Always Content

Advertising has long used content to disseminate information about a brand and build a brand’s reputation.

In 1895, John Deere launched the magazine The Furrow, providing information to farmers on how to become more profitable. The magazine, considered the first custom publication, is still in circulation, reaching 1.5 million readers in 40 countries in 12 different languages.[4]

Michelin developed the Michelin Guide in 1900, offering drivers information on auto maintenance, accommodations, and other travel tips. 35,000 copies were distributed for free in this first edition.[5]

Jell-O salesmen went door-to-door, distributing their cookbook for free in 1904. Touting the dessert as a versatile food, the company saw its sales rise to over $1 million by 1906.[6]

By 2014, Forbes Magazine’s website had written about the seven most popular ways companies use content marketing.[10] In it, the columnist points out that by 2013, use of content marketing had jumped across corporations from 60% a year or so before, to 93%[11] as part of their overall marketing strategy.

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Anthropologie’s DIY drink recipes

Anthropologie frequently features DIY cocktail recipes on their blog, like this one for a coconut cooler. The drink recipes work for two main reasons: they’re seasonal and timely (for example, summer refreshers or winter warmers) and they feature unique ingredients and flavors, mimicking the original style of Anthropologie’s fashions. Like many examples of the best content marketing, these posts aren’t an obvious play for sales; Anthropologie doesn’t sell homemade bitters or simple syrup. Instead, the posts position Anthropologie as a trendy, knowledgeable friend who knows a thing or two about drinks—as well as clothes.

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Random House’s Literary Inspiration

I appreciate the way Random House takes readers into the digital era with their Pinterest account and corresponding content. Books have been around forever, but publishing companies are just getting started when it comes to e-books and online engagement. Take a look at a few of Random House’s Pinterest board titles:

  • The Literary Imbiber
  • What Would Jane Austen Do?
  • Bookish Nooks
  • Literary Tattoos
  • Literary Wedding
  • Best Book Covers

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