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  • Writer's pictureJulia Campbell

The Storytelling Soapbox: tackle these three things now

Updated: Jan 5, 2021

We're getting on our soapbox today: the storytelling soapbox.

Over the past two years, The Branded Content Project has watched, learned, and listened. We've worked with the best branded content studios, companies, and creators in the local media marketing space. We discovered three things you must consider when creating new revenue opportunities and successful storytelling projects through our research.

Before we get started

We know you may have a big question to answer before you jump into our advice: why now? We also know you and your teams may have tried branded content before and already have many projects and products to sell.

But now is the time.

We want you to understand the growing and enormous revenue opportunity in front of you. According to our recent collaborative report with Borrell Associates, 2021 is the year content marketing explodes. Don't believe us? Watch this:

Now that we've got you excited and motivated to get started, we want to show you the simple path to new revenue in the new year for your local media team. You need

to tackle three things to create a successful and sustainable branded content initiative.

Number One: Don't Sell People Stuff

Don't sell people stuff, help businesses grow. We have moved past pushing packages and products to our clients. We can't stuff our advertisers in the same old boxes and expect success. We also know local media organizations excel at two things: storytelling and helping businesses grow. Branded content is a powerful combination of those two strengths. Focus on building branded content initatives that create the opportunity to utilize the storytelling power of local media news organizations, the strategic planning of your sales teams, and the distribution of your local media platforms.

Number Two: Find Your Evangelist

You need a leader, someone to cheer on the team in order to make branded content work. Find the person on your team that BELIEVES in this path. They will breathe life into your project, celebrate the wins, and promote branded content as a solution to your internal teams. They will also combat challenges and pave the way to success. If you don't have a believer on the team, your branded content initiative will fail. If you have a leader who is energized by merging content and sales, you will succeed.

Number Three: Your Audience, The Client's Purpose

Finally, build for your audience AND your client's purpose. "If you build it, they will come" isn't a business model; it is a pipe dream. Plan your content marketing initatives in coordination with your clients for true advertiser and audience alignment. By focusing on engaging content marketing built for your audiences, you will create a successful marketing program for your advertisers. The same rules apply to your editorial content as your sales content. Inform, educate, entertain, engage the audience, and align your advertisers with that message. And remember, content with purpose comes in many forms. Cause marketing content, content built for social responsibility, stories created to improve your audience's lives and your community should be part of your 2021 gameplan.

You aren't alone

Ready to get started? We are ready to help. We have products, solutions, training, and ideas to get your revenue rolling right away. Let us help you build.


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.

To get involved, contact us -

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