Back in 1895 when cheap pamphlets with text that screamed at you were considered the pinnacle of great advertising, an American tractor company took a slightly different approach.
“Telling stories that folks enjoy reading—and that they can use in their own operations—has been the recipe since the beginning.” David Jones, Publication Manager.
Wanting to become true leaders in the farming community, John Deere, decided to produce a free lifestyle magazine. The publication shared valuable content to help farmers looking to improve their business along with great stories, product information and tips.
By 1912 the magazine had 4 million readers and today, the magazine reaches about 1.5 million readers in 40 countries, published in 12 languages. Not bad, for a magazine that features a tractor on its front cover.
So what did John Deere do right?
- They understood the power of building your brand around great stories.
- They produced useful, relevant content.
- They offered the magazine for free which established trust and built loyal consumers.
- They defined their target audience.
- They took a risk by trying something new.
- They were consistent
Lessons which are still relevant today and that we apply to the content marketing for all our clients.
What are your top pioneering campaigns from the past?