Even before the area of eCommerce, marketing and sales departments used content marketing to sell their products through customer testimonials, pamphlets, flyers, etc. The written word has always helped businesses educate the buyer and now that all of that information is easily accessible and shareable online, the power of content marketing has exploded! Customers are empowered to research your products and business on their own instead of you having to find them on a street corner & pass information along.
The new power content marketing holds caused marketers and marketing agencies to term a new name for the content marketing revolution - "inbound marketing." Inbound marketing uses content to "making yourself easy to be found and drawing customers to your website by producing content customers value". In outbound marketing ( like flyers, pamphlets, advertising etc) you are having to go after your customers, hunt them down and interrupt whatever a potential customer is doing to pitch them, essentially outbound efforts bothers customers in hopes that your products appeal to the customer enough for them not to be annoyed. Inbound marketing helps your site be found by pre-qualified interested customer, customers come to you. As Hubspot puts it, "you need to set your website up like a "hub" for your industry that attracts visitors naturally through search engines, the blogosphere, and social media."
The infographic below shares some interesting statistics about the shift in online marketing from outbound to inbound like 90% of B2B marketers use content marketing!