Influencer marketing has quickly been gaining traction. According to a Facebook study, 47% of people aged 13-34 have made purchases as a result of an influencers’ recommendations. The study also suggests that 48% of marketers will increase influencer marketing spend this year. However, the response from many social media companies is very different than what we are used to seeing when it comes to brands and social media advertising. Facebook’s new updates are designed to facilitate the influencer marketing relationship and help build better collaboration between brands and their influencers. The recent updates empower marketers by giving them more control over their influencer campaigns and access to more data.
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Here are the two major updates and what they mean:
1) Directly Amplifying Creator Posts: Until now, marketers had to share an influencer’s post from their company page before they could boost it. Facebook’s new updates have removed this barrier allowing marketers to directly boost a post from the influencer’s page. The influencer just has to grant permission to the brand. Even though the brand is responsible for boosting posts, the audience still sees the influencer as the original creator of the post. This gives brands closer access to their influencer’s organic and highly engaged audience. Marketers are also getting more control over their pages with the ability to select which influencers can tag them in a branded content post.
2) More Robust Performance Data: Facebook understands the value marketers put on data. Facebook’s new updates give marketers access to more data to help them better monitor and improve their influencer marketing campaigns. Now marketers can see information such as reach, engagement, total spend, and CPM for all of their branded content. This makes it easy for them to track the effectiveness of each post their influencers tag them in.
What does this mean for influencer marketing on Facebook?
Considering the impact that Facebook has on online advertising and marketing, Facebook’s new updates will likely impact the development of the influencer marketing industry. And, given Facebook’s history of halting organic growth in favor of forcing brands to pay for advertising, many marketing executives are concerned that the next phase of updates will suppress their influencer’s reach if it isn’t paid for. Many analysts are predicting a further devaluation of organic reach. But there could be another outcome. Influencer marketing is largely successful because of its organic nature. Customers are more interested and engaged with people over brands. If Facebook puts too much emphasis on paid influencer content and devalues organic reach a lot of the inherent value of influencers will be lost and brands will likely see a drop in their conversion rates compared to engagement numbers. And, if marketers aren’t seeing the same results from their influencer campaigns than they may stop budgeting money to Facebook for those types of campaigns.
In a nutshell, Facebook’s new updates aren’t too surprising or innovative. It looks like it could be mutually beneficial to both Facebook and marketers. It will help Facebook iron out some revenue issues and it will make it easier for brands to implement and improve their influencer marketing strategies.