By Joe Pulizzi published May 17, 2011

Rent-to-Own Content Marketing: Red Bull

A big part of a content marketing strategy is acquiring an audience.

The majority of media companies spend thousands, even millions on audience development strategies in order to qualify and distribute to their target audience.  Tactics used include post cards, direct mail, telemarketing, email solicitation, social media, etc.

Most non-media brands generally send their publications, such as a print magazine or email newsletter, to their current customers. That’s great if you have their print or email addresses, but what if you don’t?

Enter the “Rent-to-Own” content marketing strategy.

The idea is this: buy advertising or promotional space in targeted websites and publications to create attention to your content marketing product.

Most companies do this for lead generation, or simply to promote their own products and services. Companies like Red Bull use it to get people to subscribe to their magazine Red Bulletin.

Ad for Red Bulletin

In the example above, Red Bull advertises Red Bulletin on my LinkedIn page.  That page takes you to the magazine home page featuring this video.

From that page, I could subscribe to the print magazine, receive the email updates, or even download the iPad version (which I did).

Often times it’s easier to get people to subscribe to a content product than pay attention to your product ad.  Might be worth a try.


Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the Founder of Content Marketing Institute, a UBM company, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. Joe is the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council. Joe’s the author of five books, including his latest, Killing Marketing. His third book, Epic Content Marketing was named one of “Five Must Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine. If you ever see Joe in person, he’ll be wearing orange. Follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

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  • Lucinda Brook

    Thanks for this Joe. In the UK ‘content marketing’ as a term is in its infancy. It’s not very well understood outside the marketing universe. There is also a tendency to think that it excludes (rather than shifts focus from) all traditional forms of marketing – when in actual fact it’s more about using ‘content’ as the hub – the pull instead of the typical sales pitch. Using content within targeted ad / dm opportunities can be highly effective… Thanks Lucinda

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Lucinda…I believe that content marketing as a term is used in the UK as “customer media”. But your point is well taken and I agree. The story becomes the center for all your marketing, even the traditional side. The best content marketers, like the Red Bull example, are ones that integrate both together. Thanks for commenting.