Touted by Joe Pulizzi, the “Godfather” of content marketing, as a benchmark for excellence in content marketing, John Deere’s The Furrow magazine has evolved significantly since its first publication in 1895.
The magazine, available both in print and digital format, caters to the lifestyle and interests of current and potential customers. It was actually first established to provide education to farmers about new technologies and business. What The Furrow does brilliantly is integrate the interests of John Deere consumers with content that is relevant and aligns with their business.
While there are several advertisements in the magazine itself – my favorite is a spread in the Summer 2015 edition that says “Sit back, turn on the ballgame…and finish 100 acres by lunch” – the focus of the articles is about people and what is going on in the farming industry that would affect them. From a farmer distributing the best quality produce in Charleston to how a multi-generational family farm is integrating technology to be more efficient in cropping to the history of American-Japanese farming families forced from their land into camps during World War II.
Not only does John Deere feature this content in their magazine, it’s posted on their blog and then pushed out through social media, making this content multi-purpose. Quotes from the articles and great imagery resonate and draw people in. Their social media accounts are active and also follow the content marketing strategy of sharing content that is worthwhile to its consumer base, not just promoting its products.
With almost 100,000 Twitter followers, 2.3 million likes on Facebook, and The Furrow’s circulation of 1.5 million, it’s no wonder John Deere is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. But what will keep them at the top of their industry is providing powerful content for their consumers.