As content marketing demands increase, media and creative agencies are looking to Web3 and content creators as the way forward.
Increasingly, agencies are outsourcing their content work to freelancers to keep up with volume and produce authentic, credible content that meets client expectations. Yet there are a host of challenges in content marketing – from limited resources to a lack of industry knowledge on particular topics.
For some media agencies, establishing specific metrics and exploring new media, such as Web3, has been part of the solution. More and more companies are experimenting with how to invest in Web3, a decentralized Internet model. Eric Levin, director of content at Publicis Media, told Digiday that content “is too broad a term because it means literally everything” – including Web3 experiments more recently.
To bridge the gap, Publicis Media has worked with clients like Samsung, which has placed its New York flagship store in Decentraland, a virtual reality platform, to bring them into the metaverse.
But creating immersive content in the metaverse is only part of that, Levin added. Agencies need to be strategic about what it really means to drive internal and external adoption with clients. To match its investments with this strategy, Publicis Media has expanded its production, Web3 and APX content businesses for opportunities outside of linear television and ad and non-advertising environments.
“We need information and tools to deliver meaningful content to people, wherever they look,” Levin said.
Media agencies also develop content marketing by working with content creators and social media influencers. Bill Durrant, managing director of independent Exverus Media, compared earned coverage and affiliate content types — the latter “makes you a true business partner with a publisher or influencer,” he said.
Because there isn’t always the space to tell a deeper story about a brand or product in performance channels, Durrant said, having affiliate content helps round out the media mix. Additionally, leveraging publishers and influencers helps them build trust in a brand by establishing authenticity and credibility – and potentially has greater appeal with Gen Z and, to a lesser extent, millennial audiences.
“By pushing content creation to these partners, it frees up agency and brand bandwidth and allows more content to be created, tested and supported,” Durrant said. “Editors and influencers can better write about my brand and their experience with it with their authentic voice. This is especially critical now that Gen Z and Millennials value authenticity.
Generating effective content also means having the tools and metrics to dissect all the data to understand the results. While search engine optimization and customer relationship management systems are widely used to understand audiences, agencies still need to turn that information into real content and provide metrics, said Allison Madell, head of collaboration to the advertising and marketing agency Bader Rutter.
“We’re always looking for content that connects, converts and conveys the brand,” Madell said. “Is it more difficult to create today? Absolutely.”
What Madell’s company has realized is that integrated teams play a huge role in their content goals. Content teams should include people from different disciplines and be “collaborative, agile and skilled in customer relations and content development,” she added. “Approach content development as a team sport. Finding a way to effectively engage multiple disciplines, from SEO to analytics to user experience in content creation, will only grow in importance. »
Since some agencies rely heavily on content for their revenue, they will likely continue to invest in it as part of their content strategy. A quarter of agencies said more than half of their revenue comes from content creation these days, according to content creation agency Verblio.
While many outsource the work, holding companies like Publicis have a team of over 300 content experts within the organization. Levin said it was the largest centralized content practice of any portfolio company. Although the Publicis team has nearly 10 years of content creation experience, the past two years have fundamentally changed content marketing.
“Especially in the last two [plus] years, there’s a paradox in traditional linear and there’s a lag in embracing what’s possible in these new spaces, like streaming,” Levin said. “In the meantime, audiences are getting used to limited or no ads and have rejected traditional approaches to these spaces.”
With the overwhelming amount of content choices and experiences, it’s up to agencies to create material that can break through. For Levin, balancing what a brand needs to convey and the voice of the partner or platform is the answer – and this is where customer education will become more important than ever.
“It’s important to ground the client in the difference between the role of content and the role the creative is meant to play,” Levin told Digiday. “Where creativity is used for brand messaging, content is used to tell deeper stories, engage consumers in new ways, and ultimately meet them on their terms, which don’t interrupt [but] add to their overall experience.
Color by numbers
Influencer Marketing Platform Humanz published two annual reports on the creator economy and influencer marketing, calling the industry one of the fastest growing industries in the world. With some 4.2 billion online social media users, there are now around 200 million creators creating content for constant consumption. But not all creators generate profits – while some of the biggest influencers generate enough to earn a living, the majority still earn very little and struggle to grow, especially if they work part-time or have no not started to monetize their content. Some statistics:
- The number of creators has increased from 50 million in 2020 to 200 million in 2022.
- The estimated size of the creator economy is $104 billion.
- About 70% of creators’ income comes from influencer marketing, with 12% of full-time creators earning more than $50,000 a year. 68% of part-time creators earn less than $1,000 a year. Yet 59% of creators have yet to monetize, and 35% have done so but are not earning a “living income” from it.
- Instagram is the most popular platform for monetizing content, and 69% of creators said brand deals are their biggest source of revenue. Only 7% said it was from revenue from ad sharing, the second highest category.
- Influencers actually influence consumers, with 40% of people saying they bought a product online after seeing an influencer with it. And 92% of consumers said they trust these recommendations from social media influencers over brand advertising.
- For those running campaigns, the top two challenges are measuring campaign ROI and results (28%) and finding influencers for those campaigns (27%). Other hurdles included time constraints and managing the contract and deadlines.
- Finally, ad recall is 10% higher and intent is 6% higher for influencer content that is amplified by paid media and traditional branded content on the same channels. – AS
Take-off and landing
- Pernod Ricard has chosen Publicis Media to manage its media and the holding company has created a tailor-made unit within Performance called on Publicis Santé to work with the internal teams of the wine and spirits company. Wavemaker previously handled media for Pernod Ricard.
- Independent media agency Empower won media AOR rights for Zaxby’s QSR chicken chain, which is looking to double its business over the next five years.
- Media Cafean ads-focused warehouse for independent creators and publishers, combined with a minority-focused sales platform Colossus SSP to reach underrepresented audiences.
- Research firm Kantar and TV data platform Blockgraph has partnered to create better information to enable addressable advertising. Blockgraph will use its Identity Operating System (IDoS) to enable direct matching between Kantar’s panel and client datasets, in what they say is privacy compliant.
“There is a lot of interest in [attention] beverages for adults… and also in categories where brand equity has a greater impact on consumer choices. Because attention is important whatever your end goal. It has been proven by various studies to have a bigger impact on the brand, which makes sense. So, brand recall is higher if people actually paid attention to your ad. It makes sense when you say it like that, right? But now we have some of these methods to start proving it.
— Jen Faraci, Chief Data Officer, Digitas, on how brands and agencies are using attention metrics
Digiday Research recently released a report on the state of media agency business in 2022 with a look ahead to next year. Issues covered include customer spending, media affected by it, staffing issues and more. Join us this Wednesday for a discussion of the study’s findings, with editor-in-chief Catherine Wolf, editor-in-chief Michael Bürgi and media agency reporter Antoinette Siu. Here’s how to register.
- Michael Bürgi wrote about IPG’s UM research showing that socially responsible brands advertising on media that share their values see better purchase intent. They found a brand embracing the three values of integrity, sustainability and fairness, increased purchase intent by 75%.
- Julian Cannon explained how brands like NBA and Goldfish Crackers are devoting more ad spend to TikTok, Instagram and connected TV in order to connect with Gen Z and millennial sports fans.
- Antoinette Siu covered some of the ways agencies are seeing retention and engagement boosted after adding mental health support for employees.