The Meta Branded Content Project, which helps facilitate growth, engagement and success for local media publishers, announced $1 million in funding to help continue the project's initiatives for an additional two years. This round of funding will be the third from the Facebook Journalism Project, which contributed $1 million for 2019-2020 and $850,000 for 2021.
Launched in March 2019 as the Branded Content Project and recently rebranded under the Meta name, the Meta Branded Content Project provides local media organizations the opportunity to define, develop and grow branded content revenue strategies. Over the past three years, the initiative helped publishers generate more than $50 million with their branded content programs. In 2021, the Project began supporting media outlets by establishing no cost and low cost custom content series and sales support, directly generating an additional $3.75 million in revenue and impacting more than 5,500 industry leaders, executives, sales reps, content creators and marketers. These resources were particularly impactful for publishers who are independently owned, publishers of color and those serving small markets.
"Through our participation in the Branded Content Project, we have been able to expand our branded content portfolio," said Martin Alfaro of Al Día News. "Within the last year, we have doubled our partners and doubled revenue. This program has also made us more confident about offering this product to a range of advertisers across diverse industries."
The new investment will help enhance and expand branded content programs for local media outlets over the next two years including the continuation and expansion of training programs, branded badge certifications, content creation and distribution and sales support like collateral and boot camps for sales reps. It will also allow the Meta Branded Content Project to develop white papers, webinars, workshops and other resources for the local media industry.
"The Facebook Journalism Project's support has been essential in enabling us to grow the Meta Branded Content Project, which has helped publishers of all sizes build a sustainable and profitable branded content strategy. With the global content marketing market expected to continue growing, local media companies have a real opportunity to drive revenue and attract new audiences with engaging branded content."
Julia Campbell, General Manager, the Meta Branded Content Project
A strategic partnership of Facebook Journalism Project, Local Media Association and Local Media Consortium, the Meta Branded Content Project is a full-service branded content product development, content creation, education, distribution and monetization resource for local publishers. Its 10 turnkey branded content lifestyle series – which include Active Aging, Women's Wellness, Finances FYI and Cannabis Weekly – are designed for publisher partners and retailed to brand clients as exclusive sponsor opportunities.
"The Meta Branded Content Project has been doing amazing work through its content lifestyle series, certificate training programs, consulting and market research," said Dorrine Mendoza, of the Facebook Journalism Project's Local News Partnerships. "We are pleased to continue our support for local media companies who can use these tools and resources to boost and diversify their digital revenue."
About the Facebook Journalism Project
Created in January 2017, the Facebook Journalism Project (FJP) works with publishers around the world to strengthen the connection between journalists and the communities they serve. It also helps address the news industry's core business challenges.
About Local Media Association
Local Media Association brings all media together to share, network, collaborate and more. More than 3,000 newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, digital-only publications, and research and development partners engage with LMA as members or constituents of our programs. As a 501(c)(6) trade association, LMA is focused on the business side of local media. Its programs and labs focus on revenue growth and new business models. Incorporating its four strategic pillars — business transformation, journalism funded by philanthropy, industry collaboration, and sustainability for publishers of color — LMA helps local media companies develop their strategies via cutting-edge programs, conferences, webinars, research and training.
About the Local Media Consortium
The Local Media Consortium delivers economic value through strategic partnerships on behalf of more than 100 local media companies in top markets across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, and includes more than 5,000 news outlets. By harnessing the combined volume and scale of its members, the LMC reduces costs and increases revenue with technology and service providers like Google, Facebook, Monster, and others. The aggregated LMC audience footprint spans 200 million unique monthly visitors and its member companies serve more than six billion pageviews to consumers.
About the Meta Branded Content Project
The Meta 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 success for more publishers of all shapes and sizes. Branded content uses the strength of storytelling to provide a valuable benefit to advertisers while increasing audience engagement and revenue for local media publishers. This powerful revenue stream has shown to be a success for many media organizations.