Even our parents used content marketing

By: Robert Nettleton, Writer/Editor

“Content marketing” may be just another digital marketing buzzword, but unlike many such buzzwords that can be traced to the rise and domination of social media, the origin of content marketing goes way back, long before social media became North America’s favourite pastime.

Think about growing up: sitting at the breakfast table, drinking your juice, munching away on your bowl of Rice Krispies while reading the back of the cereal box. Do you remember the little mazes or child-friendly activities adorning the back of the box, or even more often, the recipe for Rice Krispie Treats? That, my friends, is content marketing. And you don’t need social media to market your content, but it sure does help.

Believe it or not, there’s a Content Marketing Institute based out of Cleveland, Ohio. They define content marketing as “…a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience—with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

If content marketing is all about driving profitable customer action, we can see how placing a recipe on the back of a cereal box for Rice Krispie Treats—which, I may add, were invented by the Kellogg Company way back in 1927—exists solely for the purpose of giving you a reason to buy even more Rice Krispies, thus serving its purpose of driving profitable consumer action. Content marketing is about sharing information that is relevant and valuable to your customers, and a recipe is a perfectly good example of that, especially when the key ingredient of this time-honoured treat is your product! Consumers feel they benefit from the content; it serves a purpose in their lives.

Over the years, Rice Krispie Treats have become a staple in North American households, stores and holiday parties—it’s brand loyalty at its finest. So what does this all mean for your business? The key to successfully integrating content marketing into your business is to be consistent, whether it is through blogs, videos, infographics or any other kind of innovative content that it both optimized for search engines and specific to your clients. Integrating long-term or campaign-specific content planning that is aligned with peak activity of your clients or seasonal trends should also be built into your content strategy.

In today’s social-savvy world, content marketing doesn’t just exist on the back of cereal boxes. You’ll find it on blogs, videos, social media, case studies, how-to guides, infographics, apps, e-books—the list goes on and on. Smart content marketers know that consumers need more than product from a company to feel connected and, ultimately, continue to buy in.

You’ll find it on blogs, videos, social media, case studies, how-to guides, infographics, apps, e-books—the list goes on and on. Smart content marketers know that consumers need more than product from a company to feel connected and, ultimately, continue to buy in.