Content has become a powerful marketing tool in effective campaigns in 2018 and heading into 2019. This is why our list of the 10 most creative and influential content marketing agencies showcases firms, including our ad agency in New York, that invented content for new ventures that show all of us how it’s done.
BlueberryFrog coined the idea Stretchy Content and by looking at their site you can get a sense of the breadth of their expertise. Their brand new, much-admired New York office makes waves in the city atop the Empire State Building with mind-blowing views. While indicative of the firm’s desire to overtake the city and the world with brilliant design and branding ideas, BlueberryContent is an agency for all kinds of clients and sectors.
BuzzFeed is a powerful force when it comes to sponsored content. Except, of course, when you’re too busy sharing and quiz-taking to realize it’s sponsored. BuzzFeed’s socially shareable content makes the rounds on users’ Facebook feeds and Pinterest boards, with audiences doing a lot of the legwork to share organically (brands, read: excellent bang for your budget’s bucks). Amping up their focus on video, Buzzfeed now has nine separate YouTube channels each targeting a different segment of their audience, producing its own curated content and organically weaving in brands to sustain their authenticity and brand loyalty. This shift to video content comes as a result of 50% year-over-year growth in video watch time, and a 40% increase in the number of YouTube watches since 2014. Those statistics combined with Buzzfeed’s wildly popular food network, Tasty, has led the brand to garner over 7 billion content views a month with 360 million users a month. Yes, you read that right.
StrawberryFrog is a full service marketing, design and ad agency in New York with a great track record generating results for clients such as Pampers, Jim Beam, Emirates Airline and Coca Cola. Brand-fueled movement marketing defines our people and culture. StrawberryFrog is on a meteoric rise after being named AOR for SunTrust bank and having devised the onUp movement together with the leadership of this admired leading bank, which to date has over 3.7 million participants at onUp.com. While some firms deliver one genre of content, StrawberryFrog is ambidextrous in style, tone and audience.
Marketing and technology, you can’t have one without the other – at least not these days. Digitas is inherently digital, but recently their tech DNA showed in spades.
This agency is best known for winning advertising awards. These awards are attributed to their popular pieces of video content, including the “We Know Acne, We Don’t Know Teens” commerical, which is apart of the Clearasil’s larger “Let’s Be Clear” campaign. This commercial was successful because it presented the brand in a painfully honest way – they know teen acne but not teens. Filled with humorous clips of what the typical adult might think teens want, from pizza to memes, each clip ends with a voiceover admitting, “We know your acne, we just don’t know you.”
6. Grey Group
Part of the WPP Group, this ad agency in New York has a long track record in identifying and leveraging larger societal trends and pushing boundaries; they were, after all, the first to put a woman in a bra on television. Pairing brands with relevant creative and cultural touchstones is a major strength here, whether employing the likes of Jamie Foxx and Ron Howard to draw attention to Canon or rigging up pianist Son Lux and a piano with razors that tap out a tune and showcase the product’s differentiating point in a way that garners 1.6 million YouTube views. Pulling elements together to create a whole that sings isn’t simple, but Grey does it regularly with a dash of panache.
7. Column Five*
Column Five was founded in southern California by three upstart bloggers in 2008, who quickly realized that developing and promoting great content was the best way to grow an online community of loyal readers. After some early momentum, namely as the result of helping to popularize the use of infographics in content marketing (they literally wrote the book on the topic) they decided to double down on building an agency to help brands stand out and grow revenue. Initially focused on working with startups, after their success with Microsoft on the Child of the 90’s campaign, Column Five began bringing on more household brands. This independent, full-service content agency (strategy, creation, distribution) boasts an eclectic roster of some of the world’s most respected tech brands, such as Microsoft, LinkedIn and SAP, as well as a number of leading universities and non-profits. You might even recognize our GIFographic from our 2016 #ThinkContent Summit included in their work!
Beneath the creativity, of course, are serious, of-the-moment considerations about demographic shifts – such as their No Child Brides campaign, in collaboration with Child Survival India, which won the Grand Prix at the APAC Effie Awards and Gold at the 2015 CBI Awards. In just 45 days, the campaign generated 22 million social media impressions and 1.5 million supporters.
9. Leo Burnett
One of the industry’s incumbents has put their money where their mouth is in terms of content marketing, recently announcing a publishing partnership with the Huffington Post. Coming in strong on the forefront of content is going to set agencies up for success as consumers continue to embrace authenticity and storytelling from their favorite brands. Notable content work: the award-winning #LikeAGirl for Always, which hits on cause marketing and storytelling authentically, showing they’ve got their finger on the pulse of culture in a meaningful way.
Jaguar, the luxury British car dealer, and wearable technology is an unexpected marriage of two separate technological fields coming together for the 2015 Wimbledon games – yet this is exactly the type of innovative work Mindshare does. The campaign worked by collecting biometric data of wearables worn by fans in the crowd, capturing their energy and excitement levels, which was then projected onto a microsite alongside social media. The result? The world’s first ever social media campaign run on biometrics. The purpose? To make a visual projection of what it is like watching world class tennis to what is like driving a $85,000 luxury car.