New is better.
Just one look at Apple's range of products confirms that companies are constantly trying to outdo each other.
It's only a matter of time before you use iPhone 32 for teleportation.
But there is something to be said for the tried and tested.
If it's not broken, don't fix it, they say.
The wheel does not have to be reinvented, it is said.
The solution is right in front of you. Was all the time. Literally.
This cola can.
This pack of Jell-O.
That John Deere tractor.
There's a reason why they're still there. It's not because of a new, millennial hipster growth hack.
Why "content marketing" is over 100 years old
Content marketing is hip and trendy.
Everyone is talking about it.
However, content marketing is not exactly new.
John Deere, now known for his large green tractors, was an early user of content marketing and in 1895 produced his own lifestyle magazine for farmers called "The Furrow".
No, it wasn't a catalog to sell your product.
However, this has increased brand loyalty.
The increase in sales was just a happy by-product (of many) of the valuable content that John Deere provided to its customers.
Jell-O was also an early user of "content marketing".
In 1904, Jell-O published a recipe book in which users could make preparations with their cumbersome, gelatinous substance.
It was not an obvious advertisement for the treat, but rather a product placement. You better believe that these recipes contained the product!
They also helped the company tackle what they think is the most important sticking point for higher sales: people didn't know what to do with jelly.
The examples in the history of content marketing go on and on.
Content marketing has certainly evolved over the years, but benefits from decades of guinea pigs.
It still comes with the same main components to consider:
- Your audience.
- What you hope to achieve.
- How you promote it.
Coca-Cola was another early user of content marketing as a medicine over a century ago in 1895.
Yes, you read that correctly.
The sugary drink we all know and love was originally touted as a disease killer, remedy for morphine addiction, and even as an alternative to early impotence.
Today, Coca-Cola simply doubles on the same formula that it has perfected over the past 100 years.
In 2012, they launched their Coca-Cola Journey, a digital platform that allows users to share topics that encourage dialogue: social issues, company news, and consumer trends.
Then there was the #ShareACoke campaign, where soda buyers could “share” the drink with a friend because the bottle's Coca-Cola label was replaced with popular names.
This received millions of shares on social media.
The Content 2020 campaign is now underway to collaborate with artists and creatives and to consolidate Coca-Cola's position as a leading provider of content marketing.
Why "Only newbies write from scratch"
Formulas take up the guesswork and give you a template for what goes where.
Like the good old AIDA.
Wayyyy goes back.
E. St. Elmo Lewis came up with it in 1898.
- Warning: grab the reader.
- Interest: Pull in their thoughts.
- Wish: Pull on her heart and her feeling of need.
- Action: Let them take the next step.
AIDA works – still today – because it doesn't jump forward. It doesn't suffer from the curse of knowledge.
Instead, it seduces you. It takes you on a journey and shows you how important the point is to you.
It attracts you and at the end of the ad or email you reach for your wallet.
This child is an animal expert?
Does he know that an adult elephant can eat up to 500 pounds of food every day? He learned it all for $ 1 ?!
My child is not that smart in comparison.
So much for this Honor Roll bumper sticker.
I will fill out this handy reply card and order these Safari cards today!
This ad ran for almost 10 years until 1986, targeting parents who wanted their children to learn more at a great price.
Attention, interest, desire, action.
HubSpot still uses the formula in its Facebook ads today.
Would you like to get 99% more leads from your blog? Of course you would! You can find out how to do this here: http://hubs.ly/y0t8FF0
Posted by HubSpot on Tuesday January 27, 2015
"Of course you would" want to double your lead flow in 30 days. It is child's play.
In 1907, Claude Hopkins insisted "that copywriters research their clients' products and produce a" reason why "copy."
He originally wrote scientific advertising in 1923. A text that shows how we do tests today:
“Hopkins outlines an advertising approach that is based on tests and measurements. In this way, losses from unsuccessful ads are kept at a safe level while profits from profitable ads are multiplied. Or, as Hopkins wrote, the advertiser plays "on the safe side of a hundred to one".
PAS (Problem-Agitate-Solve) is another general-purpose formula that has been around for decades.
You present the problem out there, you stir the pot a little to make the problem seem worse, and then you present a solution. Like this.
Why does it work so well? An unsolvable problem creates fear. And motivates fear.
Show them what it's about, and then show them how you can help them keep it safe.
Ramit Sethi will show you:
This PAS model is also not new.
Even the U.S. Army came on board in 1967 with the formula.
Just look at this sad child. He waited too long and now he is not getting the first choice in the industry that he really wants.
Don't be like him, the ad implies. Do Your Choice now.
Why Facebook's ads are a rip off from Ogilvy
We can't even laugh out loud. Or talk to you later.
It's all LOLs and TTYLs these days.
We need our content to be fast and meaningful so that we can get it and keep going.
Your full message is important.
Maybe we'll get to that later.
In the meantime, this heading attracts readers.
And in this case, nothing beats fear.
Van Camp did this in 1911, letting customers know that buying their competitors' milk was a bad choice and that their brand was obviously better.
Would you like to wear more?
Leave your message with someone else testimony.
Weight loss programs have always relied on testimonials to validate their claims.
But sometimes even the best headlines are overlooked.
Fortunately, content with images is more likely to be shared than other types of content. It is more appealing.
People don't want to read a lot of text.
This information is also not new.
Advertising specialist David Ogilvy told this to people in the early 1980s.
“Most readers look at the photo first. If you put it in the middle of the page, the reader looks first in the middle. Then her eye has to go up to read the headline; This does not work because users have a habit of scanning down. Suppose some readers read the headline after seeing the photo below. Then they have to jump past the photo they have already seen. Not damn likely. "
What did he suggest?
Put the picture first.
Now you have her attention.
Add the heading below for context.
Ogilvy took his own advice with this piece from 1951.
I need to know about this man with the eye patch.
What is its story
How is he so cool
Ahh He is "The Man in the Hathaway Shirt". But what the hell does that mean?
I think I have to keep reading to find out.
There will always be a new hack.
A newest and best marketing method to try.
You never know – some of them even have to work!
But for every new and temporary fad, there are countless other marketing principles that have evolved over the past century, most of which are more relevant today than ever.
Content marketing is a perfect example.
Our consumer behavior has developed a lot in recent years.
But our brains, habits and innate desires don't have too much.
The tactics, tools and tips will change.
The centuries-old foundations still apply.
The iPhone on your desk hasn't changed marketing. It only accelerated it.
Selected picture: Paulo Bobita
All screenshots made by the author