In my last post on this site, I noted that Content Marketing goes back two centuries.
In my two previous careers (only going back to the last century) I was a content marketer and salesperson. In the days before blogs and email I folded newsletters, stamped and licked envelopes to get content to a targeted community of bank and other financial traders. I had also started holding seminars and offered to speak at third-party seminars and conferences.
Curating in Asia
When I went to Asia to run an institutional bond and derivatives sales operation I noted that many local desks divided their brokers into two groups: idea brokers and entertainment brokers.
I clearly wanted our desk to be identified as an idea broker as it: (1) fit my personal style, (2) it was more profitable – they paid the same commissions to both, but entertainment brokers had horrendous costs, and (3) I valued my liver and my family. So I stepped up the content activity.
I employed a new social communication tool (fax machine) to send weekly research and market summary reports to our clients. Today some of this activity would be called “curation.” I arranged for some of the material to be translated into Chinese, wrote a summary commentary, and selected research that would be of interest to several subsets of prospects or customers. Once again I oversaw the actual product and distribution (faxing).
Contributed and Branded Content
I continued conducting seminars in Asia. I also continued to speak at conferences held by others. I substituted for another speaker at a well-known expensive conference in Asia. I told the host that I would be willing to speak at any of their conferences in the Asia-Pacific anytime, even on short notice and would pay travel expenses. I understand that some conferences today charge speakers and to some extent my company was paying by covering my travel expenses to participate in a conference that charged attendees a steep fee. My conference activities could be called contributed content or even branded content, since I was willing to cover all my expenses.
By speaking for an hour in front of financial executives that paid up to $5000 to attend a conference gave me credibility and helped brand our institutional sales desk as idea brokers.
When I switched careers and acted as a marketing and sales consultants to startups. I created a weekly curated newsletter about events in the online trading area. A new communication medium was available, so my newsletter was emailed to my list of 200 key executives.
Every step in my sales and marketing career was content marketing, even though I switched a third career in academia before the social media era arrived. I found it to be very effective, allowing me to compete with extroverts and people willing to risk their livers and spend a fortune on entertainment. I build credibility and a community…
Content marketing goes back two centuries – what is NEW??