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Back to the Future: A Visual History of Content Marketing

From John Deere's "The Furrow" magazine to G.I. Joe becoming "A Real American Hero" to Seth Godin making eBooks mainstream, content marketing has been gaining traction for over a century.

We thought we'd take you on a walk down content marketing memory lane, and check out some major moments in content history. And who better to guide us than the one and only Emmett "Doc" Brown? That's said, let's go back to the future — content marketing style!

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Back to the Future: A Visual History of Content Marketing

  1. 1. A VISUAL HISTORY OF CONTENT MARKETINGA VISUAL HISTORY OF CONTENT MARKETING GUIDEMICHELIN EDITION1900 Offert gracieusement aux chauffeurs A REALLY LONG TIME AGO, B.C. YEAR 1835 YEAR 1895 YEAR The earliest evidence of cave paintings — and communication through content — are said to be in Malaga, Spain, where seal-like images left by Neanderthals were discovered. The New York Sun became the largest newspaper in circulation at the time after running a series of articles about the “scientific discovery” of life on the moon. Though this was revealed as a hoax soon after, their readership continued to grow — proving the timeless power of unique content! John Deere’s consumer magazine is often referred to as the unofficial birth of brand publishing. It started as a quarterly magazine with ads, articles, and agriculture tips, and its success has made it a content marketing legend. CAVE PAINTINGS THE GREAT MOON HOAX JOHN DEER’S THE FURROW 1900 YEAR Michelin (yes, the tire company) published its first guidebook for French motorists in 1900, which expanded into a series for different countries. It’s now one of the premier restaurant reviewers, with chefs across the globe striving to land as many of those 3 coveted Michelin Stars as they can. THE MICHELIN GUIDES 1904 YEAR A recipe book may not seem groundbreaking now, but it was in 1904 when Jell-O started delivering their gelatin- and pudding-inspired dessert recipes door-to-door. It’s no surprise that they’ve since taken their recipe book online and continue to build relationships with their customers through (delicious) content marketing. JELL-O’S RECIPE BOOK 1924 YEAR In order to target the lucrative farming market, Sears created the Sears-Roebuck Agricultural Foundation and bought radio time under the callsign, the “World’s Largest Store.” While their main focus was farming, they also opened up the station to music and comedy programs as well. SEARS’ “WORLD’S LARGEST STORE” RADIO SHOW 1982 YEAR In 1982, Marvel and Hasbro teamed up to create the “Real American Hero” comic book and TV series based on the G.I. Joe action figure. This innovative cross-channel promotion turned G.I. Joe into a household name who remains one of the most be- loved action heros to this day. G.I. JOE A REAL AMERICAN HERO 1994 YEAR It’s hard to imagine a time before the Internet, but it was only 1994 that it became mainstream! In 1993, O’Reilly & Associates launched the first commercial website with a section dedicated to “The Online Whole Internet Catalog” with 529 entries and a year later, Netscape Communications was born. ONLINE CONTENT AND THE BIRTH OF INTERNET 2000 YEAR Leave it to marketing master Seth Godin to create one of the most popular eBooks of all time. In 2000, he offered his “Unleashing the Ideavirus” eBook for free, a revolutionary idea at the time. It has since been downloaded over 1 million times and been credited as the inspi- ration for a new content format. SETH GODIN INTRODUCES THE FREE EBOOK Well Marty, you’ve saved yourself from never being born, thwarted Biff’s attempts to drive your parents apart, and rescued me from being trapped in 1885. But we’ve still got work to do. Many people think content marketing is a new idea, when in fact it’s been around for quite some time! We’re going on a journey through the history of content marketing to check out some important milestones. Hop in the DeLorean and away we go! 2006 YEAR How do you make blenders interesting? With fun content! In 2006, Blendtec upload their first “Will It Blend?” video to YouTube, putting marbles into their super-powered blender. They’ve since blended a Rubik’s Cube, silly putty, and even an iPhone, and now have over 700,000 subscribers. BLENDTEC’S “WILL IT BLEND?” VIDEOS YEAR Marcus Sheridan’s pool business was on the brink of failure until he channeled the power of content and started blogging answers to common customer questions. River Pools and Spas is now the most-visited pool website in the world and Marcus has gone on to become a marketing and sales expert. MARCUS SHERIDAN SAVES RIVER POOLS AND SPAS 2009 2013 YEAR Uberflip debuted Hubs in 2013 and since then, the centralization of content has taken off as a means of driving engagement and generating leads. What will 2014 and beyond bring us in the wild world of content marketing? We can’t wait to find out! 1/ 2/ 3, 4, 5, 7/ 6/ 8/ 9/ 10/ 11/ 12/ CONTENT HUBS CREATED BY 1. 2. 4. 6. 5. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 3.