From Novelty to World’s Best Cola: Coca-Cola Transformed by Content Marketing

coca colaHave you ever asked yourself how Coca-Cola has been able to keep customers coming back for over a hundred years? Although the company is more than a century old, Coca-Cola remains a Fortune 100 company and is the most recognized brand in the world. Although Coca-Cola currently has over 55 million “likes” on Facebook, there was a time when the company had to work to get noticed. In a time when print advertising was scarce and nobody knew the term “blog,” Coca-Cola was already employing savvy content marketing campaigns to extend brand awareness.

So just how did Coca-Cola use content marketing to fuel their brand before the invention of the internet and traditional advertising? Let’s take a look.

Coca-Cola Falls Prey to Imposters

The world’s favorite soft drink was created in 1886 when a pharmacist developed its irresistible recipe. In the first ten years of Coca-Cola’s existence, the fizzy drink became popular enough to inspire the owners to create a portable version. It should have been obvious to those at the time that Coca-Cola was going to become one of the best-known brands as the formula was already being stolen and imitated by entrepreneurs who wanted to ride the company’s coattails. In response to the rising amount of imitation products, Coca-Cola’s owners decided it was time to let America know who the real Coca-Cola was – with content marketing.

Ahead of its Time: Coca-Cola Employs Content Marketing

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that the most recognized brand in the world was also one of the first to use creative content marketing tactics. Long before the catchy Coca-Cola jingles of the 1970s and beyond, the company released content to the public in order to spark curiosity and interest in the product. As one of the first attempts by a brand to use content, Coca-Cola’s products were basic, but did the trick.

In 1901, Coca-Cola released an annual calendar that featured the drink being consumed by what appears to be a wealthy young woman. Nine years later, the company released a drink tray displaying the company’s logo and an impressive piece of portrait art. During this time, Coca-Cola also released coupons to many communities in order to promote brand awareness and create conversions.

Coca-Cola Wins the Soda War

Until the early 1950s, the majority of Coca-Cola’s marketing campaigns included content such as coupons, calendars, and drink trays. Without Coca-Cola’s solid content marketing efforts in the first fifty years of its existence, it is possible that the company may not have become such a well-known brand. Coca-Cola’s content marketing tactics were a success because the content was aligned with its brand, was useful to customers, and established a daily presence in the lives of Americans. As a global leader in the beverage industry, Coca-Cola is recognized as one of the pioneers of content marketing.

Do you own a piece of Coca-Cola’s content marketing history? Tell us about it!

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Victoria Schleicher is a graduate of the University of South Florida and holds a BA in Psychology. Although Victoria was successful in the mental health field, she chose to instead pursue her passion for writing and art, and is happy to be a part of the Content Equals Money team. When not writing, Victoria likes to create art, play with her cat, read, and go running.

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