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Leave a Comment and You Could Win $5,000 in Advertising from Disqus

DisqusGuest post by David Fleck

One of the most common challenges in content marketing is building an audience. For every dollar spent on content creation, many more are needed to drive traffic and engagement. This is after all, what every content marketer wants content to do — solicit participation from their audience.

As the web’s most popular discussion system, we at Disqus know a thing or two about what gets people talking. We see it everyday across the millions of sites that use Disqus to power discussion. We also offer a content-based advertising product that enables content marketers to build an audience by reaching the 125 million people that use Disqus everyday to discuss content that captures their interests and passions.

So when we look at the best content marketing campaigns on Disqus, they’re more likely to resemble a great dinner party at home and less like a noisy restaurant. First, you have to have authentic content to mark the occasion. That content is equal parts the substance and the style that invites people in with similar interests to converse with one another. Secondly, turn-out and participation is as important as what you’re offering. A party with no people is like a site without engagement. Finally, invite them into your space. Your own site is the most real representation of who you are and what you stand for. You own the experience and the data. Leave Facebook for your appetizers.

With this in mind, we thought we’d put our money (and our own technology) where our mouth is. So we’re asking you one question: what is the best content marketing campaign you’ve seen in the last year and why? Submit your answers in the comments section below. The person with the most compelling answer measured by upvotes, replies and shares will win $5,000 in Disqus promoted content advertising.

Some basic rules to keep in mind

  • The prize is non-transferrable
  • You can only use the advertising allotment if you’re a content marketer
  • Your content must meet our advertising guidelines

That’s it. All you need to do is to drop a comment in the discussion below and if you win, you’ll come back from Content Marketing World with a nice addition to your audience building program. Deadline for submissions is Thursday, September 12 at Midnight, Pacific time. Winners will be announced on Monday, September 16.

David Fleck is GM of Revenue at Disqus. David leads the group that is determining how to continue to provide an organic, natural experience for users and publishers, while providing relevant, interactive advertising experiences. 


  1. Rob Yoegel says:

    Would that be considered paid, earned or owned media?

    • David Fleck says:

      Hey Rob…are you referring to Promoted Discovery itself? It’s paid media to drive qualified audiences at scale (we have over 500 million monthly engaged users). Brands use it to amplify earned and owned media.

      • Rob Yoegel says:

        David, I asked with a little sarcasm. That didn’t come through too well 😉 Actually very familiar with what you guys are up to… a Disqus customer and have tested your paid stuff.

  2. Ivan Kirigin says:

    This blog by a VC is a clear content marketing strategy. The content is amazing and is really aligned with the mission of reaching out and helping entrepreneurs

    As for actual services, I like’s blog quite a bit.

    • David Fleck says:

      I agree Tom’s blog is insightful. It’s high funnel for his core VC business. I wonder if he has had any inbound interest to Redpoint via his blog, particularly any that turned into an investment round. I don’t know if he thinks of his blog in this way, but that’d be his KPI I’d imagine.

  3. Hilde Kreuze says:

    How much budget do you need to reserve for let’s say for an audience of 1000?

  4. Michael Gerard says:

    Building Relationships with Content Marketing:
    Aternity (ubiquitous end user experience monitoring solutions) wanted to establish itself as a thought leader with a content hub for industry members as well as business and IT communities. They deployed a content curation solution to complement their own original content with the best of what the Internet had to offer into one centralized location for their audience. Their microsite (and companion newsletter) called EUE2DAY resulted in a 100%+ increase since launch. EUE2Day became one of the top 5 referrals to their corporate website. Visitors referred by the portal are spending >5 minutes on the website – a highly interested and engaged audience.

  5. I think the Ubuntu marketing campaign with the Edge was pretty good. It got coverage from all of the major Linux news sites and then the word about it got so huge that big media companies got involved. If anything, Canonical got good marketing even though the campaign failed.

  6. Chris B. says:

    Hubspot’s Inbound 2013 Conference is the best integrated, indirect “content” marketing campaign I’ve experienced in the past year:

    1. Hubspot attracted 5,000 marketers (people who professionally communicate with audiences) to an educational, content-centric 3 day conference where everything was branded Hubspot and dozens of sessions about how to use Hubspot’s products and services to achieve different business benefits and goals were integrated into the schedule.

