Yesterday the popular technology blog TechCrunch announced it's making it easier to take advantage of information in CrunchBase , its database of startup companies and people.

I thought this was a very cool announcement, so I sent off an email to a few folks here at HubSpot, and we came up with a bunch of ways we could use CrunchBase to help our users. As I was digging around, I realized that CrunchBase itself is a great example of top-notch Inbound Marketing.

Specifically, CrunchBase illustrates two important new rules of inbound marketing:

  1. When in doubt, create valuable content . High-quality, useful content like CrunchBase draws people in. It's probably not making much money, but that's ok -- the goal isn't to create a new business, it's to create content that (a) enhances the brand of TechCrunch, an existing lucrative business, and (b) shows up in search-result pages, driving new people TechCrunch. Judging by traffic , this approach seems to be working.
  2. If you have good data, share it. Data is like content -- if you publish and distribute it, it will help drive traffic and leads back to your site. CrunchBase is a great example. By opening up its database, the site has dramatically improved its position versus a big competitor in professional data, LinkedIn. LinkedIn probably has more and better data than CrunchBase, but it's harder for third parties to use LinkedIn data. That means many of those third parties will use CrunchBase, which will in turn make their data more important, and drive readers back to TechCrunch.

Bonus Tip For Marketers at Startup Companies - Update Your Profile on CrunchBase

Don't forget the simple stuff! Anybody can edit CrunchBase, so make sure your information on the site is accurate and up-to-date. The policy on updating is explained here ( http://www.crunchbase.com/about ). Obviously, you can't post promotional material. However, quality edits can be a good way to get your name onto TechCrunch without breaking into Michael Arrington's house .

 

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Originally published Jul 16, 2008 10:48:00 AM, updated July 08 2013

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