Infographic: A Brief History of Content Marketing
People often talk about content marketing like its the flashy new gadget in a marketer’s toolbox. While the practice has skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years, the principles of content marketing have been around for centuries. And it would do the savvy content marketer good to have a few classic examples to bust out at parties—or, at the very least, strategy meetings.
In 1895, John Deere published the first issue of The Furrow, an agricultural magazine that published print advertorials. After a few decades, each issue reached millions of customers. The Furrow is still in print today, making it not only the pioneer example of content marketing, but the longest running branded magazine in publication.
Brands like P&G and Michelin followed that movement in the early 1900s. Michelin published free travel guides to increase interest in cars, and Proctor & Gamble ventured into the first audio content marketing with their branded radio programs known as “soap operas.”
From the early days, content marketing has evolved to include more sophisticated storytelling, smarter distribution techniques, and a greater emphasis on the customer experience. But it never hurts to know your history. Outbrain made an infographic, which you can see in full below, to help content marketers learn from their predecessors. It also hints at the promising future of content marketing, including more personalized content, chatbot interactions, and, within the next decade, a more focused approach to virtual reality.
If there’s one thing we can tell from content marketing’s timeline, it’s that good content stands the test of time. Whether you’re writing an agricultural magazine or starting a branded podcast, telling the best stories will give your brand a place in history.