Those Dirty Basterds!

Short one today, as I just got home from a 3 day, 2 night road trip, a brief but quite fun family oriented, pre-Christmas Christmas trip, and I don’t have the energy to write anything longer…

But I had to mention an interview I heard while driving, an interview with the author of a new book called, “Black Ops Advertising: Native Ads, Content Marketing and the Covert World of the Digital Sell.”

Mara Einstein, the book’s author, equated one of my MOST favorite things in the world — content marketing — with one of my LEAST favorite things in the world: covert military operations carried out by persons unknown and unknowable, the war crimes commonly referred to as “Black Ops.”

I suppose SOME content marketing is deceptive and dangerous, but I didn’t think it fair for her to insinuate that ALL content marketing is — and I’m pretty sure that’s what she did!

She described it as content generated by advertisers, and therefore basically advertising, that doesn’t have an obvious “sales message.”

The purpose of such “black ops advertising,” according to Ms. Epstein, is to generate general good will toward a company or product, without specifically asking the reader or listener to go buy it right away.

And this is bad ( I assume) because at some point in the future, if and when you might be ready to buy such a product, you’ll remember the good will you felt, generated by the valuable information you consumed, and thus you may be predisposed to feel warmly toward said product or company, resulting in your making an actual purchase of the product in question at GASP! a later date!

Oh, the horror!

How dare anyone create and pay for the placement of content that “advertises” a product or service without expressly telling you where to find it, or how to buy it, or how much it costs, or anything else a buyer should be told!

How horrible for advertisers to generate good will toward their product by providing useful information that their potential customers might want!

Those SNEAKY Basterds!!!

Needless to say, I kind of disagree.

I think content marketing is a GOOD thing, and I recommend you get right on it!

The kind of content marketing I recommend is done openly (obviously), and not clandestinely, because you want to make sure your readers know you’re doing the talking.

You want to provide value in your content, but you also want to make sure your readers know it was YOU who provided that value, so they can form the appropriately positive opinion of you as a credible source of information about that product/industry/market/etc.

I don’t see anything wrong with that. That’s just smart marketing.

Look for more about content marketing and other smart marketing stuff in the upcoming edition of The Internet Examiner. Subscribe before it goes to press at

Talk soon,