Even though the term “content marketing” has consistently grown in popularity since around 2010, it’s not a new concept. We’ve always had content marketing; the iterations of it has just changed over the generations. Even though it keeps changing, the fundamentals remain the same.
What is Content Marketing?
The main difference between traditional marketing and content marketing is that content marketing focuses on providing valuable, relevant, entertaining, and consistent content to attract new customers and retain existing ones. Traditional marketing, on the other hand, is all about pitching your products or services.
Content marketing is about providing useful and relevant content to prospects and customers to help them solve problems they have, thus building trust, and in turn leading to profit.
Content Marketing Examples
There have been many brilliant content marketing examples over the years; some were huge successes and others that have dismally failed. Below are examples of content marketing that worked and ended up helping businesses generate billions in profit.
The Furrow Magazine, by John Deere
The Furrow is a magazine that was established in 1895 by the John Deere Company. It was labelled as “A Journal for The American Farmer”. The magazine aimed to tell stories and provide knowledge that farmers could apply to their own operations.
The G.I. Joe television series
In 1982 Hasbro launched the toy line, G.I. Joe. In 1983 they released a 95-episode animated TV series aimed at children. Instead of directly trying to sell their toys to children, they provided entertainment for children containing characters that children could own as toys.
The LEGO Movies
Sure, the LEGO movies also turned a profit, but don’t let the $468.1 million movie earnings fool you. It is still content marketing. Not only was the first LEGO movie a great entertaining experience for both adults and children, but it also led to more LEGO movies and caused an increase in sales of actual LEGO leading to a 15% profit increase in the year the first LEGO movie was released.
The Mercedes-Benz commercial by Casey Neistat
Casey Neistat is a very popular YouTuber that used to own a Mercedes-Benz for years. Because of Casey’s personal relationship with the brand, there was a story.
Casey taught his son to drive a Mercedes-Benz, and the ad exposed the classic car brand to a generation that isn’t normally the target market. Normal Mercedes-Benz ads feel like they are made for the older gentleman, in his late forties to late fifties. Casey’s ad made it feel like a 20-year-old could be driving a CLA. But is it content marketing?
Well, the four-part documentary series about Casey making the CLA ad, is the content marketing. By explaining his relationship with the brand, and showing the “making of” of the ad, Casey told a story. The story showed how a car (like a Mercedes-Benz) can become part of your life’s story, and that it is something that will be looked back at in fondness. Building trust, and providing entertainment.
Your Content Marketing Strategy For 2021
If you are doing any marketing, you should be investing in content marketing. Especially in 2020 where content consumption has increased across the board, you should be treating your marketing department as a publishing house first.
When planning your 2021 content marketing strategy, keep the following in mind:
- Focus on providing content value to prospects and clients first
- Avoid including hard sales tactics in your content marketing
- Identify the stories that your business has to tell that can be entertaining and useful
- Allocate the marketing budget to distribute your content via social media ads
- Identify influencers and content creators to help with content marketing production where you lack the needed skills internally
Content marketing works better with other marketing tools. When combined with other digital marketing services available like SEO, Google Ads and Social Media, you can consistently deliver successful content in 2021.