The Evolution of Digital Content Creation: Then and Now

authorToni Becker dateSeptember 13, 2021

“Content is king.” This is a sentence you will have heard numerous times in the business and marketing world, and there is a reason for this. Content is, in fact, king. With 2 million blog posts published every day, it is safe to say that content is high on marketer's agendas. As the digital world continues to grow, businesses are now seeing just how important it is to create engaging online content for increased brand awareness and lead generation. 

In this article, we take a look at the evolution of content creation for marketing purposes and understand how far this tactic has come in the digital era - and how much further it can actually go. 


The History of Content Creation for Marketing

The first documented content for marketing purposes is universally believed to be The Furrow magazine by John Deere. However, this has been disputed with a small number of historians believing that Benjamin Franklin was the first adopter of this marketing trend. Franklin published Poor Richard’s Almanack in the year 1972 and this was done to promote his printing company - a true marketing innovation for the era. Regardless of what you believe, John Deere and Franklin both used content marketing as a way to promote their businesses and the word “content marketing” didn't even exist yet. 

As time went by, businesses began to experiment with the idea of content creation for marketing purposes and creative promotion. Stand out creative content from  the time includes the Jell-O Company’s free book of recipes which was published in 1904. This quickly started a trend and content marketing soon became part of every business strategy. 

In the 1940s and 1950s, content marketing came to a standstill as the media took control of print and this didn't leave much room for content marketing growth. It then re-emerged in the 1960s and 70s with the advent of home televisions, and this is when the content marketing industry began to flourish. 

Content Creation in the Digital Age

Television played a massive role in the growth of content marketing but when computers and the internet were introduced to households, content creation took an incredible turn. Marketers began to explore the possibility of using digital media as a way to build brand awareness, from websites to email marketing. 

The first business to launch a commercial website was O’Reilly and Associates. The company launched their site in 1993 and this was the moment when content marketing really began to make an impact. You see, anyone with an internet connection was able to create and publish content and marketers quickly took note. 

In 1994, the first ever blog was published by Justin Hall of Swarthmore College and while personal blogging had been around for quite some time, this was the first time blogging was used to build a brand message. 

In 1996 the term “content marketing” was born. The term came about during a discussion between journalists at the American Society for Newspaper Editors. John F Oppedahl is lauded for coining the phrase which is now a part of the marketers vocabulary the world over. 

With email marketing, websites and blogging becoming a must in business circles, something new was about to hit the market. And this new platform would change the face of content marketing forever.

The Rise of Social Media Platforms

As internet access grew, it quickly became a laboratory for content marketers as it offered a way to consistently find new and creative ways to reach audiences. In fact, content was on such a dynamic rise that in the early 21st century, online algorithms had to be developed to manage the massive amounts of content stored on the internet. 

From websites to blogs, the internet became a place of information sharing and then came the rise of social media. Platforms that not only allowed for information and knowledge sharing, but places that allowed for instant communication and engagement. 

With chat rooms like iRC and MySpace leading the way in instant communication and engagement, Facebook was introduced to the market and the rest is history (including MySpace). 

“The Facebook” (yes, “the”), was launched in 2003 and since its inception it has remained the channel of choice in the consumer market. 2006 saw the launch of Twitter and through this platform, brands began engaging with consumers in real-time which meant they were able to gain more leads and solve problems quickly. Then came the power of video. In 2005 YouTube quickly rose to prominence. The social channel introduced viewers to videos at the click of a button and video content marketing was born.

Social media has since developed and continues to evolve with the likes of Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn and Snapchat making waves in the content marketing space. 

You see, social media channels introduced brands directly to their audiences and consumers, and today, content plays a personal role in consumer and brand relationships. 

Today, brands are present across all social platforms (or those directly connected to their target market) and marketers are consistently creating content to engage the audience. From viral TikTok videos to Facebook lives, the options for content creation are seemingly endless.

So, what's next?

The Future of Content Marketing 

What does the future look like for content marketing? New social platforms? Virtual reality? Are we going to be able to completely immerse the consumer into the brand experience? To be honest, yes! New social media platforms will definitely emerge while virtual reality is, without a doubt, the future of content creation. 

Digital transformation happens every single day and marketers have to keep up with the virtual trends. 

How We Can Help

Content creation is a vital part of digital marketing. It refers to all of the marketing material you create and share to communicate with an audience. Without content, there would be nothing to post on your marketing channels and nothing to advertise. That said, content can market your business in more ways than one.

It is what attracts online prospects, whether it be videos, imagery, informative blog articles, podcasts or e-guides - and we are here to help you create the most relevant content for your business. 

Nexa's content creators and distributors will provide your business with:

  • Inspiration from our team of experienced specialists from various industries who are also knowledgeable about trends
  • Management and distribution of the content in a timely and consistent manner
  • Specialists in multiple forms of content creation
  • Reliable turnaround times
  • Traffic to your website and channels
  • Optimizing content to encourage engagement
  • Produce storytelling for your business in a way that showcases your brand
  • Generating, nurturing and converting leads
  • Keep your business current and relevant by building its online presence
  • Improving your business's rankings on search engines with SEO practices and keywords
  • Conduct research, both before content production and after the distribution thereof

The team at Nexa have worked with brands from various industries to create award-winning content creation and campaigns. From boosting digital marketing to creating digital PR strategies, we understand the power of content and believe all businesses need to harness it.

Contact us today for all your content creation needs and get ahead of your competitors, one digital story at a time.