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If I work at an ad agency, is there opportunity to create content or is it more about pushing out ads to various channels?

Just trying to get a sense for all the services being done within an ad agency. It seems like content creation would fall more into marketing, but I also get the sense that this is a quality of both careers. Thanks in advance for the help! #marketing #advertising #ad-agency #content-creation

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Denis’s Answer

Rebecca, I spent 25+ years at some of the biggest ad agencies in the world and you will absolutely have the opportunity to create content. Most advertising campaigns today are much more than pushing out ads. BMW Films was an early example, but today you have so many examples from P&G's "The Talk" to Dove "Beauty Sketches" to Verizon "When Love Calls Home" to Burger King "Anti-Bullying" to McDonald's "The Flip." Hope this helps and best of luck!

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Bridget’s Answer

Agree with Michael! There are definitely opportunities to create content within an agency framework - some agencies specialize in creative (developing and producing an ad), some in social media or longer form content creation (articles or other branded content to support / promote a product or service), others specialize in planning and placement of ads across channels, some agencies focus on specific areas like loyalty or email marketing. Businesses have a variety of different and specialized needs that they tap into agencies to support. Marketers work closely with agency partners to help achieve business goals - many times, marketers share the strategy with agencies and agencies execute the work.
Thank you comment icon This was wonderful Bridget! Robert V
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Michael’s Answer

Content development is becoming more and more of an opportunity within advertising and agencies. But really, after 25+ years in the industry, I find that all messaging in the marketplace is considered content, including ads. But ads only tell part of the story and so when developing ideas, it's important to consider what else you can do and how else you can tell the full story. So "content" should really be part of any ad effort and there will always be an opportunity.
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Serena’s Answer

Hi Rebecca,
There is certainly opportunities to create content,
No matter if you work in ad agency or purely marketing.
In fact, a lot of the ad agencies provide one stop shop services to their client these days.

So they are not only responsible for pushing ads in different channels,
They are also creating content for their clients directly;
One skill that is incredibly useful that you will learn in ad agencies is “repurposing of content”.
Learning how to use the same piece of content to craft out versions to appeal to customers in different channels,
Such as with clips in Tik tok, stories on Instagram, videos in YouTube etc.

Working in ad agencies offer you a broad spectrum to learn in the marketing industry,
And you can potentially become a content creator yourself and create a brand of your own in the future.
These skills are absolutely essential whether you choose to keep working in the marketing agency,
Or become an entrepreneur or influencer.
Good luck!

Regards,
Serena
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Johanna’s Answer

There are lots of opportunities to create content within an agency! The one that I worked at was moving towards "experience" advertising rather than just "Ads". Agencies are always on the lookout for people with fresh , new ideas and welcome a lot of young people!
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Riley’s Answer

Hi, Rebecca! So far in my career, I've spent time in both the advertising agency world and brand side... I love that you are asking this question. As others are saying, "creating content" can come to life in many ways - it can look like a TV ad spot, a photoshoot, website copy, etc. No matter if you work for a brand or an agency, you will be touching these kinds of elements! However, to your point, there IS a distinction between marketing and content creation... check out how I think about it below.

Content Creation is a Marketing Strategy (and you can... should... do both).

It helps me to think through the lens of Business 101... you have your Goals, Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics! Marketing = ALL of these things put together. Now, where does content creation come into play? Well, if your GOAL is to increase customer understanding of your product, your OBJECTIVE is to increase customers signing up for your informational newsletter, one STRATEGY is content creation, with a TACTIC being a social media infographic, photoshoot, explainer videos, etc. Working on any sections contributes to the brand's marketing efforts; advertising agencies will usually step in to support the "Strategy" and "Tactic" phases. You can see how this is interconnected, but the different stages require a different level of hands-on "content" creation.

Let's take the agency Column Five for example! Their agency's core marketing STRATEGY is content creation - for themselves and their clients. When you scroll through their social feeds, you see thoughtfully crafted thought leadership content in the form of infographics, micro-blogs or interactive IG-stories. These are their "tactics". Developing and executing these concepts is someone's job! Definitely could be you!

Wishing you an engaging and fulfilling career in the world of marketing & advertising!

Riley recommends the following next steps:

Explore the social feeds of Column Five (https://www.instagram.com/columnfive/?hl=en)
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Michelle’s Answer

Hi Rebecca! Worked at an agency for a couple years and now at Google, where I work with a large number of agency contacts - I'd say it definitely depends on the size of your agency and your clients. Larger agencies will have creative and content teams, while smaller ones may not necessarily have them, allowing you to fully own the responsibility of content creation. In any context though, you should at least be able to guide content strategy based on insights, trends, or business initiatives and work with relevant teams on execution.
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Martin’s Answer

Hi Rebecca, are you thinking about content creation as in 'social media influencer' or as in 'creating work for Marketing clients'?

If your goal is to create content as in 'creative work for clients' I'd say that an ad agency is the play to do it and most likely you'd need a career foundation as a copywriter or an art director.

'Content creation' as in 'social media influencer' is a very different thing. It is like aspiring to be a celebrity and create online content that then brands or businesses want to be associated with (ie. having a makeup brand associate themselves with make up videos you create by yourself).

Marketing has the budgets and makes the business case to invest in advertising. Advertising is the creative & media work that serves the Marketer's goals. Content creation is one way to do advertising.
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