Content Marketing | A History of How Content Marketing Has Evolved

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The evolution of marketing is daunting. It seems as soon as we begin to adapt, the preferences and habits change.  When new technology is released or a new format is discovered, customers demand it, and we’re often forced to start producing before we understand what we’re making. To stay fresh and competitive, we need to anticipate the coming trends and have the right types of content ready before our customers find it somewhere else. Content marketing has come a long way since the beginning. If we want a good idea of where it is headed, it helps to see where it has been. Let’s take look!

history of content marketing

Year: A Really Long Time Ago (BC)

Content Marketing: Cave Paintings

The earliest paintings, and communication through content, is housed deep inside caves in Malaga, Spain. The seal and cow like images depicted what the Neanderthals found important at the time, a source of food. Sharing this content led to the expansion of imagery and eventually language.

Year: 1732

Content Marketing: Poor Richard’s Almanac

With the goal to promote his printing business, Benjamin Franklin begins to publish a yearly pamphlet filled with useful information for farmers. From proverbs preaching industry habits and prudence, this quality content gave the people exactly what they wanted. Having been published for a consecutive 25 years, the Almanac was the most popular publication of the colonial era.

Year: 1835

Content Marketing: The Great Moon Hoax

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. Being as it was 1835, we all know it was a hoax, but at the time this news catapulted the newspapers notoriety. Even after it was revealed as a hoax, their readership still continued to grow- proving the timeless power of unique content!

Year: 1895

Content Marketing: John Deere’s ‘The Furrow’

Referred to as the unofficial birth of brand publishing, the quarterly magazine started out with advertising, articles, and information tailored to the agriculture industry. Today the publication is distributed to farmers and experts in the industry in 28 countries in 14 different languages. The success of the magazine effectively made it a content marketing legend.

Year: 1900

Content Marketing: Michelin Guides

Michelin, yes, the tire company, published a guide book for French motorists and it quickly became a necessity when driving. As a new outlet for people to get quality content about practical hands-on tips and tricks to get around France by car, the guide book exploded.  This expanded the book into a series for different countries and has since become the premier source for restaurant reviews.

Year: 1968

Content Marketing: Weight Watchers Magazine

When it was founded in ’68 the magazine became the first consumer magazine to be distributed via newsstands and supermarkets. Today hundreds of different magazine publications flood our newsstands every week, but it all started with Weight Watchers.

content marketing history

Year: 1994

Content Marketing: The Birth of the Internet

It’s hard to imagine a time without the internet, but it was only in ’94 that it became mainstream. With the beginning of the internet, we see the first emergence of online content creation. In 1993 O’Reilly and Associates launched the first commercial section dedicated to “the online whole internet catalog” filled with 529 entries. The following year Netscape communication was born. Netscape is credited with creating JavaScript, the most widely used language for scripting of web pages. As well they developed the Secure Sockets Layer Protocol (SSL) for securing online communication.

Year: 2000

Content Marketing: Seth Godin and the ‘Free Ebook’

Leave it to marketing master Seth Godin to create one of the most popular eBooks of all time. Since he decided to offer his book “Unleashing the Ideavirus” for free through the internet, it has since been downloaded over 1 million times. He is given the credit as the inspiration for a new content format.

Year: 2006

Content Marketing: BlendTecs’ ‘Will it Blend?’ Videos

How do you make blenders interesting? With fun and captivating content! Blendtec uploaded their first video in the ‘Will it Blend?’ series in ’06 to YouTube and since has acquired over 235 million views and 910,000 subscribers. The concept of a viral video advertising has since been used over and over. We can thank Blendtec for getting the trend going.

content marketing

Year: 2017

Content Marketing: Personalized Experiences

One-to-one content experiences are becoming more intricate thanks to the focus shift to account-based marketing. This focus on sales and marketing resources for targeting accounts allows for a focused look at where your business’ marketing should be.


It is impressive to see how far content marketing has come. However, the overreaching principle is quality content sells and content marketing is always changing. In this day in age more than ever, we are flooded with information from more sources than we can count. When marketing reaches an audience, it is due to the quality of the content provided, and your business can capitalize on this. Learning how to tailor your web page’s content for your desired audience is the first step. Contact our experienced team today to learn how we can help build your business through quality content marketing.

With a degree in Marketing Communications from Florida Atlantic University, Jessie is truly a creative thinker. She has a passion for customer service and a background in account-based marketing. Her goal is ensuring the utmost level of professionalism, creativity and support throughout your digital marketing experience.

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