Because content marketing is growing in importance and sophistication, it’s tempting to think of it as something new. But, just like Social Media Marketing is an extension of Word-of-Mouth marketing, content marketing has been around forever.
My favorite example is something people likely see every day as they’re commuting back and forth to work — the ubiquitous electronic sign, usually appearing at bank branches, that gives us the time, temperature, date, and, in our community, a listing of local events. That’s content marketing at its best, providing essential utility. We don’t even notice it as such anymore, we take it so much for granted. Yet it still serves its purpose of positioning the bank as a reliable and helpful pillar of the community.
I ran across another example of old-skool content marketing while going through my mother’s recipe box the other day. A realtor back in the day provided homemakers with recipes on index cards, with a watermark featuring the brand and the Better Homes and Gardens logo (was this the distribution method, maybe?). The individual realtor’s name and phone number (note no area code) appears on the back. Love it.