In recent years, we've seen media organisations take advertising services in-house, with TVNZ Blacksand and NZME's CreateMe, and now 99 is taking on the work of journalists, by launching an offering called Newsroom, which will see it create editorial content marketing for its clients with a writer and editor.
“At its heart, Newsroom is creating brand and product relevance with trends or topical stories – targeted at the key audiences we want to reach, in the moments that matter,” says 99 managing director Paul Manning. “So we are performing a news-style function, staying abreast of industry and audience interests, and attaching our messages in ways that add value to customers.”
Providing the service is an in-house editor, writer and content strategist, as well as a group of writers and journalists it can call on in the retail, business, technology and lifestyle sectors.
99 enjoys a “great, ongoing working relationship” with a number of media organisations that are working in the content marketing space, Manning says, and it often leverages their own channel platforms and titles. It also has an existing content marketing operation with comprehensive in-house production facilities.
The move to open up its own newsroom is therefore seen as an extension of that offering and "makes good business sense" as it has immediate demand, Manning says.
“Now, we’re offering editorial-driven content marketing as a completely integrated element of our broader communications activities, across our portfolio of clients. And we are channel agnostic," he says. "We are helping clients create compelling owned properties and rich brand experiences, beyond publisher sites.”
As 99 builds its clients’ audience and visitation, Newsroom will help foster deeper relationships through behavioural segmentation, targeting measurement and optimisations. Manning adds this will enrich re-marketing opportunities.
With the backing of 99’s knowledge, Newsroom will use the platform that’s best to distribute the client’s message at each stage of the purchase journey. Owned media and its partnerships with media groups will play a role when connecting and converting customers and on the acquisition side, it will use native advertising, email and content on clients’ owned properties to create deeper engagements.
So what does 99 have to deliver brands wanting content marketing solutions that media organisations don’t have?
Manning says it has an advantage of operating at the intersection of multi-disciplinary mar-comms with data, CX, brand, content and innovation. Because of this, he calls Newsroom a “different style of editorial content marketing option”.
“It can exist comfortably alongside media-based services in the market, but is particularly well-suited to clients looking for a solution integrated with their wider communications activity.”
He says 99's service is made up of four core pillars, including strategy, production, distribution (the delivery channels and platforms – paid, owned and earned) and analytics.
Also unlike many content marketing solutions created by media companies, 99’s solutions will cover a range of mediums, with a focus on digital at this stage. Manning says it will work across print and other channels as necessary.
Several businesses are already using the Newsroom service, including new client partners, Spark Digital.