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 Buyer-Driven Research, Heavily Leveraging *Search*, Is What Drives Sales Cycle. In This Landscape, The Best A Company Can Do Is Be *Helpful* In That Search (‘Research’ and ‘Consideration’) Phase. This Means Ads And Brochures And Web Copy Do Little To Pull Traffic, Next To Useful And Relevant Content.
Marketing Has Become Decentralized
Buyers Have More Options Than Ever Before, And Are Less Inclined To Stop And Read Or Listen To An Undifferentiated Or Pushy Company. If You Use 1950’s ‘Push’ (Paid/Outbound) Marketing Tactics, Even With The Best Targeting And A Little Luck, You Struggle.
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.