Content Uberization: Sharing Economy Meets Content

How To Integrate Content Uberization Into Your Marketing Plans

Content UberizationContent uberization applies the principles of the sharing economy to content marketing.

In 2015 the Oxford English Dictionary defined the sharing economy: “[It] is an economic system in which assets or services are shared between private individuals, either for free or for a fee, typically by means of the Internet.”

Peer-to-peer access to and use of goods and services owned by others has grown due to the lower cost and availability of contextually relevant data. As a result, unused or under-used physical assets can be disaggregated and consumed as services.

Millennials’ preference for experience over ownership fuels this trend. They’re willing to “rent” products without investing in ownership for the long-term.

  • 1/2 of 25 to 34 year olds would rather sign up for a membership to a product or service than pay extra to own it (versus ¼ of adults 55 to 64). Further 84% of 25 to 34 years olds globally own a smartphone according to GlobalWebIndex.
Sharing economy

Half of 25 to 34 yo would rather subscribe than own

The sharing economy is projected to grow from about $15 billion in 2015 global revenues to $335 billion in 2025, according to PwC.

  • 19% of the total US adult population has engaged in a sharing economy transaction.
  • 7% of the US population provides sharing economy services.
  • 97% of sharing economy users had a positive or very positive experience.

Sharing economy

Content uberization defined

Despite the new language and sharing economy context, this content approach isn’t new for marketers or media companies.

Historically, newspapers and magazines have had “Letters To The Editor” sections where readers expressed their opinions for publication. Media entities curated the responses they chose to print.

Most notably, PR (aka public relations) is the art of getting mentions of a person, brand or company in the media.

More recent examples include Huffington Post’s blog network. When AOL bought Huffington Post for $315 million, many of its unpaid bloggers believed they deserved a cut of the sale.

From a content uberization perspective, Huffington Post bloggers were like guest bloggers on any other site. They posted their content for free in return for receiving Huffington Post brand name association, increased visibility and better distribution than they could have gotten on their own sites.

As a blogger and content creator, I expect to be compensated for my time and my work. Yet, when I write guest blog posts, I view my content contribution as part of an exchange. I get to tap into the media entity’s brand and reach. This augments my circle of influence.

For example, Jon Morrow’s How to Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise and Get Paid to Change the World” generated the highest traffic of any post to-date on Problogger. Morrow has a link in the post that continues to drive traffic to his site and products.

Actionable Content Uberization Tip:

  • Include a link to a landing page where you can convert traffic from third party sites where you share your content. Connect your content call-to-action to that tailored landing page so you can measure and engage with the traffic. (Or it’s a waste of effort!)
  • Do your homework before sending out requests for guest blogging. Start by checking the blog to see if they have multiple voices. If not, look elsewhere. If they do, look for their guest blog post guidelines. Read the blog, know their style and follow their requests or your effort is a waste.

Use of long-form social media for content uberization

The rise of long-form social media offerings such as LinkedIn Publishing and Medium tap into the content sharing economy. As of this writing, other social media platforms are rushing to enhance or extend their long form offerings. For example, Twitter is expected to up its limit to 10,000 characters sometime in March.

These social media entities provide a frictionless way for anyone to share their fully shaped content to a larger audience than they’d have on their own.

Marketing influencers, including Likeable Local’s Dave Kerpen, worked to become part of LinkedIn’s Influencer Program (an earlier iteration of LinkedIn Publishing.) His objective: Build his following.

Lest you think these social media entities exist for area experts, Senior Presidential Advisor Valerie Jarrett posted “Why We Think Paid Leave Is a Worker’s Right, Not a Privilege” on LinkedIn Publishing.

Content Uberization Example via LinkedIn

Jarrett had her choice of high profile, large reach media outlets, especially before the State of the Union address. Instead, she chose LinkedIn Publishing.

Jarrett’s article was neither a homeless nor a fleeting social media post. Unlike a television interview or newspaper article, the post is still available on LinkedIn and findable on search.