    2. Hubspot created a mobile app ( ) specifically for the conference with built-in schedule sharing. Everything was hash-tagged #INBOUND13, and a dedicated Twitter leaderboard with prizes was set up to reward the attendees who used the hashtag the most. As a result, #INBOUND13 was trending on Twitter and Google+ for three days straight. Incredible content coordination: microsite, daily emails, landing pages, whitepapers, blog posts and a host of other content was all created and coordinated specifically for the conference:

    3. The conference had cross-promotional partnerships with charity:water, Seth Goodin, Social Fresh and tons of other top-tier brand marketers to amplify and re-blog the content, conversation and branding around the event.

    The conference must have generated tens of thousands of tweets and hundreds of thousands of digital and in-personal brand impressions for Hubspot, in addition to increasing brand and product loyalty with existing and new customers.

  7. Jon Hogg says: is an awesome example of content curation that’s delivered a lot of traffic and brand building goodness to Click Consult who made the site. 500+ videos by Google’s Matt Cutts have been distilled into bitesize summaries to help the SEO community understand and keep up to date with Google’s very helpful but often long-winded webmaster videos.

    It’s an excellent achievement that really helps to solve visitor’s problems and is a resource that you return to time and time again.

  8. ACENY says:

    The best campaign I’ve seen is for Williams Sonoma, on their trade-focused “WSI Designer Marketplace” site. Featuring advice, trend reports and updates for designers and decorators, it delivers that “dinner party-style” conversation that you’re describing David. They’ve built it up to reach 50% of the US universe of designers and decorators on a monthly basis, all while building trust, not to mention their email list, within their hyper-targeted prospects.

  9. Joan Borland says:

    you cant con a con (wo)man

  10. Holden Ackerman says:

    JumpStartFund is aiming towards using the power of crowd to incubate inventions, patents and ideas into fully functional businesses. By crowd participating in idea sharing, you can have the opportunity to become a member or advisor to a project you think is great.

    At JumpStartFund, we help innovators and creators build their core-team, while also refining their ideas and connecting investors. JumpStartFund plans to take full advantage of the recently passed JOBS act!

    Elon Musk posted his initial plans for the Hyperloop, which gave JumpStartFund a #1 trend on Forbes for two-days straight:

  11. harrycott says:

    Not in the last year, but I think it’s cool and worth sharing. Also I’m new to Disqus so thought i’d pipe up… Anyway, in 2011, Moby teamed up with Vimeo and Saatchi & Saatchi to create a music video challenge to:

    1. Crowd-source the creation of a music video for one of 3 songs on his forthcoming new album ‘Destroyed’ interpreting the concept ‘Hello, Future’.

    2. Help discover and give exposure to unknown talent within the Vimeo community.

    The competition received over 600 quality submissions and a load of buzz and the winning director had his video screened at Saatchi & Saatchi’s New Directors’ Showcase at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, in addition to being offered work with Saatchi.

    I just thought that this was a great example content marketing and co-creation, before the term had really been coined.

  12. amandakuda says:

    A unique and out-of-the norm example I love, because it wasn’t created by an agency or service provider: The Kid President video series, produced by SoulPancake. Specifically, the “Pep Talk” video.

    It’s hard to beat a passionate kid with a thought-provoking & heartfelt message.

  13. Przemek says:

    I am not sure which one is the best but for sure it is not bad to try everything 🙂 I will bet that writing under this thread and giving a Chance to win for our amazing JAVA to .NET bridging solution called Javonet could be one of them 🙂 😛 checking stats i will let you know if this post was one of the best 😉

  14. Who doesn’t wanna have lunch with Ellen DeGeneres?!? The recent #90DaysToEllen campaign by @DJWaldow and @BryanKramer was a brilliant integrated marketing effort to use social media to convince Ellen DeGeneres to have lunch with them.

    They built a website, a social campaign on Twitter and Facebook and even challenged us, their followers, to post videos via Vine and Instagram saying why Ellen should have lunch with DJ and Bryan using the hashtag #90DaysToEllen!

    They also partnered with Feeding America to encourage donations and contribute their successes to a larger social cause. Come on @theellenshow have lunch with DJ and Bryan and help Feed America! Read more: #cmworld

    • Loved that campaign that @DJWaldow did, so bummed that it didn’t work out but the success of the campaign was well worth all the efforts even if Ellen herself didn’t think so!

      • Agreed. Rarely have I seen such an innovative and dedicated effort to get a celebrity’s attention, and the sheer amount of videos that poured in in support of the campaign (and their outrageous creativity) is mind boggling.

        We should also respect the risk they took on: unlike a campaign targeting a pool of consumers where a certain amount of work results in a certain amount of reward on average, this particular campaign was at the mercy of the whims of a celebrity.

      • Bryan Kramer says:

        Thank you Sadie, it sure was fun and we learned a lot!

