By Emily Weaver
In college I dreamed of working at a glossy like Cosmopolitan or a content site like Bustle. But the more time I spend exploring jobs in the media industry, the more I realize that there are opportunities to create original, ground-breaking content that aren’t necessarily “editorial.” A lot of that great content is created by agencies which are either spin offs or affiliates of so-called traditional publishing companies or replicating the audience connection that those companies have mastered. (Not surprisingly, many of them are run by former magazine people!).
If you aren’t familiar with a content agency, essentially it is a team that provides marketing strategy for a client (think Netflix, Sephora, Target, Ford) by creating original content such as stories, infographics, videos, social media, and sometimes even print magazines, to generate sales, promote awareness, and build customer affinity and loyalty. Many of these content agencies are right here in New York and they’re creating dynamic content with big budgets that can make a big splash. A few that I stumbled upon while researching this story. It opened my eyes to all the places I could work one day. Hopefully it’ll do the same for you.
Manifest has been around for 30 years(!), and has five agencies across the country, launching its New York division four years ago which works with clients such as Staples, Delta, Alamo, AARP, Johns Hopkins, and Purina. Manifest was even named the 2019 agency of the year by the Content Marketing Institute.
Cool Campaign: JW Marriott’s magazine, JWM, a quarterly magazine that goes to 80+ Marriott’s resorts and premium hotels around the world covering fashion, culture, beauty, and wellness for the affluent traveler. (ICYMI, check out the Talent Fairy’s Q&A with the editor, Didi Gluck.)
A division of Vox Media, Vox Creative works with brands like Walmart, Blue Point Brewery Company, and XBox to develop branded content, pulling from Vox’s editorial expertise in sports, gaming, tech, food, and politics.
Cool Campaign: “Neighborhood Flavor” for Jack Tennessee Honey. Photographer Ethan White travels to six different cities with one question, “What makes people proud they live there?” Stories were conducted in Atlanta, The Bronx, Venice, Detroit, Houston, and Lynchburg.
The ad tech company, TripleLift, introduced ContentDial in 2018 to provide branded content for advertisers so they can target audiences across multiple publishers, such as BuzzFeed, Refinery 29, Rolling Stone, and New York Magazine.
Cool Campaign: Visit Las Vegas drove tourism during the Vegas Golden Knights’ Stanley Cup extravaganza, garnering more than 2 million views in 19 days.
You may remember the Foundry when it was a custom publishing division of Time Inc. When the company was bought by Meredith in 2018, the group merged with some of Meredith’s content marketing divisions (but not all; they sold off their ad agency, MXM to Accenture last year). The new Foundry partners with brands in the mass market retail space such as Walgreens, Target, Crocs, and Canada Goose.
Cool Campaign: “Move like a Woman” for Ford. The $2.5 million campaign celebrated the way women work, live, and play including a profile of a husband who wore a Ford-engineered “empathy suit” during his wife’s pregnancy to get a taste of the experience.
A marketing unit of New York Times, T Brand Studio has created over 150 programs and for nearly 100 brands, including Spotify, Delta, Stella Artois, Netflix, Adobe, and Toyota.
Cool Campaign: Destination Canada creates multimedia experiences with intricate illustrated maps, gorgeous landscape photography and video accompanied by text, graphics, and animation.
Affiliated with well established media companies like Conde Nast, Headline Studio uses their “white glove service” to produce vibrant, journalistic stories and marketing solutions. Clients include Douglas Elliman, CBS, and the University of Denver.
Cool Campaign: After a nearly 150 year run in the jewelry industry, Headline Studio gave the trade magazine, JCK, a new glossy finish.
If you’re a frequent flyer, chances are you’ve probably picked up an Ink-Global publication. With over 30 airline and global travel brand brands (American and United among them), Ink Global reaches more than 800 million people each year.
Cool Campaign: easyJet Traveller magazine won the Excellence award in Consumer Magazine for photography and received a nod for design at the Communicator Awards by the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts.
HearstMade is the in-house agency of Hearst, representing and leveraging the distribution channels and audience of more than 20 brands including Esquire, Cosmo, and Good Housekeeping. Clients include Home Depot,Tyson Chicken, Macy’s, Prada, Bumble and Airbnb.
Cool Campaign: Uncommon Path magazine from REI. The publication replaced REI’s traditional catalog with a product that looks, feels, and acts just like an old fashioned magazine with reported stories covering controversial issues like climate change and product suggestions, must-visit travel lists, and even ads from other outdoor apparel brands. Who said print mags were dead?
Emily Weaver is a freelance writer and POPSUGAR contributor where she writes about all the things ranging from entertainment and relationships to home and living and mental health. She recently graduated from the University of Iowa where she studied Journalism & Mass Communication and Sport Studies. Her writing has been featured on Grandstand Central, Spoon University, Iowa Journalist and more. Follow her: Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn