In 1732, Benjamin Franklin published the first annual Poor Richard's Almanack to promote his printing business—an early example of content marketing. A lot has changed in the past 300 years.
Since content went digital roughly 20 years ago, content marketing has grown exponentially. In 2016, IBM made a bold claim: 90% of the world's data had been created in the previous two years. If you don't believe it, check the promotions tab or elsewhere in your inbox and count all the articles, infographics, podcasts, videos, and e-books that show up every day.
In the past two decades, content marketing has become a legitimate, effective strategy to generate leads and to nurture the sales funnel at every stage of the buying journey, addressing potential buyers' issues and concerns and pushing them closer to "the handshake."
The recent adoption of account-based marketing strategies has intensified content marketing efforts: Otherwise similar content began to be refined and personalized to fit the needs and the language of specific organizations, targeted by account-focused sales and marketing team. But it wasn't until the recent rise of AI that the level of content personalization became scalable.
And that has changed the game.
The content marketing noise is drowning out real communication