Yes, the headline reads like link bait. And it may or may not work. Will it put you off so much that you’ll scroll past it without reading this article at all? Or will the word “free” be just enough to win a few seconds of your attention?

And if so, how do we know that it’s “Free” and not “Marketing Insight” that’s causing you to read on? Have our competitors tried tactics like this? How did they fare?

What if we knew the answers to questions like this before we even started writing?

Today at Share14, BrightEdge’s user conference, digital marketing professionals from companies as diverse as Nike, CareerBuilder, Macy’s, OpenTable and many, many others are gathering to ponder questions like this and to share insights. Demi-gods from major content platforms -- Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Bing -- are providing discernments as to how their properties work. 

Quit Marketing in the Dark

And Jim Yu, BrightEdge’s CEO will make a very special announcement, namely that he’s opening access to the Community edition of BrightEdge’s Content Marketing platform, absolutely free.

Community Edition access includes Data Cube To-Go, a massive data repository of billions of pieces of content from across the web, and Content Optimizer To-Go, a proven recommendation engine for content optimization. Marketers can download the Community Edition at no cost as a plug-in for Google Chrome and gain immediate insight into the performance of digital content, competitor content and receive performance-enhancing recommendations.

Now we will not only be able to tell how our content is performing, what are competitors are doing, have done and how that’s working for them, but also an idea of where we should start.

Say for example we want to market a new, hip scarf -- are we better off writing about how attention grabbing it will be at a polo match in Far Hills, NJ or a garden party in the Hamptons? Would our target audience be more engaged with a deck of pictures or a video about how to tie a scarf?

“It’s no longer enough to present the right content at the right time, now it’s about presenting the right content for the right topic, at the right time,” says Yu.

Data Cube’s massive data set, which gains 100 TB per week, informs the answers to questions like this, its social and search integration helps its customers understand its audiences better, and it secures page reporting.

In a world in which 27 million pieces of content are shared each day, multi-sourced, data driven insights are critical if you want to be noticed.

Why is the Community Edition Free?

BrightEdge is a digital content trailblazer, its technology is proprietary, 8500 brands pay to use it ... so why would Yu and his team create a Community Edition and allow the world to access it for free?

It’s a question we had to ask.

To empower 2 million marketers, to scale out the impact of Bright Edge’s technology, and to help accelerate growth, were Yu’s answers.

If that’s too complicated, it’s like a free sample or a free trial only it doesn’t run out or expire. And the reason Yu and his team are marketing this way is simple -- it will help them grow its footprint quickly and serve as a proof of concept to weary, potential customers. The hope is that they will want more, which they can then buy from BrightEdge.

Good idea? Provided that it is as easy to use and as effective as promised, we think so.