Content marketing arguably started way back in the 18th century, whenever Benjamin Franklin published Poor Richard’s Almanack. It goes without saying how much it has changed in the past 300 years. However, the concepts behind it have largely stayed the same.
Poor Richard’s Almanack
Franklin published this content for 25 years as an informative guide for the “common people.” Within its pages, Poor Richard’s Almanack contained everything from weather predictions to recipes. While Franklin’s intentions seem more altruistic than the motives behind content marketing today, both versions yield similar results.
With over 10,000 copies printed each year, the Almanack brought much success and wealth to Franklin’s printing business. Through his publication, Franklin provided great value to his “customers.” He knew what they were interested in, and because of that connection, people committed to his business.
Even with his more conceptual pieces, such as his commentaries regarding industry and frugality, he developed content similar to what we know today as thought leadership. Indeed, he showed his knowledge and continual attention to current events. This allowed him to successfully capture his audience’s attention with relevant and engaging material.
While these are just the inklings of the characteristics of content marketing today, Poor Richard’s Almanack certainly provided great entertainment and value to its readers. As a result, those readers became loyal customers of Franklin’s.
Content marketing today
While we can give (at least partial) credit to Franklin for contributing to the start of content marketing, much has changed since his time. After all, you don’t see too many people hauling around copies of almanacs today. On the contrary, most content is published and received via the internet. As such, it’s completely (and oftentimes exclusively) accessible on mobile devices or computers.
Technology has drastically enhanced the way people communicate information, which is partly why digital content marketing is so important. In order to appeal to your target audience and stay competitive, you have to embrace the benefits of technology and incorporate them into your content.
Technology and convenience
Today, it’s all about usability and convenience for customers – basically saving them time and energy. Oftentimes, people want information that they can quickly absorb. Especially with mobile devices, people have access to infinite information in seconds, with the simple tap of their finger.
Because of this accessibility, many people don’t want to spend more than a few minutes trying to find the information they are seeking. To account for this, many types of content are created to be short and easily understood. Think blogs, Q&As, social media posts and videos.
These types of content are meant to appeal to your customers’ desire for convenience. By posting this content, you’re showing your audience that you care about their time and appreciate their choice to spend it reading your content.
Tip: Don’t limit yourself to only short-form pieces. Content like white papers and e-guides are also valuable to your audience when they are looking for more detailed knowledge and thorough explanations.
Technology and optimization
Ultimately, the goal of content marketing is to get more traffic to your website (which then convert to more sales). With this business goal in mind, companies have embraced technology to help them optimize their content through SEO and readability.
When optimized together, they give your content a higher probability of success. If you have good SEO – using relevant keywords and legitimate links – search engines will place your content higher on their results pages, increasing your brand’s visibility.
Readability is determined by your content’s score on the Flesch Reading Ease test. This defines what reading level would most easily understand your content. Having good readability improves the likelihood that your audience will be able to easily organize and understand the information. In turn, it affects their overall opinion of your company. This type of optimization involves writing shorter sentences and creating short paragraphs.
Content marketing technology
Both content marketing and technology have evolved so drastically that content marketing has become a sort of technology itself. Specific platforms have been developed through the continual need for content marketing and the consistent advancements in technology. These platforms are solutions that help businesses effectively manage their strategies.
Using a platform, businesses can streamline their content creation processes to produce quality content at scale. With Tempesta Media’s platform specifically, you can order, review, publish and track your content’s performance all from one system.
Compared to Poor Richard’s Almanack, content marketing today has gone through extreme development. Thankfully though, as content marketing and technology continue to grow together, it will be easier than ever to gain more customers and grow your business successfully.
Our content marketing platform is continually embracing technological advancements. To learn more about our platform’s capabilities that can help you improve your program, contact us today.