The Influencer marketing space is not only picking up pace in 2017, but getting more expensive too. Last year eMarketer said, “Globally marketers spend $570 million on influencer marketing on Instagram.” The 2017 Bloglovin’ Marketers Survey revealed Instagram as the top social media platform for Influencer Marketing. More than 90% respondents used Instagram, 80% also used Facebook for influencer marketing campaigns.
Instagram surely leads the influencer marketing campaigns, but parent company Facebook wants to push its own social network too. In Facebook’s terms, it is providing new controls and capabilities for branded content marketers. In a recent blog update, Facebook stated that it is enhancing the capabilities it announced a year ago. Pretty recently it rolled out updates to make branded content more widely available to creators and updated its policy to give creators more flexibility for featuring business partners.
In a recent announcement, Facebook is now introducing features that will allow markets to have more control over their influencer campaigns and get more insights too. The major two changes are:
Amplifying creator posts: Right now marketers could only boost after they had shared the post of the creator or influencer working with them. Facebook is empowering marketers by giving them the ability to directly boost a post from the creator’s Page. This feature will get activated once the creator gives the permission to the marketer for boosting the post. The target audience will see that the post originated from the creator, even though the marketer boosted it.
The new feature also ensures that brand and creator affiliations are properly represented. Marketers can now choose to authorize which creators can tag them in a branded content post in their Page Settings. This also allows being more open to fans on social media.
More insights about content: Marketers love data and Facebook knows it all the well. With this new update, Insights tab on your brand page will have a refreshed category – Branded Content. Going forward the refreshed insights will include – total spend from both the creator and the marketer, and separate summaries of total spend and CPM.
What this means to marketers and creators
Facebook states that the new features to boost creator posts, control posting of branded content and see what’s working using additional insights, will allow marketers to work effectively with influencers. But the harsh reality is that Facebook wants a pie from the growing market of influencer marketing. At the same time influencer marketing will now become more expensive on Facebook.
With Facebook providing brands the option to boost creator’s post, we can assume that organic reach doesn’t matter anymore. Organic reach on Facebook is long time dead and now it has eradicated whatever organic reach influencers used to provide. Speaking to one of the content creators, LI was told that Facebook as a platform has somehow been restricting the reach whenever it sees a branded content. Besides organic reach over the last year hasn’t increased. “While our costs have increased and production devices have advanced over the year, Facebook reach has more or less been stagnant.”
From a business point it makes sense for Facebook especially when it is competing with YouTube. For a while Facebook has been trying to influence independent content creators, loyalists of YouTube. Lack of monetization has been one of the major reasons by creators. That’s why we saw Facebook acquiring content rights management startup Source3.
Facebook is solving the two major problems of creators; additionally it is bringing influencer marketing in line with the rest of its ads strategy. It has done the same with Instagram to increase transparency on infleuncer and brand content deals.
“It isn’t a dramatic roll out. However the operations piece becomes so much easy for brands and creators now can reach out to a whole new set of audience. The additional bit is the extra insights Facebook is now providing,” added Gautam Reghunath, Executive Vice President at Dentsu Webchutney. “Facebook is getting branded content right.”
Not just for brands, creators will need to relook at the entire influencer marketing piece specially if they are focusing on Facebook. This would matter since the country has the largest audience sitting on the social network. Earlier in July, Facebook showed a total “potential audience” of 241 million active users in India, compared to 240 million in the US.
“Ideally as content creators, I would love to put more time effort in content creation rather than thinking about media spends. But moving ahead we will have to include media spends as a part of entire process of content creation,” Vineeth Beep Kumar, content creator remarked.
Creativity and production will have a new media spends arm for content creators on Facebook properties. You are left with no choice but to adhere to the rules of Facebook. Influencer marketing is definitely going to evolve and be more expensive in the coming days.