Judging The Drum Content Awards, the panel have found that the standard has been pushing new levels of innovation since the first awards, three years ago.
Collins explained that small budgets shone through this year’s entries.
“It was extremely exciting to see small budgets punching above their weight," she said. "There were a couple that we debated long and hard on and often they weren’t the stand out - hit me in the solar plexus ideas. But, if you looked at what they were achieving on the money they were getting, then those are the companies you want to employ and work with because they are delivering so much bang for your buck.”
Tech platforms are certainly making a mark within branded content however, and this year’s nominations for best use of a content marketing tech platform are: Stein IAS, The Story Lab and Trinity Mirror Solutions.
Judge, Andrew Canter, chief executive officer, BCMA said: “I have been judging the Content Awards since they started, the quality has improved tremendously and in some ways, that is very interesting.
"It’s the rate of growth and interest in branded content which is driving it forward where it pushes people to be more creative and think more about strategy rather than just more tactical, experiential or PR driven ideas.”
Storytelling is an essential part of content and is something that caught the eyes of the panel. Ryan Uhl, head of marketing and creative, Mail Advertising expressed that as technology increases, we shouldn’t forget that people like stories.
He said: “You have to tell a story well and choose the right medium for it, even if it means going back to a print title versus doing something very advanced. You just need to think about what resonates with your audience.”
The nominations for the most innovative or creative use of content are: Adjust Your Set, AnalogFolk, Drum OMG, ESI Media, Green Rock Media, Havas, Limbik Responding Creative, Mahlab, MediaCom UK, Oath, Sage and Sauce Communications.
Sponsor for the awards, Bevan Thomas, commercial director of video marketplace, Newsflare said: "The big and interesting shift is about advertisers and marketers moving from a campaign based approach and seeing themselves as publishers.
"There is an opportunity to go direct to an audience but to do that you have to think like a publisher and create great compelling, immersive, interesting content to hold an audience. You need to encourage more people to be thinking about the content they are producing. Advertising is a business that is historically been very awards driven, so surely you need awards like The Drum Content Awards to encourage their creativity."
Sponsors for this year’s awards are: Newsflare, BCMA, TINT, The Drum Network and The Drum Contributor Network