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  • Writer's pictureLiz Hayes

Branded Content Rules of the Road

Many decisions need to be made before you roll out your publication’s branded content strategy. If you have measures in place from day one, everyone will be on the path to success with few surprises.

Here are some questions to consider when deciding which types of branded content your team will use from the experts at Social News Desk.

  • Who produces the content and how much it costs

  • How does it align with advertiser goals and what are the key performance indicators

  • What are the types and levels of integration and does the advertiser get approval

  • What is the pricing model, amount and profit margin

After you answer these questions, you can choose the content formats you’ll use and define the types of advertiser integration you’ll allow. It’s also crucial to select your distribution method and, if you’re a broadcaster, decide ahead of time whether you’ll allow anchors or reporters to be involved.

Branded content is about high-quality, engaging material and brand awareness. Create a list of client categories - industries that are focused on educating and informing the public. Conversely, you should know who to say no to - for example, advertisers that sell firearms, alcohol or pharmaceuticals.

A streamlined process for fulfillment is another necessary piece of the puzzle. Decide who fulfills the content, how you ensure quality and what your client onboarding process is. A content calendar gives the client reassurance that topics align with their brand. Evie Kevish, of Shaw Media, is a big believer in providing a content calendar for your branded content clients.

“This is something that you should absolutely have in place from day one," she said. "This will absolutely help the campaign go smoothly and I find this to be such a turnkey process for the clients and they love it.”

Finally, put in place measures that will help your clients understand campaign results. Focus on the advertiser's business goal and ensure you have the right measurement tools in place.

Cementing your team’s branded content rules of the road will help keep everyone on track so you can successfully deliver results to your clients.

The Branded Content Project is here to help you create a branded content strategy and begin earning new revenue, no matter where you are in the process.

One of the ways we are helping local media outlets generate revenue is through our ten lifestyle content series that can be sponsored by advertisers in your market. We've created turnkey branded content solutions designed to build deep connections between brands and their target audience. Client stories can be told through the power of your huge, brand-safe, fraud-free, engaged in-market audience. Four of our series are available at ZERO cost to LMC and LMA members thanks to support from The Facebook Journalism Project, the Local Media Consortium and the Local Media Association. The others are available at a low cost. You don't pay for a thing until you've sold a series which allows for the confidence to sell without risk. We also provide all of the sales collateral and marketing materials you'll need.

Our training platform, The Branded Badge Certificate Program, educates and informs individuals on successfully creating, selling and implementing a branded content strategy within your local media organization. Our training covers a wide variety of topics within branded content including: history & origins, social media best practices, statistics & opportunities, prospecting clients, presenting to clients, promotions, corporate social responsibility and much, much more. We offer two tracks: Success for Sellers and Branded Content 101. This free online video curriculum awards users a branded badge and sales certificate upon completion. It takes about an hour to complete!

All materials needed to start presenting ideas to clients are available at no cost. Sales decks, product explainers, scripts, sizzle reels, promotional elements and content examples are ready when you are! Every product launches with a training seminar designed to walk account executives through best practices in packaging, common objections and talking points with advertisers. We offer Big Branded calls on the third Wednesday of each month at 1 PM ET.

Our team is available to help your local outlet anytime with one-on-one support and sales calls. Just reach out at

The Branded Content Project has partnered with VIDEOBOLT.COM to create high-quality, engaging 30-second videos that local media companies can affordably purchase and then sell to advertisers in their respective markets. The videos are available as an add-on to Active Aging and Finances FYI, two of ten lifestyle series that can be found in an online storefront. The educational videos will work anywhere you sell video, whether that's OTT, CTV, on social channels, over the air in commercial inventory or inside a newscast. Talk to us about custom videos as well!

The Branded Content Project has partnered with VOMO, a leading technology provider in volunteer management, to activate local media outlets' engaged audiences into helpers, while giving publishers the return on investment on social impact.

Through a turnkey cause marketing solution that is tried and true, Your Cause Your Community is a white-labeled branded content platform that will help media organizations lead the way to positive change in their communities by connecting sponsors, non-profit organizations and volunteers. Your Cause Your Community will engage audiences to donate or volunteer to local nonprofits while showcasing local sponsors' philanthropic causes, making communities better and brighter.


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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