      • Matthew T. Cornelius says:

        I’ve been following @djwaldow for a long time. The guy is interesting, excitable, and always eager for a new endeavor. I hope this all works out — shows a lot of courage and commitment.

    • CourtneySmithKramer says:

      My vote goes for #90DaystoEllen (full disclosure– I helped run it!) BUT I can tell you we learned so much about building social communities, the power of helping and real benefits of using social to make a difference. Plus, creating memes and writing snarky blog posts are fun! Thanks everyone for your kind words about the campaign! So appreciate your support.

    • Bryan Kramer says:

      Loved doing this campaign and the support, just like now was incredible. Thank you Michelle for the nomination. With over 70 Million impressions on the campaign and a lot of real world relationships made, I would call it a success! 🙂

    • Chris Paddison says:

      Reminds me of the charity lunch campaign to have lunch with Warren Buffet for $1 million which was sold on Ebay. I would love to know how much eating actually happened at something like $16,000 per minute!?!

    • Fern Joseph says:

      My vote goes to #90DaysToEllen. Their creativity and innovative approach, on top of their collaboration with such an important charity wins hands down in my opinion. Over 70 million impressions says it all. Good luck @bryankramer and the rest of the #90DaysToEllen crew, you deserve to win 🙂

    • kimberlykurimski says:

      I can’t believe I never heard about this campaign. I’m a huge Ellen fan! I think it’s great the way they went about getting her attention as well. Sad that it didn’t work out. Still amazing!

    • Przemek says:

      Nice 🙂 Have a Good Day Michelle 🙂

    • DJ Waldow says:

      Thanks so much for your support during this campaign, Michelle – AND for nominating us. You, your husband, Sadie … everyone – so so supportive. Means so much. See you in Iowa next month!

    • David Fleck says:

      We started out with a simple question: what is the best content marketing campaign you’ve seen in the last year and why? Based upon the feedback, the resounding winner is Michelle Schenker and her thoughts on the 90 Days to Ellen campaign

      Many of you were familiar with this campaign. I was not. But as I dug in, I discovered what many of the commenters and voters already knew: 90 Days to Ellen built and inspired a large community of people who in turn were brand advocates and contributors. This is exactly what great content marketing does. People originally come for the content, but get so much value out of it that they create/join the community and turn into customers and brand advocates. Good content marketing is not heavy-handed or overly sales-y, instead it is authentic and speaks in the brand voice. It inspires community creation and action (earned media, in marketing speak).

      Michelle, I look forward to working with you to spend your $5,000 on Disqus. Thanks for everyone who joined in the discussion, too.

      -David Fleck
      GM, Disqus

  15. In my opinion, the hands down winner of best content marketing campaign is a campaign that was mentioned by Andrew Davis ( at Content Marketing World 2013. Tractor Supply Co. used fractal marketing to hone in on its target market in such a clever way that conversion rates were driven through the roof.

    In essence, Tractor Supply Co. is going after the farm industry, a $4 billion dollar industry. Sound competitive? You bet. Tough industry to penetrate? One of the toughest. But thanks to an ingenious and innovative content marketing campaign, they were able to succeed. Here’s how they did it.

    To sell their suburban tractor supplies, they first asked themselves: whom should we target? By going down the “nodes” of their fractal marketing “tree”, they were able to hone in on a niche that was small enough to penetrate and for which targeting of their product was spot on. Commercial or hobbyist farmer? Hobbyist. Rural or Suburban? Suburban hobbyist. Agriculture or livestock? Big or small? Rabbits or chickens? They go all the way down the branches of their fractal marketing tree and arrive at the end of the chicken branch with “backyard poultry.”

    To promote their efforts, they created local “meet up” groups targeting these specific farmers. As a result, industry sources referenced them, giving their campaign more authority and power. They also launched “The Chicken Whisperer” (, a website with its own radio show and book “The Chicken Whisperer’s Guide to Keeping Chickens: Everything You Need to Know . . . and Didn’t Know You Needed to Know About Backyard and Urban Chickens” ( As a result of all their efforts to connect with their target market, they increased their revenues to a whopping $21,600,000 annually.

    Check them out at and learn more about the campaign and why it’s so brilliant from Brandscaping ( author Andrew Davis (

    I challenge everyone to find a bigger effort and more hard earned and successful content marketing campaign in the last year!

    • Wow, what a cool campaign, thanks for sharing Alex! Bumemed I missed that session at #CMWorld but thanks for the in-depth recap and success story for sure the best of the past year!

    • I like the strategic rigger behind this campaign and to see how it played out so successfully. Tractor supplies can be sexy and fun when they take the time to use brand strategy and humor to connect with their audience. I mean, a Chicken Whisperer?!? Awesome!

