Comscore recently issued a release showing 31% of banner ads from a sample of advertiser had no opportunity to be seen.

The problem is, advertisers often do not know where their ads are running. Increasingly, marketers don’t know where their content is either.

B2B technology marketers running lead generation programs are finding their content or offers on a wide range of sites they never intended to place their content on, yet they are paying $20 to $60, or more, every time someone downloads their content from these sites.

Here are two examples and four steps you can take to protect your content.

Example 1: Sage on Hey, It’s Free!Hey It's Free Homepage Screenshot

From the About page on Hey, It’s Free
Hey, It’s Free! (HIF) is an awesome website run by the coolest person in the world, Goob. It’s dedicated to finding the best freebies on the ‘net. Period.

Hey, It’s Free! may be a great site for free stuff, but it is not a site you would choose to run a lead generation program with for enterprise technology or finance buyers.

Sage’s content is being promoted on Hey, It’s Free!, likely without their knowledge. Here is a screenshot of Sage’s white paper “7 Steps to Building a Business Case for ERP” promoted on the site.

Sage's White Paper on Hey It's Free

Example 2: BMC on Logo with "Your Free Software Resource" tagline’s tagline is “Your Free Software Resource”. As a provider of expensive enterprise technology management software, would you choose to run a lead generation program here targeting enterprise technology buyers?

According to Quantcast,’s audience tends to be 18 to 24 years old and accesses the site from home 83% of the time. This is not the audience profile of a site providing business software.

However, BMC Software is promoting 30 pieces of content on, most likely without their knowledge.

BMC Software on Freeware Files website (screenshot with BMC's content displayed)

There are just two examples of sites and marketers, there are numerous other B2B marketers with their content on similar sites. Just like online advertisers need to monitor and measure where their ads are run, B2B marketers need to know where their content is.

4 Steps to Protecting Your Content

Here are four steps you can take to keep track of your content.

  • Insist on transparency. Insist on full transparency, not just examples of where you may run. Of course the sites that are disclosed will be a fit.
  • Review the list. Take the time to review the full list of partners. If you don’t know the site, do not judge it by its name, take the time to visit it and get beyond the homepage. If the list is too long to be able to review, ask for the program to be limited to the top few hundred sites and review that list.
  • Monitor your content. Regularly search for your content to see where it is being hosted. Even full transparency and review does not ensure good behavior, it is possible for any individual site in the list to promote your content inappropriately.
  • Track your results. Closely track the quality of contacts you receive from each source through the entire sales process. Inappropriate placement or promotion lowers quality, and aggressive optimization will address many potential problems over time.

Your Turn

If you pay for content distribution, how do you keep monitor where it is being distributed? Or does capturing a contact make location irrelevant? Share in the comments below or with me on Twitter (@wittlake).