According to the Adobe and E-consultancy report, creating appealing content is second (after the customer experience optimization) in the list of digital trends presenting the most interesting opportunities for business in 2019 (15% in B2B and 13% in B2C). However, what is content creation? What’s the purpose? And where does the word “content marketing” come from? Let’s take a closer look at this article.
Content marketing is a strategy that consists in creating appealing content to: put yourself on the map, attract prospects, boost your visibility (on social media or Google for instance), increase your audience or generate qualified leads.
This concept comes straight from the United States (the “cradle” of modern marketing): Benjamin Franklin published in 1732 his Almanac du Bonhomme Richard to promote his printing company.
Yet, John Deere was the first to practice content marketing to increase the sales of green tractors for his company: the Deere Company.
In 1895, he published the first edition of The Furrow for farmers: the magazine included agricultural or economical advice to improve their yield. Today, the magazine releases more than 1.5 million copies in more than 40 countries.
The cover of The Furrow and its green tractors.
In France: in 1900, Michelin published its famous Guide giving advice to drivers regarding the maintenance of their vehicle, but also travelling (lodging, restaurants recommendations). The rest is history.
Last, the term “Content Marketing”, first used by Penton Media in 2001, gradually replaced the less sexy “Custom Publishing”.
In 2020, content marketing is increasingly visual. After all, according to a HubSpot report, for 32% of marketers visuals are the most relevant content for their business.
Brands storm platforms like Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube or Tik Tok (for the youngest), communicating via photos, videos, computer graphics, GIF, filters, etc.
Coca-Cola, for instance, launched a Snapchat filter for Christmas 2016 to reach the millennials audience; Tropico used an Instagram campaign this year to promote its rebranding.
Augmented reality (AR) is also interesting to optimize the user experience and reinforce a purchase decision. For example, Ikea offered its customers to visualize how furniture or objects would look in their homes via the AR View feature of the Amazon app.
The Amazon App feature for Ikea: the Augmented Reality View
Videos are also widely used by B2C companies to attract and retain customers, through either a makeup tutorial on YouTube or a story on Instagram for a brand selling glasses. However, they can be also interesting in B2B with a more educational approach such as webinars.
In this sector, editorial content is more relevant than graphic content for professionals. It has a double advantage: asserting the reputation and expertise of a company, and enhancing its website search engine optimization as well, the algorithm of Google being fond of this quality content. The many tweets, blogs, newsletters, articles, white papers and others are sources of good practices for the professionals who follow them as part of their market watch.
Inbound marketing is a global marketing strategy aimed at attracting customers to their service or product.
While inbound and content marketing share a common goal of converting leads through quality content, content marketing is just one of the many inbound marketing practices like marketing automation or lead nurturing.
To sum up, content marketing (more than two centuries old already) still has good days to come. Increasingly visual, it is constantly adapting to the target audience and new technologies to attract curious consumers or experts. In 2019, its efficiency is well established.
So, what are you waiting for? If you wish to implement it in your company, our team of experts can accompany you. Click here to share your contact details so we can get back to you.