You’ve probably heard an inspirational entrepreneur on a YouTube ad say the phrase “content is king” while standing in front of their garage full of Lamborghinis. While these guys are cringy, annoying, and unoriginal, their sentiment is correct. However, the term was coined long before YouTube influencer bros started promising you can buy a Lambo if you buy their business course.
The originator of “content is king” is Microsoft founder Bill Gates. In 1996, the billionaire wrote an essay with the title and outlined how the internet will shape the way products are produced and consumed.
Today, Bill Gate’s vision of product marketing has come to fruition; however, he doubtfully anticipated just how influential internet content would have on industry and society.
The History of Content Marketing
In Gate’s essay, he’s quoted saying, “content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”
The quote elegantly summarizes the history of content creation in the past 100 years. We saw a shift from door-to-door sales, newspaper ads, and radio spots to broadcast TV commercials in the 1940s and 50s. The rise of the internet introduced consumers to banner and pre-roll ads.
While newspapers and TV networks are still selling ad space, their market share has dramatically decreased. In 2019, digital ad spending surpassed traditional media for the first time, according to a report by eMarketer. These types of media may never completely go away, but the writing is on the wall; the future of product marketing is digital. That's why product marketing and content creation go hand in hand.
How the Internet Shaped How We Sell Products
In the late 1990s or early 2000s, the internet became widely adopted by consumers. As a result, marketers began using services like Google AdWords to broadcast their products on websites. We see another shift to social media in the 2010s as apps like Facebook are utilized by most American consumers.
We are currently in another shift brought on by a combination of new social media platforms and user-generated content. Ads are becoming harder to distinguish from regular online content. In 2021, marketers will be utilizing content creators by incorporating their products into native advertisements. The strategy feels more like content the creator’s audience is used to and reaches a new audience.
Types of Content Marketing in 2021
Instagram fuels the rise of influencer marketing on social media platforms. Instead of brands purchasing posts, they pay creators to include their products in their content. Paid ads are still a massive part of social media advertising, but the market is becoming more saturated. A $1000 ad spend on Facebook won’t reach nearly as many users as it would have in 2015.
New social media platforms, TikTok in particular, have evolved the influencer model to include people who aren’t models, athletes, or socialites. Regular people are going viral on TikTok thanks to a more generous algorithm and incredible video production capabilities. Brands are taking advantage of the increase in engagement and utilizing new social networking platforms in exciting ways.
A great example is an ad campaign by Lysol. They incorporated their product into a TikTok video by a user who creates cleaning hack videos. The creator sprays a rag with Lysol Cleaner and wraps it around a knife to clean the gap between their stove and countertop.
Blogs and SEO
SEO has also emerged as a driving force in product marketing. Brands pay SEO writers to add content to web pages and blogs that help boost SERPs. An effective SEO campaign consists of engaging content and offers value to readers, keeping them on pages and incentivizing them to share.
User-Generated Video Content
Product marketing on YouTube is also affected by the rise of influencers. The most significant example is in toy reviews. YouTube’s highest grosser of 2020 is a 10-year-old boy named Ryan Kaji. His channel, Ryan’s World, had amassed over 30 billion views. Ryan has sponsorships from Target and Walmart and his own footwear line with Sketchers, released earlier this year.
The Future of Product Marketing
Product marketing and content creation will continue to drive sales in the future. The current shift seems to be away from a traditional advertisement, creating a more intimate, personal relationship with the consumer.
Please Share is a content distribution and engagement solution that provides an intuitive solution for companies and organizations to simplify the process of encouraging their employees to promote and engage with brand-approved messages. In doing so, every person can help their company build meaningful relationships with prospects, customers, and the community at large.
To learn more about Please Share, click here.