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Is Visually the Agency Disruptor?

Visually, the visual marketplace, announced the launch of “Visually Campaigns,” today. While the site currently connects those who need visual content to those who create it, “Campaigns” takes it to the next level: It allows marketers to plan, create, distribute and track an entire campaign through the Visually platform, without having to go through an agency. As part of the “Campaigns” launch, the site is releasing “Native Analytics,” a tool that can help marketers track the results of their campaigns and tailor content to better suit their target audience. “The biggest technical breakthrough we’ve had is the launching of Native Analytics,” Visually CEO Stewart Langille told SocialTimes. Here’s how it works: The company has created templates for campaigns depending on what the goal is. It could be that the customer wants to become a thought leader in his industry, or that he wants to drum up attention for a product release. Customers are connected with a creative director who will plan and customize the campaign with them. After the content is created and distributed, they will be able to use the analytics tool to monitor it. “Native analytics solves the biggest problem faced by marketers, the need to measure the ROI of their content marketing campaigns,” said the release announcing the news. It makes the whole process more dynamic, as marketers can see what content works on what platforms and adjust the campaign accordingly. The process “gives you a consistent, reinforcing flow to the content, instead of just releasing one piece of content without a follow-up,” said Langille. With the analytics, brands can see how often a piece of content was viewed, who viewed it and see where it has been on the Web: The tool provides customizable date ranges: It also tracks social-sharing: Perhaps the most-useful part is the detailed demographic information it provides, so marketers can make sure their content is hitting their target audience. The tool integrates with Google Analytics for goal tracking. It even breaks down geographic information at country and state levels. The company will eventually roll out the analytics tool as a standalone product. “The vision for analytics is much bigger… We’re going to change the way content is going to be analyzed,” said Langille. The company is selectively rolling out the feature to content creators, and is preparing for a second launch in September. Visually also hopes to ramp up the distribution side. “[We want to] give people the ability to pay for additional distribution through native ad networks… [which] gives [marketers] the opportunity to bolster the ROI,” said Langille. Does the new platform make Visually the agency disruptor? All phases of a campaign from planning to tracking can be done through the site at about one-third of what a typical agency would charge. The company even gives their creatives an 80 percent cut. “Where we see content marketing fall down most is when people don’t have the knowledge, the ability or the time create consistent content,” said Langille. He likened content marketing to journalism: “[Journalists] can’t just cover the story once and go away,” he said. “[They] have to cover it week after week, from different angles… [Visually] gives [marketers] the resources to do just that.” Marketers, what do you think? What are the pros and cons of Visually vs. traditional agencies?

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