Fairfax makes a move with content marketing studio

Fairfax Media has launched an in-house content marketing studio, MADE, to help advertisers create better editorial content to engage consumers.

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The logo for MADE, Fairfax Media’s new content marketing studio

The launch comes after almost 10 months of discussions with agencies and advertisers, and follows the launch of a mobile creative unit in a push by Fairfax to boost its digital revenues. Fairfax managing director of content marketing, Simon Smith, says the new unit will provide the editorial expertise that advertisers need.

“Good content is content audiences want to read, watch and engage with,” Mr Smith says. “If you can come at it from an audience-first perspective, then you’re more likely to create good quality and compelling content.”

The MADE studio will enable Fairfax to work with clients and agencies to fulfil a range of content needs, whether putting together content for the brand to publish on their own channels, or using the publisher’s audience reach to push brand messages through its own channels.

Social and SEO strategies would also be an important focus, ensuring the content is pushed out to the right audience.

“We will help brands out with their Facebook and Twitter strategies and ensure the content has search at the core of it, not just as an afterthought,” Mr Smith said.

“Previously, simply as an ad vehicle, we were a paid channel, but now we can help advertisers in the owned channels as well.”

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Fairfax Media managing director of content marketing Simon Smith

MADE will tap into Fairfax Media’s large base of contributors and freelance producers to create most of its content, remaining totally separate from the publisher’s investigative news teams, Mr Smith said.

“We’ll continue to drive the news agenda with investigative journalists in our newsrooms – we ring-fence them from the commercial side of our business. They do their thing independent of us.”

The content studio will focus on topics including travel, food, personal finance and entertainment.

It will look to emulate the success of projects such as Good Food’s content partnership with Dan Murphy’s and “technology integrated play” such as Fairfax’s ongoing partnership with Tourism Australia, developing campaigns that have content at their heart with long-form journalism, picture galleries and embedded video.

“For us it’s all about storytelling – it’s our craft, it’s what gets us out of bed, and now we can share that expertise with advertisers.”

The core team at MADE is expected to expand rapidly in the coming months with foundation clients to be made public soon.

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