A Brief Historical Perspective On Content

4/26/2011

- Andrew Wetzler, President

Remember when the centerpiece of a company's marketing strategy was their hard copy brochure? It took a lot of effort to create, but once printed, there wasn't much work to do until the next time. As a result, the time required to perform most content related marketing functions was relatively low. Interestingly, at that time marketers didn't (couldn't) recognize the one-dimensional nature of content, relative to it's position today.

Over the past few decades, businesses began recognizing the benefits of boosting their frequency of contact with customers and prospects through providing additional content. Printed newsletters became a staple for many companies. They provided the platform to educate and build relationships with individuals and /or businesses who were part of their target audience.

The big evolution within newsletters was the transition to a digital format. The immediate impact of the electronic newsletter was the disappearance of all hard costs (printing & mailing related). That presented the crack in the door which forward thinking marketers needed to press forward with more robust, track-able and personalized content creation.  It also meant that the frequency of contact could be boosted with relatively nominal incremental costs.

As email was taking shape, so were the first and second generation websites that companies were developing. Content on those sites largely mirrored what people were printing in their brochures and companies were reluctant to stop their printed versions as the staying power of the internet was uncertain to many.

So much has transpired over the past 10-15 years as a result of the internet that has affected content creation, frequency and distribution. There is so much buzz around content right now that it almost seems like the new trend. The fact is, it's a very old one.

As you plot a future content development strategy that should likely include:

  • Daily blog posts
  • Daily Tweets
  • Content management systems (CMS) for easy content additions to websites
  • YouTube videos
  • Etc.

Be sensitive to the fact that the resources required to feed the content pipeline are significantly greater than ever before. That said, the opportunity to engage with your target audience is tremendously elevated and as we have learned and read, it's increasingly essential to gaining and maintaining a strong presence within Google's organic results. 

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