[This post was written by our Managing Director, Gina Miltiadou, and is the first of many she’ll be contributing to the blog.]
Let’s demystify content marketing. While you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a bit of a buzzword, it is in fact nothing new.
In fact, the earliest example of content marketing in Ireland is from 1926 when ESB and Siemens were building the Ardnacrusha power station. They had convinced the government of the day to allocate 20% of its revenue to the project but knew that the education of the Irish public, as to the progress and possibilities of the Shannon Scheme, was essential to its success.
And so the company established a Public Relations Department headed by Dublin journalist Ned Lawlor – the first appointment of its kind in Ireland – and tasked it with all publicity matters. Their campaign was widespread and included a range of activities including pamphlets , progress reports, tours, a lecture series and even a movie, that worked hard to educate the Irish public about the benefits of electricity for domestic and industrial purposes.
In short, ESB and Siemens had identified an information gap and made the strategic decision to fill it with content – delivered via multiple channels. And considering that this campaign began in 1926, it is clear that content marketing is nothing new and that really, we’re only catching up!
Whilst we might be dismissive about the ways of old and may think that our marketing techniques are much more sophisticated these days (I’m talking to you millennial agency execs), there are only three things that have fundamentally changed in content marketing since 1926 as a result of the wonderful digital universe we live in.
- The ability to segment your target market with pincer precision,
- The infinite number of channels now available to reach each of these segments, and
- The ability to measure everything you do to the point of paralysis.
Exciting as this is, the core principles of content marketing remain unchanged. For content marketing to be effective you first have to recognise that your customers’ buying journey is nothing more than a series of questions that have to be answered. Then you have to figure out what those questions are and make sure that your brand provides the best answers, so that when it comes to making a purchasing decision, your brand is top of mind and you’re there to catch the sale.
Because selling more products and services will never get old.