Welcome to The Sample, where we spin the dial on the interwebs and record what plays to this month’s tune. The beat for this month’s tracks; should we build or rent when creating for our fans?


The theme for this month is a quandary for marketers. It’s generally considered that the best way to build a true fanbase is with an owned digital platform. But, this takes time, and platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Medium offer instant access to a rented audience. So, we spun the dial on the interwebs to see what the experts thought and this is what we found.


The Seductive Power of the Dark Side [Rented Land]

When it comes to any content marketing topic, you have to lift a sample from the don, author, and founder of The Content Marketing Institute: Joe Pulizzi.

In this entertaining article from 2016 on the Content Marketing Institutes blog, Joe casts the choices as the main protagonists from Star Wars, describing renting as the dark side.

content-landscape-rent-own

Joe quotes a number of leading content marketers and concludes:

I’m all for leveraging as many social media networks as makes sense for you to accomplish your marketing goals, but make sure you know what you are getting into. You should get up every morning knowing that the beautiful “rentals” you’ve created on these networks may have been swallowed up overnight.

Joe Pulizzi – The Seductive Power of the Dark Side [Rented Land]

[ Read more from Joe ]


The business imperative for building your brand on rented land

Author and marketing thought leader Mark Schaefer in this article on his Business Grow blog takes a different view, not casting rented land as the dark side, but that it is to be embraced as a marketing imperative, actually describing this “rented land’ view as outdated, concluding:

To succeed in this new world of Content Shock, you need to break away from this outdated rented land idea. A marketer today must employ every tactic that is humanly possible to get your content to MOVE.

Of course building your own site and mailing list is vital and always will be. But that is not enough … not nearly enough. Set your content free by any means possible.

Mark Schaefer – The business imperative for building your brand on rented land

[ Read more ]


Instagram outage reminds us not to build only on rented land

PR Blogger Spotlight: Scott Guthrie | Vuelio

Last year Scott Guthrie used an Instagram outage to make the case for building versus renting, specifically looking at it through the lens of influencers in this article on his blog.

He makes some great points about having a backup plan and how to develop a platform agnostic strategy. He ends his article with:

As with all communication programmes you have to know where your audience hangs out online and how best to reach them. As American futurist Alvin Toffler once reasoned “If you don’t have a strategy, you’re part of someone else’s strategy” (and chances are they simply won’t care about you). 

Scott Guthrie – Instagram outage reminds us not to build only on rented land

[ Read more ]


Philip VanDusen

I have to admit, I only discover Philip VanDusen when I was researching this article, and in this video Philip describes entrepreneurs using rented land to build their brand as victims. Echoing Joe’s view of the temptation of the dark side.


That’s it for The Sample this month, hope you like my picks, our house band of writers and Rockstar CMOs have also shared some fantastic experience and insight on the topic in this months issue, take a look at the related links below.

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