Written by Mark Michaud on May 10, 2012
in Content Strategy

We all know that “if you build it, they will come” does not apply in most of our online marketing efforts. This is especially true of many of our most compelling content offerings. Just because we create a compelling nurture flow, content-rich web site, or engaging social media property, doesn’t mean the audience will be there.

For many brands, the answer to this riddle is advertising – getting the message out there. But too often this too fails to work. A banner ad saying “check out our new site with useful info and great recipes” doesn’t quite cut it. We would say that wouldn’t we? How does the consumer know that it’s true and is worth the time and clicks to find out?

What if our offering – the content itself – was in the advertising? The Globe and Mail has been offering a content-rich skyscraper format for about a year now – the vertical format features a display ad or video window in the top half and space for four or five article abstracts with links below. After a slow start, it seems to be catching on. First, B2B marketers, like Cisco and EDC saw the potential to get corporate videos and thought leadership into out there. Some CPG companies, especially liquor brands like Grey Goose have used it. And now, many financial services brands like RBC, CIBC Asset Management, and Genworth are using it.

But, I hear you ask, isn’t this just a tactic? Not at all. It is a paradigm shift about how to think about content and content strategy. If the value proposition is the content and it’s any good, it should sell itself. But it needs to be in the right place – where people can see it.


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