Some people called the 128,000-foot free fall--engineered and sponsored by Red Bull--a publicity stunt.

But it was more than that: The effort was a content-marketing play to get people involved in the Red Bull story on a humongous scale.

They're wondering how their small businesses can possibly compete on the marketing front against the sophistication of a multimillion-dollar company with its own content arm and years of experience.

Red Bull and other big brands with strong content chops (American Express, Coca-Cola, Google, Nike) might have ambitious programs and the big budgets to fuel them, but even the smallest brands with the most modest resources can work off of some of the same fundamental concepts.

The larger point is this: Producing content should be a job all its own--don't just charge the intern or marketing communications person with writing an occasional blog post when they have time.

The main reason I'm a fan of hiring trained journalists is that they put the needs of the audience (vs. those of the company) first.

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