For advertisers and publishers, sponsored content is becoming king in a Facebook world.
I talk a lot about sponsored content in this column, and there’s a reason for this. With Toast, we are creating the next generation content agency that specifically focuses on producing high value, business-oriented content for brands.
There is a need for a content agency that can not only produce content, but also ensure an independant distribution strategy that focuses on the audience a brand wants to reach or build. Sure, large publishers are creating branded content studios, like the New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate to name a few, but they are realizing that high-return distribution might not always go through their own channels. This is the reason some of them are starting to open up and act as pure agency players and producing content that will not necessarily be published on their own platforms.
Isabelle Fortier, TV producer here at Toast, sent the team a great article on the current state of sponsored content and how not only large publishers are adapting, but Facebook, Snapchat and the like are also creating new offers directly for brands and advertisers, bypassing those same large publishers.
One of the things advertisers are requesting and that the newer players are providing more and more: transparency.
In the past, the real cost of media, or running an ad campaign, was pretty much hidden in a cloud of smoke, and advertisers could never be sure what was really happening with their dollars and investments. This is changing with newer models, new partnerships and a new structure in how content campaigns are created, produced and distributed.
Things are evolving at a very fast pace. Not only from a publisher’s perspective, but also from an agency perspective. I strongly invite you to read this New York Times article to get a clear view of the situation.