Branded content has fast become one of the most important revenue streams for publishers and broadcasters the world over but, as inefficiencies emerge, brands and publishers alike are turning to technology to improve it.

Australian startup Fabulate is one such technology firm seeking to drive better value in branded content and has just signed a raft of significant businesses as partners as the industry becomes more aware that efficiencies are needed.

Ben Gunn, co-founder and chief revenue officer at Fabulate, says marketers and publishers are losing out to inefficiencies in content production.

He explains: “Research suggests that as much as $0.25 in every dollar is wasted on inefficient content processes. It is not uncommon for brands to tell us that they were on their fifth or sixth review using their existing, manual processes. Ironically, more is written in the emails back and forth between stakeholders than is ever produced in content.”

The platform works by giving clients such as media agencies or marketers access to a pool of vetted and specialist on-demand creators. The client adds a brief to the platform and the creators are alerted to pitch for the work. Content is then created on the platform via workflow management tools and clients can choose to distribute content via Fabulate’s premium publisher network, while an analytics service provides reporting.

Gunn adds: “We knew that by adding a technological solution, combined with our industry knowledge, we could help reduce this inefficiency by offering a purpose-built platform that solves the pain points for clients and creators alike. 

“With marketing budgets always under pressure, the chance to help brands get that $0.25 back just made sense. Imagine if that could be invested back into more content – the whole ecosystem wins. In addition, there were more and more quality journalists entering the freelance market, so agencies and marketers needed an easy way to access them and to know that the work they would do would be of a high enough quality. Great freelancers are also wanting to work with the best brands and so connecting them together through technology was a win/win.”

Fabulate has foundational partnerships with the likes of GroupM, Publicis and Omnicom, and has recently conducted an expansion that sees Seven, Nine, Verizon Media, Grazia, Tonic Media, Val Morgan Digital and LoveToKnow all join as launch distribution partners.

From a publisher’s perspective, Shani Kugenthiran, head of commercial product at Seven, says improvements are needed as the resource is often limited.

“Ease, efficiency and ability to scale are the key areas of improvement for content marketing as many brands don’t have huge content teams or easy access to publish on multiple trusted content platforms with engaged audiences,” she explains.

Kugenthiran adds that this will become even more important because brand content is a strategic focus for Seven next year. “Branded content is one of our main focuses for 2021, with a whole new division, products and solutions across digital news, social and BVOD platforms. Launching a branded content solution with a platform that helps us to drive successful content marketing outcomes for our clients, while delivering exceptional customer experiences, gives Seven the ability to focus our efforts on product innovation that provides even stronger results for brands through content marketing solutions.”

As for what’s next for the technology, Gunn says continued innovation is the focus for the company, as well as seeking more partnerships across both publishers and brands.