Around 2003 as a blog As the Internet began to proliferate, it became clear that these writing tools could be more than just an outlet for someone’s ideas – they also have huge business and marketing potential.
In 2006, HubSpot was launched as a way to capitalize on this trend by providing marketers with a platform designed to generate leads through blog posts. This means that customers come to your site, they are attracted to the content in the blog, without explicitly calling the sales team and asking them to buy something.
Around the same time, David Meerman Scott, a marketer tired of this business, wrote a roadmap for marketers to understand this new way of delivering content. This book, The New Rules of Marketing and PR, was published in 2007 and was a pioneering work in the field. This helped marketing teams understand that they needed to create compelling content and not just play a slick copy of the brochure of the past online.
It turns out that writing a corporate blog was the first step in a long and extensive media journey. Over the past few years, we’ve begun to see content marketing take off as SaaS companies like Salesforce, HubSpot, and Shopify start acting like media companies, putting content at the heart of everything they do.
But why is this happening? And can startups mimic the kind of content production we see in established SaaS companies?
It’s time for extended content
While content marketing evolves, like any technology, the old does not disappear. The venerable blog post isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but over time, companies have added more layers to rich content like podcasts and videos.
Last year, Salesforce took things to the next level with the announcement of a massive media division called Salesforce+. The company built a Hollywood-style studio to produce entertainment content with the ultimate goal of attracting customers.
In another example, HubSpot, which has expanded over the years to offer a range of sales and marketing solutions, bought Hustle last year. The deal included a free newsletter for 1.5 million subscribers, a subscription-based newsletter called The Trend, and a podcast called My First Million.