Brand development and digital agency Level and digital marketing firm Rocket55 started collaborating on projects last year and quickly realized they worked well together.

Now the two Minneapolis-based firms have formed a joint venture called Workhorse Content to leverage the brand building and content expertise of Level with the search engine optimization and analytical and distribution skills of Rocket55.

"We quickly realized that Level and Rocket55 complement each other in numerous ways," said Lois Dirksen, president and principal brand strategist at Level. "Creating Workhorse Content elevates both of our firms while giving clients a one-stop resource."

Level has worked with more than 130 clients in its 30 years in business. Rocket55 has completed more than 200 projects since it started in 2008.

Dirksen, Level CEO John Foley and Steven Ayres, founder and strategic director of Rocket55, will be the co-leaders of Workhorse Content.

Ayres said the joint venture can bridge a gap in the traditional marketplace and marry great creative content with strategies to get more viewers for the content. He believes the joint venture can optimize the convergence of content and analytics.

"Level was making content that frankly was more engaging than we were able to do in-house, but maybe we had some of the digital capabilities and channel integration that could make it work together better as one piece," Ayres said.

Ayres is confident his team can help identify audiences and determine where those people are in the buying cycle and the content they want at those different stages.

"The piece that was lacking was that there was no one place that someone understood brand stewardship and also understood how to move content through a digital system and a digital world," Dirksen said.

Clients of Workhorse Content can expect content tailored to their business and marketing goals and analytical review of that content for implementation and modification.

"Workhorse will be about … how do you do content that is actually measurable and does the work you need it to do," Dirksen said.

Level has 26 employees and about $8.3 million in annual revenue, while Rocket55 has 35 employees with annual revenue of about $4.5 million.