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  • Writer's pictureLiz Hayes

Research: How local media organizations can help advertisers (Part 3 of 3)

We know that local advertisers are spending money on content marketing ($80 billion this year) and that two out of three SMBs are making it more of a priority, but what does this mean for media organizations?

In the last two weeks we heard from Corey Elliott, EVP of Local Market Intelligence for Borrell Associates, who broke down the latest content marketing research discussed on our Big Branded call into three sections: what content marketers are thinking, the video opportunity, and finally what all of this research means for local media. This week, we'll dive into the opportunities presented based on what SMBs said.

Local advertisers were asked how much their company spent on creation and distribution of content 2021. About half of the SMBs spent less than $5,000 on creation and distribution. One in five spent between $10,000 to $25,000 with slightly more of that going toward creation than distribution.

Most advertisers surveyed said reaching the right audience was their biggest concern when it comes to effective content marketing. Followed by knowing how to measure the results and if it worked, and then the quality of the content. Advertisers were also concerned with keeping content fresh and finding the time to come up with ideas and executing them.

"They were creating their own content and they were distributing it on their own stuff and their number one concern is if they're reaching the right audience," Elliott said. "That's one of the areas a media company could step in and go we can help you with that."

When asked explicitly what media companies could do for their local business, the answers were all over the map. Some common themes that emerged include: needing help creating editorial content and messaging, distribution and increasing reach and targeting, and offering low cost solutions. Many businesses indicated that local media companies are already helping them in these areas.

What causes ad buyers to make content marketing purchases from media companies? Here's what they said:

  • High level of marketing expertise

  • It's a true partnership, not a vendor attitude

  • Provides transparent marketing plan

  • Thinks about my business, not theirs

Elliott says this is where local media companies can step in and serve their local advertisers because they don't necessarily have the savviness to come up with effective ideas on their own. They're busy running their business.

"They're counting on somebody else to have the high level of marketing expertise and that's what causes them to buy from a local media company," Elliott said.

Content marketing is an effective way for local businesses to connect with their customers in a meaningful way. Advertisers who understand this are prioritizing it and are growing their business. Local media companies should take advantage of this large revenue opportunity.

Hopefully you've found these videos helpful and can use them when discussing content marketing with your clients. Need more details? Download all of the research here!


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

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