As a farmer’s daughter, I’m aware of the global magazine ‘The Furrow’ by John Deere. The content marketing industry experts regularly cite John Deere as the pioneers of content marketing over 120 years ago.
John Deere – the father of content marketing
In 1895 Charles Deere, the son of the founder John Deere, published a magazine called ‘The Furrow’. It gave farmers information to help them improve their production systems and efficiency. The Furrow wasn’t about tractors and machinery.
By publishing helpful and unbiased information regularly, John Deere built and maintained lasting relationships with their farming audience who were geographically dispersed in remote locations, and who would only buy a tractor infrequently. When it came to buying a tractor, however, John Deere would be at the front of the minds of those farmers who received and read The Furrow.
The epitome of the content marketing approach
This epitomises the content marketing approach – creating content to attract your specific target audience and providing them with helpful or entertaining content to keep their attention. Content marketing isn’t an aggressive sales tool. Instead, the more your audience read, see or experience the valuable content you create, the more they will get to know, like and trust you or your brand. In due course, this will lead to them buying from you.
The Furrow has stood the test of time and is still around today. The magazine is now published in fourteen languages and read by over 1.5 million farmers across the world. It contains a mixture of articles on current farming news and issues, best practice case studies and examples, only a very small amount of facts on John Deere and its products, and never a hard sell.
Many businesses struggle to create useful and engaging content while others struggle to be consistent. Yet, with a sound content marketing strategy and consistent publishing of high-quality and relevant content, you can attract loyal clients who will stick with you for years. Just ask John Deere.