The techniques of content or the bigger genre of online marketing are not new, they’re just digitized. If you start looking seriously for the origins of digital marketing, you’ll ultimately land in 300BCE.
At its heart, digital marketing is persuasion. And if we’re talking about the basics of how to persuade, we should start with Aristotle.
Aristotle, the Greek philosopher and father of rhetoric, set the gold standard for persuasion. All digital marketing is a shadowy form (Hahaha! Philosophy joke. Anybody?) of his original tenets.
You could say that the basic principles of digital marketing are just ancient Greek wisdom dressed up in plaid (that’s what we digital marketers stereotypically wear in the States, at least).