Study: Education, Training Essential To Best Position Branded Content

The Local Media Association (LMA) and Local Media Consortium (LMC) released the finds of a second study conducted through the Branded Content Project. The white paper was published this week.

The project examines how local media can work with advertisers to better understand, engage and benefit from branded content campaigns. The first study was released earlier this year.

The latest study is based on results from 10 advertiser-based focus grounds and eight executive interviews arranged through seven alpha partners selected by the Branded Content Project. 

Alpha partners include media companies that have successfully executed branded-content projects with advertisers, have an interest in expanding in their offerings and have a willingness to engage in testing, research and planning to share results with their peers.

Business strategy company Magid led the report.

The results show that education and training are imperative to helping the industry learn how to best position branded content when working with advertisers. Some areas of focus include budget, ROI, measurability and creative control.

“The deeper we get into the Branded Content Project, the better we understand the vast potential of branded content to play a vital role in advertising strategy for local advertisers, but we also recognize that much work is needed to help our industry reap the benefits of branded content,” Julia Campbell, white paper co-author-Branded Content Project lead, stated.

The report outlines several ways local media organizations could use branded content to define their brand locally, while highlighting how those same groups could also increase revenue through flexibility, authenticity, budget and measurability.

At the core of the list of suggestions and finds is the need to educate sales teams, advertisers and audience about branded content and its benefits.

To meet the needs of the local media groups they serve, the Branded Content Project team developed a series of action plans.

For one, the team will develop a branded content guide that covers best practices, sales strategy, pricing recommendations, content creation suggestions and advice on incorporating promotions, events and social media into local-media projects.

The team will develop a branded-content workshop at their joint conference Elevate! It takes place in September. In addition to the workshop, industry education will be a focus with insights and actionable recommendations resulting from the research project and made available online.

In September, the project will also be opened up to 20 beta organizations.

The Branded Content Project is backed by funding from the Facebook Journalism Project, which invested $1 million to help local newsrooms associated with the LMA and LMC create sustainable revenue streams through branded content.

The full white paper is available now.
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