Humans have gone through several significant stages of development as we have evolved from knuckle-dragging Neanderthals to the gorgeous and highly sophisticated creatures we see wearing flipflops at the local big box store today. We have learned valuable lessons at each stage of evolution. We discovered how to make fire in the Stone Age, for example, and the dangers of dancing too close to it after eating fermented berries. Humans learned how to use tools in the Bronze Age and Iron Age; during the Middle Ages, we discovered how to analyze data about the world rather than simply reacting to it.
Content marketing has evolved over the years too. Cave paintings have evolved into podcasts, for example, and artificial intelligence is making our social media posts seem, like, really smart. To get the most out of their advertising efforts and stand out from the crowd, companies and organizations must take an evolved approach to content marketing.
The Important Ages of Content Marketing
Old School Age
Old School Age is an era in which tribal elders, many of whom “don’t believe in the internet,” insisted that the traditional means of advertising would always be better than innovative approaches. The Old School Age of Marketing began with John Deere’s 1895 magazine, The Furrow, and continues in radio, television, newspaper and magazine ads today. To evolve out of the Old School Age requires a major change in thinking and an internet connection.
Cave Painting Age
The Cave Painting Age started on August 6, 1991, when British scientist Tim Berners-Lee published the first website. Organizations still stuck in the Cave Painting Age apparently use permanent ink on their websites, which means the websites remain unchanged for eons. Cave paintings are also big and bulky, so their marketing messages can be hard to read on modern smart phones and devices.
While the cave painting approach may an effective way to sell handmade wheels and spears, they’ll never attract mastodon-size sales of modern marketing tactics. Once you have seen the website, with its outdated ideas and old-fashioned format, there is really no reason to come back.
John Audette was the first to use the phrase “search engine optimization” way back in 1997. During the SEO Age, marketers begin to understand and embrace the power of communication. Language is still underdeveloped and consists mainly of short phrases, such as “mastodon tusks in Los Angeles” and “woolly mammoth hair care,” but it helps savvy cavemen find the goods and services they need. Marketers began stuffing keywords onto their commercial websites to boost search engine rankings, with little regard to the readability.
The next evolution in marketing is the Pay-per-click Age, or PPC Age. This era began back in 1998, when the forward-thinkers at Goto.com invented an internet marketing format in which advertisers pay a fee each time someone clicks on their ads. The SEO Age is outlasting the PPC Age, but clickable banner ads, pop ups, and pay-per-click ads are alive and well on some un-evolved websites.
Quality Content Age
It is a bit hard to determine exactly when the Quality Content Age began, but it might have started with Google’s rollout of Panda in 2011. Originally known as “Farmer,” Panda’s original purpose was to reward high quality websites and diminish the rankings of poor quality websites on search engine results. To evolve into the Quality Content Age, marketers began taking an evolved approach to content – they realized that search engines – and consumers – preferred meaningful content to clickable banners and stuffed keywords.
Social Media Age
Based on the use of popular social media channels as a sales funnel, the Social Age is a bit of a throwback to dancing naked by the fire to convey a message. Perhaps the best way to evolve into the Social Media Age is to post links on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn that lead to your latest blog or sales page.
Artificial Intelligence Age
The Artificial Intelligence Age is the most recent and evolved eon in content marketing. Artificial intelligence uses computer systems to perform complicated tasks normally performed by humans. In terms of content marketing, artificial intelligence (AI) helps streamline the process of understanding customers and reaching out to consumers in ways that improve sales. Other digital innovations, such as podcasts and live broadcasts, can bring your organization’s content marketing into the 21st Century.
The best way to evolve your company’s marketing from Cave Painting Age into the Artificial Intelligence Age and beyond is to hire writers and content marketers that understand the evolution of content marketing throughout the years. To learn more about evolving your content marketing strategy, contact a WriterAccess writer.
Lynn H. writes everything from blogs to white papers; her specialty is putting complex scientific concepts in simple terms. She specializes in medical writing, creating informative and engaging content for professionals in medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, medical manufacturing, chiropractics, optometry, emergency care, plastic surgery and others.
As a webmaster and marketer, she understands how to use keywords and best SEO practices to get articles found in search engines. Lynn specializes in medical, marketing, social media, nutrition, health, weight loss and exercise articles, but also writes about music, gardening and more.