who avail themselves of these freebies won’t build on the relationship, but a few will take the offered hand and come on as a new client or customer.
Let’s look at one last piece of this enormous infographic:
Social media is a quick way to content market. It’s bite-sized and can be done on the fly. Blogs are even better. They take more effort but Demand Metric says that, on average, a company blog delivers 67% of the leads per month. Blogs are still one of the best ways to talk to your customers just remember to lean heavily on the informative side and go light on the company PR.
You can see the entire Demand Metric infographic right here.
Thoughts on content marketing? We’d love to hear them.