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Build a Better Branded Business: 3 Ways You Can Get Involved with the Branded Content Project

Broad range of media companies encouraged to apply; participants will receive grants funded by the Facebook Journalism Project to test and expand branded content programs

The Branded Content Project, a partnership between LMA, Local Media Consortium and funded by the Facebook Journalism Project, is now offering three ways every local media organization can build a better branded business and get access to resources and information that will help their organization grow revenue, create engaging content and build new initiatives in their markets.

Beta Partners

We are inviting media organizations to apply to participate in a beta project designed to help local newsrooms develop successful and sustainable branded content offerings and related revenue streams. Twenty or more beta testers will be selected to receive grant money made possible by the Branded Content Project. Local media companies who are currently showing profitability, revenue growth and producing quality content are encouraged to apply to participate in the beta group.

This beta test builds on findings from the program’s seven alpha partners, a mix of broadcasters, print and non-profit publishers that have been working since March to test go-to-market strategies with brand partners and advertisers in their local communities.

We asked our alpha partners how the branded content project helped with their own initiatives and why you should consider applying to be involved in the beta round. Their answers show the importance of learning from each other, receiving resources, access to new R&D partners, and being part of a community focused on similar goals. Watch their top takeaways from their experiences:

Our beta group of partners will have the opportunity to test products or elements in the branded content space that they may not otherwise be able to do, using financial and human capital resources provided by the project, as well as:

  • Access to R&D partners interested in assisting organizations with branded content revenue growth.

  • Resources from the project manager, LMA and LMC helping the company increase branded content revenue.

  • Media mentions of partners as leaders in the branded content space, highlighting each initiative’s positive growth and innovation through the Branded Content Project.

  • Consultation from the LMC and LMA branded content teams as well as other alpha and beta partners during this project.

  • Guidance and planning from the branded content manager, helping the teams meet and exceed revenue goals.

  • $5,000 in grant money to facilitate testing and advance revenue growth for the initiative.

The alpha partners reported their first stage of results last week and are all showing amazing progress. Each company has a unique success story to tell. A few early highlights include:

  • There are major opportunities to maximize revenue for specific content categories, like travel.

  • The importance of educating advertisers and internal teams to help grow and renew campaigns should be a top consideration for each organization.

  • Building your own brand through unique marketing materials is crucial to positioning your organization as an expert in the space.

  • Community and cause marketing initiatives are two increasingly important avenues for local media publishers to create unique content and grow new revenue streams.

  • Consider your user’s experience and make sure you are transparent in your disclosure of paid content.

  • Showing your advertisers ROI on branded content initiatives can be challenging but the right partners and strategies can improve renewals and gain new business.

We’ll share deep details, “how they did it” plans, and updated results from each project over the coming weeks.

Need advice on building a new initiative? Wondering how to help your sales teams succeed? Concerned about creating the best content for your audiences? We’ve got those answers and more.

From first-step planning, to street-level training, to answering the “why” questions for your teams — we have a new guide that can help every player on your project. Whether you are just getting started or have been building for years, this branded content guide has new ideas, solutions and strategies to help you grow right now. Twelve incredible branded content experts offer sales, content and distribution solutions to help your team sell, build and grow local revenue. Hear strategies from Steven GoldsteinJack ZavoralEric BrandnerCarolina EsbaileRachel WatkinsAdrian FulleMike MocklarAriel Giusti MBAApryl PilolliLiz Crider HuffJosh KaufmanJerrid Grimm and advice from our #brandedcontentproject alpha team. Visit for the details and download.

We know the challenges facing local media organizations are not small, especially in the branded content space. Through the branded content project, you no longer have to tackle questions alone. We’re building new resources, like the guide, new opportunities, like the beta partnership, and new tools each week that will help you build and grow branded content initiatives. Check back weekly at to discover new ways to get involved with the project and reach out for assistance. We have tricks and tools that can get your initiative started or moving in a successful, profitable and sustainable direction.



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