Fadi Khater, Founder & Managing Partner at Netizency, explains why partnerships help his agency vastly expand its offering.
We live in a world where content has become commoditized. Five factors have led to this:
1. Designers have become much more prevalent and easier to access;
2. Professional tools have significantly expedited the content creation process;
3. Much more readily available content (image, illustration, footage, and music libraries) can be purchased;
4. Many tools allow non-designers to easily design content;
5. With social media, people have become tolerant of lower quality content.
We believe that the power of content has become less about the content itself as a stand-alone design, and more about the context in terms of where it appears and how it relates to that environment. The context, in this case, is what social platform it appears on, which influencer publishes it, how relevant it is to the person viewing it, how relevant it is to the time and place it is being viewed, or which part of the customer journey it is intended to influence.
This premise gives rise to numerous opportunities for content agencies like us. We see content as a metaphor to last-mile delivery, somewhat like the final step in the consumer interface. You can have a stand-alone courier company that does last-mile delivery; however. partnering with an Amazon, for example, would significantly enhance business and provide a much more upward-integrated, personalized, and revenue-generating offering. It would create a whole that is much bigger than the sum of its parts.
In light of the above, and in addition to our standard content provisioning offerings and community management of brands’ social media pages, we have started exploring content partnership opportunities. In the past 18 months, we have signed different content partnerships with some of the biggest global brands in their fields.
Here is an overview of some of the attributes in content partnerships that we are working on:
Platform content visualization: This partnership helps bridge the content gap between social platforms and potential customers. Let’s say social platform X wants to sell its offering to brand Y. Instead of saying we can do this ad format, we can show them what their brand would look like on the platform. So, in this case, our partnership allows us to jointly pitch with the social platform to large brands and visually showcase all the different ways in which the brand can appear on this platform.
Listing content: This partnership helps provide local representation, content creation, and content curation for global listing directories. Our partnership will help a global business directory know for certain where a specific company should be located on the map and get pictures of its physical storefront; it will also help the listed company get specialized native content that can be used for self-promotion.
Market development content: This partnership helps in execution quality management for global brands that offer marketing dollars as MDF (market development funds) to local and regional distributors/partners for promoting their products or services; examples include the likes of Adobe, Microsoft, and SAP. Our partnership will help distributors create global brand content customized to their needs, and help global brands guarantee that all their distributors are using their brand guidelines correctly through a trusted regional content partner.
API content: This partnership helps provide native platform-relevant content to brands, media agencies, and clients that don’t have creative capabilities. It allows us to upload platform-specific content to the brands’ media libraries on selected platforms. Take a media agency that wants 100 different executions of the same ad to target different users in different languages on a social platform. Our partnership will allow them to fill a form with all their requirements on our website, pay online, and then get all their required execution in a media library on the social platform so that they can create all their posts/ads without the need for a designer or agency.
Media publisher content: This partnership allows media publishers to sell content or provide it as an added value to their clients. It allows the publishers to become a one-stop-shop for ad content and ad space. The main benefit in this offering for digital and social channels is that it helps ad buyers ensure that the content they are getting is platform-specific and that the agency working on the content understands the platform very well. The content here is, in most cases, provided as an incentive to clients for spending media money.
Specialized product content: This partnership helps social and digital channels sell new products that require complex content development to advertisers. Examples include AR and VR ads that are difficult to produce and have specific platform nuances that content creators need to take into consideration. The channels will include the cost of content creation in the media spend or have a list of content partners that their clients can reach out to.
As a digital marketing agency, we have identified content partnerships as an excellent avenue for growth. Our partnerships with brands and platforms allowed us to increase the value of our content by adding context.