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  • Writer's pictureJulia Campbell

Sticky Strategies: storytelling and sponsorship ideas shared at Borrell Miami

As the 2022 spring conference season kicks off, Borrell Miami was a perfect opening event for media executives that revealed new revenue themes and growth strategies, future local media business models, and solid success stories for all types of advertising.

On the agenda was a panel hosted by the Meta Branded Content Project sharing storytelling and sponsorship strategies for advertisers and audiences.

There were two themes that weaved through the session and are examples that the Meta Branded Content team sees from organizations big and small. First, we see the stickiest programs focus on adding elements of storytelling and sponsorship to every campaign. We call it the Peanut Butter and Jelly strategy.

Second, we're seeing new interest in old ideas. What's old is cool again and many successful initiatives from our past are even more effective for our advertisers now. There has been a resurgence in storytelling strategies for advertisers that we have tried in the past and are now being revisited in combination with new distribution channels.

One idea that has remained effective for The Afro is to focus on an editorial calendar of content ideas and sponsorship opportunities. Lenora Howze, executive and advertising director for The Afro, explained to the crowd that presenting advertisers with a full content calendar for the year during a breakfast event has been extremely successful for growing revenue around sponsorships and branded content. They showcase the content focus for each month through an initiative called, "We're Still Here."

Graham Media Group has discovered that the most successful campaigns for their stations must include additional distribution. Stephanie Slagle, Graham's chief innovation officer, shared that their campaigns must extend beyond Graham's properties to engage with the advertiser's targeted consumer.

Slagle also explained that multi-channel content production and advertising increase the effectiveness of campaigns. KPRC ran a cross-channel campaign for H-E-B called Houston Life Wine Club that produced excellent results for the advertiser with engaging content for social, broadcast, digital, and email audiences.

Howze has seen similar sponsorship success across platforms with a campaign called Tru Facts on the Vax for John's Hopkins.

In addition to content calendars and adding distribution options, there are some basic considerations media companies should make as they plan their next initiative. Peter Lamb, our sales consultant for the Meta Branded Content Project and president of Peter Lamb Consulting, has coached hundreds of branded content teams and executives and sees a clear path to success.

Lamb explains that there are five elements to consider in order to succeed with growing branded content sales and sponsorships.

  1. You must have buy-in from the top of the organization.

  2. You need TLC which means your reps need to Think Like the Customer.

  3. There is an enormous opportunity when we bring our editorial and sales teams together on projects.

  4. The revenue in this space is growing and the advertisers are focused on moving more of their media spend into content marketing.

  5. And at the end of the day, your brand is what separates you from other agencies. There is power in that brand and the audience you bring to the table.

Lamb reminded us how massive the revenue opportunity really is for content marketing. According to the research conducted with Borrell and the Meta Branded Content Project, 56% of small businesses said content marketing would be more of a priority in 2021 and the content marketing opportunity was at $63 Billion. These numbers are expected to grow in 2022.

The Meta Branded Content Project is seeing success with every size of media company across all media types. Sponsorship and storytelling can be a winning combination for your organization as well. If you want to get started or learn how to improve and grow your programs, contact us any time by emailing or


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

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