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  • Writer's pictureLiz Hayes

Top 5 ways to kickstart branded content revenue in 2022

New year, new revenue! We want to help you and your team have a successful start to 2022, so we're sharing five things to focus on now to achieve sales goals and realize new, recurring revenue into the new year. Let's get going!

Over the last three years, we've consistently heard from local media organizations that training is one area they could use extra support. Our training platform educates and informs individuals on successfully creating, selling and implementing a branded content strategy within your local media organization. This free online video curriculum awards users a Branded Badge and sales certificate upon completion.

We offer two tracks: Success For Sellers and Branded Content 101. Success For Sellers is our full sales offering and is intended for account executives who are or will be actively selling branded content in their market. Discover the history of branded content, the benefits of selling it, best practices and the ideal clients to target among topics. Branded Content 101 is intended for news and creative service professionals to learn the basics of branded content and how to collaborate between departments within your media organization.

Sponsored content is high-quality content designed to inform and engage a specific reader audience for sponsorship purposes. Custom content is developed for an advertiser and features the advertiser's brand, product and/or services.

Combining both sponsored content and custom advertiser content in a sales package helps sponsors tell their story through the unique distribution channels local media outlets offer. It also assists them in achieving their content marketing goals, allows media organizations to increase their rate and establishes profitable monthly recurring revenue. That's why we always recommend combining the strength of a sponsorship plan with the important message of storytelling via custom content.

Check out how local media companies have found success with what we playfully call the Peanut Butter & Jelly plan here.

Consumers today are incredibly savvy and they want to know what kind of causes and issues brands are supporting. This creates an enormous opportunity for local media companies to partner with local advertisers on cause marketing and corporate responsibility. It also presents an opportunity for account executives to tap into additional buckets of money that they may not normally have access to.

Dallas Morning News has had tremendous success with its cause marketing platform, FWD>DFW which connects companies, causes and the community to issues that impact the short- and long-term economic advancement of North Texas.

No matter what your size or scale is, there is an opportunity to provide this type of forum in your market. Learn more here!

Cannabis brands and dispensaries are limited in how they can advertise because of state and federal regulations, but there is still a huge opportunity to cash in with content sponsorships. In markets where recreational marijuana is legal, local media companies are taking advantage of the sales opportunity by providing the content and distribution these brands need to educate and inform the public about their products.

Several publications have found success selling a cannabis content sponsorships at a premium, including McClatchy, Seattle Times, Shaw Media, and Great West Digital. Read about how they did it here!

The Branded Content Project's Cannabis Weekly, a lifestyle series covering interesting facts and cannabis lifestyle topics, is highly engaging content that cannabis brands are interested in aligning with and key audiences are paying attention to. Lots of companies have used Cannabis Weekly as a jumping off point into cannabis content marketing. If you're interested, please reach out and we can this content up on your sites right away.

We're currently seeking applicants from local media companies who would like to grow their branded content initiatives and create new, recurring revenue, while collaborating with other publications and helping the industry at large in our upcoming Branded Bootcamps. The project recently wrapped up a very successful bootcamp that generated more than $2M in new revenue for publishers that participated. Sign Up Here!

Our first sales bootcamp of 2022 will kick off in the end of January and focus on healthcare-related clients, followed by a cannabis-focused bootcamp in February. Those that participate will have access to state-of-the-art sales training to launch new content marketing products that includes audience sales products and specialized training on closing sales with advertiser partners. They'll also have access to full-time project managers, experts from Meta Branded Content Project and Distributed Media Lab, as well as past participants whose experience will be invaluable.

We'll work with your team's sales reps and leaders on weekly calls and coach them on packaging pricing, prospecting, product presentations and sales collateral so they feel confident to close deals and develop a successful and long-lasting branded content initiative.

We hope our Top 5 ways to kickstart new revenue will help your team achieve success in 2022 and beyond. Want to get updated on all of our latest opportunities? Send an email to or Let us help you get started!


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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