On Friday, Facebook announced they will now allow branded content to appear on Facebook pages. This is Facebook taking a big stance on sponsored content, not only are they allowing it but by building tools for Publishers and Influencers to use, it shows they understand how important this aspect of marketing is and are encouraging it. To date, marketers have only been able to push branded content through ad units on the social platform. While there is no direct revenue stream for content creators, this update makes it easier to generate revenue from 3rd party advertisers outside of the platform. And for marketers, it provides them the ability to bring more awareness to the awesome content produced in partnership with Influencers.
Here are the key takeaways for marketers…
- Get Verified or Work With a Verified Influencer
- In order to take advantage of this update, you must be a verified page, which is typically reserved for big brands, celebrities and other influencers.
- Focus on Engagement
- With organic reach at an all time low (Social@Ogilvy estimates organic reach on Facebook could be as low as 2%), reaching your audience without spending ad dollars has never been more of a challenge. This is why partnering with Influencers who have a solid reach and more importantly, unheard of engagement rates, is key for social marketing. The more engagement a Facebook post generates, the more likely it is to be seen without spending additional budget. Partnering with an Influencer, who averages a 5-10% engagement ratio, is a great way to bring more exposure to your content.
- Stay Updated on FTC Guidelines
- In the past few weeks, a lot of news has surfaced reiterating the importance of following the guidelines set by the FTC. To summarize, always disclose. When consumers see an ad, regardless of platform, federal law requires that ad must be truthful and not misleading. The FTC enforces these truth-in-advertising laws, and applies the same standards no matter where an ad appears.
- As an advertiser, this means that if you are paying a 3rd party to review or promote a product, you must disclose it as an ad. The easiest way to ensure compliance is to always use one of these common, industry used hashtags in your post: #ad, #sponsored, #sp.
- Focus on Native
- While it’s great news that Facebook is loosening its grip, there are some restrictions to keep in mind. Most important, the content cannot mimic obvious ad formats like pre-roll video or banner ads. Continue to focus on creating unique, engaging content by partnering with Influencers who are passionate about your campaign and have ideas that truly convey your message.
- Require a Sponsor Tag
- You are required to tag the sponsor, it’s a good way to maintain transparency with the user and also show brand equity for both parties.
While the tools launched this past week provide the opportunity for marketers to bring sponsored content to Facebook, there is still a need to manage everything before the content is ready to share. Platforms like Captiv8, help with Influencer discovery, workflow and optimization/reporting, to ensure seamless and effective sponsored campaigns.