    • What an awesome campaign! It just goes to show that given the right marketing strategy and hard work pays off!

  16. Casey Fahey says:

    My vote goes for #90DaysToEllen because they tried everything — EVERYTHING you can think of — to make it fly! Really creative, cool and funny and managed to stay in foreground without being in-your-face.

  17. Fern Joseph says:

    My vote goes to #90DaysToEllen. Their creativity and innovative approach, on top of their collaboration with such an important charity wins hands down in my opinion. Over 70 million impressions says it all. Good luck @bryankramer and the rest of the #90DaysToEllen crew, you deserve to win 🙂

  18. Brian Moran says:

    My vote goes to #90DaysToEllen by @purematter:disqus and @DJWaldow. Their campaign brought together some of the smartest, funniest and most creative influencers in social media for a common cause (I joined it too in spite of their efforts of telling me it was really #62DaysToRichardSimmons). I really didn’t think they had the stamina or intestinal fortitude to keep a campaign fresh, fun and worth checking out every day…for 90 STRAIGHT DAYS! They not only proved me wrong, they got me to do a vine! My mother, for all I put her through, couldn’t get me to do a vine!! I applaud the efforts of Bryan and DJ. They ROCKED it…and now I’m off to lunch with Richard Simmons. Ciao.

  19. mikeellsworth says:

    My vote goes to #90DaysToEllen. Cool campaign. Shame it hasn’t worked . . . yet!

  20. RogerJH says:

    The 90DaysToEllen campaign was gutsy and innovative. Aiming high is the only game in town in PR and marketing and kudos to the organizers for their panache.

  21. Miriam Slozberg says:

    My vote definitely goes to #90DaysToEllen because I love what they are doing. Thanks so much @purematter:disqus for all of your amazing efforts.

  22. DebbyBruck says:

    I give thumbs up to #90DaysToEllen campaign by @DJWAldow and @BryanKramer in 2013. They had an idea, developed a plan of action, hoped for the best to gain attention and a response, and gather steam from new and old followers. They chose a popular celebrity for a good cause, “Feeding America”.

    Now, even though their dream did not come true and Ellen did not even give them a nod or a wink, they did get #hits and #attention, gained followers who sympathized with their plight and learned a lot about them in the process. They interacted with each person who commented and the development of these relationships may turn into long-term friendship or business collaborations. One thing that I admire throughout was the continuity and persistence in the effort and utilization of a number of social networks.

  23. says:

    #90DaystoEllen deserves this award. Hands down it is one of the best campaigns I have witnessed and participated in –ever. My vote isn’t 100% related directly to their excellence in digital savvy, strategy and execution, but instead for their dedication and ability to engage and build community, globally, during and after this campaign.

    This wasn’t a paid or sponsored campaign. It was 90 days of passion, love and dedication to making a community feel so good, and so at home, they would stick with the campaign for 90 days.

    As a member of the community who started as purely as a lurker they had me hook, line and sinker. I was so over the top about this campaign they even motivated me to drag my colleague out of bed at 6am to film a video with Swiss cows. True!

    They had my inner kid all fired up not because of how cool the campaign was, but because of how nice they were and how at home I felt. They made me want to do whatever I could to help move the campaign forward.

    They didn’t know me and I didn’t know them, but their 100% human touch and kindness engulfed me for 90 days. They treated me, and the rest of the community, like the most awesome people on earth because we were participating. There wasn’t a tweet, post, like or share that didn’t go without a thank you. They even answered emails and questions. ( I think I probably caused them a lot of extra work 🙂

    At the heart of every great campaign stands an even greater community and they had a massive one standing behind them. And although this community may not have been able to convince Ellen to say yes, one thing is certain: this campaign must have absolutely shattered the success indicator for what community building means and how it can be done to build relationships that will go the extra mile.

  24. Shane Barker says:

    As fellow digital marketer, I was thoroughly impressed with the campaign for by Bryan and DJ for the #90DaysToEllen! It was extremely well thought and executed seamlessly! Great job guys!

  25. Geoff Alexander says:

    My #90DaysToEllen vote goes to Bryan Kramer and @DJWaldow. Innovative, resourceful and inspiring (not to mention witty and energetic! Creative and Consistent – (even consistently creative!), this is no mean feat. Good luck Bryan, wish you all the best, well deserved! Best wishes, @Geoffalexander1.

  26. Guest says:

    POWER TO THE POULTRY! As the Chicken Whisperer, can I vote for myself? 🙂

  27. Aalia Ch says:

    Love this campaign Thanks

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