This content uberization platform enabled 400,000+ people to read Jarrett’s post and 2,400+ people to engage in a conversation about it.

Recently, Associated Press Strategy Manager, Francesco Marconi, dubbed the rise of long form content on sites like LinkedIn Publishing and Medium “homeless content”.

The reality is that content created as part of the sharing economy is NOT homeless. Uberized content doesn’t ride social media subways begging for attention. It has a home.

Uberized content quote-Heidi Cohen

Long-form social media platforms provide shelter for your content that’s more like AirBNB. No one thinks that they’re homeless when they use the service. For the most part, they follow the rules of the specific sharing community. (Of course, this doesn’t mean that more structure and protections aren’t needed.)

As part of a sharing economy community, your content has a place to live and thrive.

You provide quality content that members of their audience will hopefully like, read and share.

Content uberization: Benefits and drawbacks

Content Uberization: Benefits VS Drawbacks (Chart By Heidi Cohen)

Content Uberization: Benefits VS Drawbacks (Chart By Heidi Cohen)

Content uberization provides these benefits:

  • Has an established audience. This allows you to tap into a different audience than the one you have.
  • Is easy-to-use. You don’t need special technology or support to publish your content.
  • Allows links to your blog or website. This provides a conduit to get readers to visit your site.
  • Remains visible. Unlike other social media entities, your content isn’t once and done.

Content uberization has these drawbacks:

  • Need to supply fresh content. You pay for the content. If you plan ahead, you can create unique content as a spinoff of your content creation efforts in line with Jay Baer’s content atomization.
  • Build your own following. As with any social media platform, it works best if you have your own followers. This takes work.
  • Works best with additional promotion. Use social media sharing, owned media and paid advertising.

Content Uberization

How to integrate content uberization into your marketing plans

Here are 3 tactics to integrate content uberization into your marketing plans.

Your objective: Leverage the power of long-form social media offerings to build your brand and extend your content reach.

1. Understand your audience on long form social media

While you can tap into the widely available data, you’ll still need to know what works for your audience.

Do your homework and test how long-form social media and guest posting appeal to audiences that are similar to yours.

Recognize that it takes time to get your stride and grow your audience like any other social media platform.

Actionable Content Uberization Tips:

  • Look at your category’s top contributors. Don’t worry about top-level trends. Dig deeper: What do they writing about? What type of response do their posts get?
  • Determine the brand elements you want to present on these platforms. Adapt your marketing message to the platform. Skip the promotions.
  • Build your following. Tap into your other owned audiences.

2. Incorporate long form social media in your editorial calendar

Make long-form social media and guest blogging part of your new content creation as well as your enhanced existing content

Actionable Content Uberization Tips:

  • Schedule long-term social media content creation as part of your new content creation efforts. Extend the presence of new content.
  • Revise existing posts or write new articles around older, high performing content. This can be a new spin on a hot topic.
  • Keep your existing content across platforms in your content promotion queue.

3. Optimize your long form content to stand out

Just as an Uber car is known by its black color and U logo, make your content recognizable when it appears on another platform within a third party’s formatting.

Actionable Content Uberization Tips:

  • Establish thought leaders within your organization to create long-form social media content. Where possible, ask the people your audience trusts most, namely your tech support. This supports your brand by giving it a human face.
  • Use a consistent content voice to show your brand. Your brand’s voice represents your company’s personality. (Need voice help? Ann Handley has a short 5 pointer every marketer should read and Henneke has compiled a mini-course on voice.
  • Include images reflecting your brand. People are visual. Help guide them through your article with some text relief in the form of photos and charts.


Content uberization is the latest incarnation of taking advantage of other people’s audiences. It’s an outgrowth of the sharing economy. It taps into the power of long-form social media and the need to break into people’s content’s inner circle.

Content uberization allows you to extend your brand and reach while increasing your content’s lifespan on social media platforms where content has a long shelf life.

What has your experience been with social media platforms like LinkedIn Publishing and Medium?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

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