A Brief History Of Content Marketing

The Internet Gave Buyers Power Sales Are Now Buyer-Centric

Customers are able to buy more, and more differentiated, products than ever before. The result is that the Buyer Journey is buyer driven, and therefore demands buyer-centric content. If they’re driving, and you’re pushing (driving) your ads, guess who wins? Guess who can ignore whose ad, or unsubscribe via email? In this landscape, the best a company can do is be helpful providing exactly the materials buyers seek when they’re conducting their research, during the Buyer Journey.

The History of Content Marketing

From Visually.

Marketing Has Become Decentralized

Buyers have more options than ever before, and are less inclined to pay attention to paid advertising. This is why click-through rates are so absurdly low – even when there’s an exact keyword match. At scale, you get clicks, but 99.5% of the time – on average – nobody wants to see your ad. Why not produce the content they’re looking for? Here’s where it all went sideways with Web 2.0 and the birth of User-Generated Content.

The Web began to become ‘people-powered’, instead of ‘company powered’ around 2008. This was the birth of Web 2.0, ‘user-generated’, dynamic content.

Think about it: Facebook and Google and YouTube And Twitter don’t create content; they’re the *container*. The contents are the *voices* on those platforms; The People. And Facebook and Twitter connected them in new and fast ways, with *dynamic* feeds and hashtags, permitting virality. This is a very different Internet than the ‘static’ web full of sites you had to know to look for, or ‘static’ social media (MySpace) that had existed previously. 

That ‘user-generated’ content is the bulk of the Internet. 80% of the what is known about your company is not information you publish! It’s reviews, referrals, hashtags, messages, links, even *gossip*. It’s truly a Buyer’s World. Here’s what happened:

1.) Dynamic Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, RSS, improved search) connected us like never before, permitted viral capability, dramatically expanded content consumption. The average person digest 7 hours of Internet content each day. 

2.) This drove a need for more and more content. A lot of companies responded with either a high volume of mediocre content, or the *wrong kind* of content (brochures).

3.) Search Engines began to elevate pages that were already loved by traffic, creating a feed-forward situation, where winners win more

4.) The ‘Webmaster-Search-Engine-Engineer Arms Race’ Continues. But the smart money is on creating great products, great web experiences, and using content to ‘pull’ leads, rather than ‘pushing’ ads. 

Breakdown Of How Marketing Changed

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