I stumbled onto this story and had to share it with you, because it’s a great example of how content marketing has been used in the past to help businesses succeed.

The True Origins Of German Chocolate Cake

Back in 1852, an English man named Sam German developed a sweet baking bar for Baker’s Chocolate Co.

In order to honor him they named the product “Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate.”

The first published recipe of the cake that’s now known as German’s Chocolate Cake showed up in a Dallas newspaper in 1957. It was sent in by a Texas homemaker.

After the recipe was published something interesting happened. General Foods, which by then owned Baker’s Chocolate, noticed a spike in sales that correlated with the time the article was in the paper.

General Foods decided to see if they could repeat the results. The company quickly sent copies of the recipe and photos of the cake to newspapers across the nation. (By the way, somewhere along the way the “s” in “German’s” was accidentally dropped in the reprints, which caused people to later incorrectly believe the cake had a German origin.)

The Results?

Everywhere the recipe was published, food editors were suddenly swamped with requests for information on where to buy the chocolate.

How effective was it?

In a year, sales jumped 73%. Not only that, readers who missed the recipe asked that it be reprinted.

In no time at all, German Chocolate Cake was on almost every table in America.

Not only that, more than forty years later it continues to be a favorite dessert of many.

3 Content Marketing Lessons

1. Discover the type and form of content your prospects want. (Recipes were wanted in this case.)

2. Uncover “channels” who need that type of content and who already reach your prospects. (General Foods found that newspapers were the perfect channel.)

3. Provide those “channels” with the type of content they need. (General Foods sent copies of the recipes and photos to newspapers across the U.S.)

Can You Think Of Any Current Examples?

If you know any modern day examples, then please feel free to post them in the comments below.

Photo by cuttlefish

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