About ten years ago, when I was last working at a media agency, the role of a media agency was to be a broker: the most important thing was to purchase media as cost efficiently as possible. Decisions about where media funds were directed were, however, most often based on a creative concept from an advertising agency.
Today, we are first and foremost the advertiser’s asset manager, because all communication goes through the brand’s own channels, and other media act like an amplifier for the constant dialogue in question. In addition to purchasing effectively, a media agency must nowadays also, most importantly, be able to give advice on how to yield the best return on investments.
Traditional channels, subscription newspapers and magazines or linear television, have been excellent and easy channels for distributing content. We know and understand the readers and viewers, and messages get across depending on the quality of the content – content is king.
But all the traditional channels are losing shares. After three poor years in media, measures to increase demand might almost appear to be permanently decreasing. Still, from the viewpoint of a media agency, unprecedented development is underway, where new, creative contact methods are being born faster than ever before.
Content production or native advertising have long been favorite subjects of discussion at seminars around the world, and every advertiser already understands the importance of producing their own content. At the same time, methods of purchasing digital media are changing and automated. Programmatic advertising is growing by double digits and the amount of online video content is growing exponentially. For instance, three hundred hours of content are added to YouTube every minute!
As the Internet is an infinite universe compared to traditional channels, advertisers publishing online content may feel like they are releasing a helium balloon into the sky on May Day without knowing who will see it or where it will end up.
Producing your own content is here to stay: as consumers, we already expect to find exercise instructions, recipes, user manuals, coffee-maker maintenance instructions, travel tips, skin-care advice, enjoyable stories and all kinds of trivia online. But advertisers who want to ensure the findableness of their content have to consider distribution and search engine optimisation (SEO) already in the planning phase. Content must definitely be high-quality and significant.
But that is not enough.
Texts must be made SEO friendly and indexable, with keywords and word combinations that are being searched for. This requires expertise on the functionality of search engine algorithms. When distributing video content, all channels must be put to use, without underestimating paid advertising. As traditional advertising is a strong activator for the findableness and distribution of content you have to integrate your content into everything you do.
This is why content is still king – but no king can rule effectively without a functional court.