Bootcamp helps generate successful new revenue streams for publishers
The Meta Branded Content Project recently completed its Branded Content Sales Bootcamp, leading to more than $2M in new revenue for the multiple Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) publishers that participated.
The program provided sales training, consulting and collaborative opportunities that helped local publishers develop successful and sustainable branded content offerings and related revenue streams.
Few have found more success in branded content sponsorships than Chris Bennett, CEO and Publisher of the Seattle Medium newspaper.
"With over $393,000 in revenue, the Meta Branded Content Project has not only been a lifeline for our business during the pandemic, but it has also become a revenue stream that we fully expect to be an integral part of our business model moving forward," he said.
Gerald Johnson, editor of The Charlotte Post, said participating in the BIPOC Bootcamp led to an impressive new revenue stream for the Black newspaper.
"The concept was the answer to our digital advertising dilemma. Not only did we learn what the product was, but how to sell it and how much to sell it for. Now we have a product. With our first Branded Content sale, we realized digital advertising would work and it would meet our goal with the potential of surpassing it,” Johnson said.
The Bootcamp was led by Meta Branded Content Project General Manager Julia Campbell and Strategy Consultant Peter Lamb. The entire group of participating publishers met virtually every month for training, in addition to smaller group sessions, which offered more individualized support and collaboration.
The participants, all who serve BIPOC communities, were selected based on their willingness to apply strategic focus and resources to growing innovative branded content initiatives. Each month, they were asked to share challenges and success stories.
“The collaborative environment of the Meta Branded Content Project training sessions with other media outlets not only helped our sellers confidently showcase the benefits of this particular product but helped drive creativity amongst our team in so many different ways. Couple that with the top-tier support we received from the Meta Branded Content Project team every step of the process, and the Meta Branded Content Project becomes a truly invaluable experience for our organization,” said Tanisha Leonard of Real Times Media, the parent company of five African-American-owned news organizations, including the Michigan Chronicle and the Chicago Defender.
Leonard told the Meta Branded Content Project that she can’t see a time in the foreseeable future that branded content won’t be a significant part of their solutions selling strategy.
“The top-tier support we received from the Meta Branded Content Project team every step of the process, and the Meta Branded Content Project becomes a truly invaluable experience for our organization,” she said.
As part of the 8-month program, participants received access to the Branded Badge Certificate Program and audience sales products, and specialized training on closing advertiser partnerships at the local level with go-to-market strategies.
"It has been so rewarding to take part in the Meta Branded Content Project BIPOC Sales Bootcamp. Having the opportunity to learn innovative sales strategies and unique ways to create sustainable revenue models alongside thirty-two other Black, Indigenous and people of color media outlets has been an amazing experience, not to mention the intangible assets and knowledge gained from the great leadership and subject matter experts conducting the national calls and training,” said Greg Hedgepeth, of Substantial Media, a North Carolina-based online news platform serving the African-American community.
Hedgepeth says if they hadn’t been a part of this program, they wouldn’t have been able to tap into the innovative content marketing opportunities that they were introduced to.
Martin Alfaro, of AL DIA News, says the Philadelphia-based publication has been able to double revenue by implementing branded content marketing strategies.
"Through our participation in the Meta Branded Content Project, we have been able to expand our branded content portfolio. Within the last year, we have doubled our partners and doubled revenue. This program has also made us more confident about offering this product to a range of advertisers across diverse industries."
The Meta Branded Content Project plans to host more specialized sales bootcamps and workshops throughout 2022, thanks to additional support from the Meta Journalism Project, Local Media Consortium and Local Media Association.
If you or your sales team would like to join the new Branded BootCamps in 2022, email firstname.lastname@example.org to get signed up!
The Meta Branded Content Project launched in March 2019, reaching thousands of industry leaders, executives, sales reps, content creators and marketers. To date, thanks to these programs, local media companies have generated $50M in branded content revenue. The Meta Branded Content Project is a collaboration between the Meta Journalism Project, Local Media Association and Local Media Consortium.