In 1900, two brothers launched a guidebook for France. The guidebook recommended hotels, restaurants, and gas stations in the countryside… and encouraged new car owners to go out and explore.
Over the next 120 years, the Michelin Guides would expand to other parts of the world and the dining section became so popular, the “Michelin Star” of restaurant fame was born. Today, the world’s top chefs compete with one another worldwide to gain — and keep — their star status.
The Michelin guidebook was launched 11 years after the Michelin Tire Company was formed. It’s not that the brothers Michelin decided to pivot from tire manufacturing into the tour guide business, but instead they realized they could provide a useful service for their customers. And when those customers needed new tires after all their travelling, they’d be likely to turn to the tire company they had trusted as a guide.
Michelin built trust and authority with those guidebooks, which in turn led people to buy their tires.
That’s an early example of content marketing. In this first article in our Content Marketing Roadmap for Success, we’ll share some brief background to inspire your thinking about content marketing.