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  • Writer's pictureJulia Campbell

Branded content on the street: revenue themes and strategies

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

The Branded Content Project team hears the same two questions when talking with publishers, broadcasters and media operators from across the country.

The first question is always: What the heck is branded content? We've tackled that one in our #brandedbadge certificate program and in the video below.

What's question number two?

What trends are you seeing around the industry and where are media companies succeeding?

Let's jump in and show you the three revenue themes we consistently see across the local media landscape, and then we'll explain why they work.

Now is the perfect time to show your advertisers something new. According to IAB, local news organizations are creating unique offerings to help advertisers position themselves and their brands with content opportunities. These types of opportunities are perfectly matched with content marketing messages and are an enormous opportunity for local media organizations to build the right content options for advertisers.

Agencies and advertisers alike are looking for new ideas and ways to communicate directly with the engaged audiences found on local media sites and channels. This year, we see interest and opportunity growing for new sponsorship and content marketing opportunities. Don't be afraid to build and implement something new!

Cause, community and purpose-driven marketing platforms were excellent and recommended strategies before COVID-19, and the benefits of launching a cause or mission-driven initiative have only been amplified by the current crisis.

This year, our local media teams are focused on the continued importance of building products that define how local businesses help their communities, support the people in their cities, and showcase what is important to them outside of selling goods and services.

It is crucial that advertising messages are authentic and showcase how businesses can help their customers, solve their problems, and partner with them through the tough times. We saw this strategy frequently during the past year with COVID-19 and we're continuing to see initiatives surrounding cause and mission-based marketing.

Remember, local media has three legs to the stool. News media organizations exist to provide education, information and entertainment to the public where they want it and when they want it, they help businesses grow, and they speak for the non-profit community and those who can not speak for themselves. These three things are the purpose and power of local media companies and the reason why cause and community marketing products align well for advertisers.

Branded content solutions check these boxes and position brands in the best possible light during the darkest hours. The best path forward during uncertainty is to look to the experts. And the best marketing is often how you are helping the community more than what you are selling them.

“The beauty of developing a video marketing plan is that you are making it easier for the viewer to be exposed to the information you are trying to communicate.” - Chris Sandoval

Video is a powerful communication tool that has been proven to be effective for content marketers. By combining sight, sound, motion, and emotion, video is the most memorable way to tell a story and share information.

Borrell Associates recently measured a variety of mediums used for content marketing. The businesses surveyed placed informational videos at the top of the pile for effective content marketing strategies.

Borrell also released data during the COVID crisis last summer that showed the top two mediums advertisers were buying. Number one was OTT and streaming video and number two was content marketing. There is power in combining those two methods, which is why we're building and witnessing more opportunities maximizing both areas.

“The play button is the most compelling call-to-action on the web.” Michael Litt

We know there are more questions out there and we're here to answer those questions and support you in your next phase of content marketing and branded content building. Find us and we can help.


The Branded Content Project is designed through a strategic partnership between the Local Media Association, the Local Media Consortium, and the Facebook Journalism Project to help facilitate additional growth, engagement, and revenue success for more publishers of all shapes and sizes.

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