Facebook Now Requires Influencers to Disclose Branded Content

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

Facebook-Branded-ContentThe internet and social media have created an environment where people can learn about products from influencers like bloggers. Business owners and marketers have taken advantage by partnering with influencers by giving them products to test or access to exclusive content to use. This form of marketing by branded content is effective, but carries responsibilities for the marketer and the blogger. Facebook recently launched new features to help marketers use branded content on Facebook.

As the FTC cracks down on native advertising, Facebook is requiring marketers and influencers to make any connection clear.  While this may be frustrating for marketers who wanted to keep their influence low-key, this new policy is in line with what government regulators and consumers want.

Facebook defines branded content as “any post—including text, photos, videos, Instant Articles, links, 360 videos and Live videos—from media companies, celebrities or other influencers that features a third party product, brand or sponsor”.

Branded content is allowed on Facebook, but they’ve changed their Pages terms and Ads Policy to require publishers and influencers to tag the marketer in the post to make it clear that the post is branded content.

Facebook has also launched a new branded content tool that can help marketers handle some of the issues related to this form of native advertising. It also allows marketers to see the effect of the branded content, even when it’s not on their channel.

“Starting today, we will roll out a new tool that will enable publishers and influencers to tag a marketer in a branded content post,” the company explained in a post. “The marketer will be notified of the post and can access high-level post insights, including engagement and reach metrics, along with total spend and CPM on the tagged post. Marketers also have the option of sharing and boosting the post to drive additional value.”

Facebook also noted the way the new tool benefits marketers, while at the same time creating new steps and responsibilities when creating campaigns around branded content. Still, since the alternative was Facebook trying to fight branded content, the new branded content tool serves as a good compromise that has benefits for marketers.

“For brands and marketers, the new tool will introduce more transparency and allow them to better understand how their marketing initiatives are performing across Facebook,” the post cited earlier continued. “Additionally, marketers can now leverage branded content creative for ads and actively engage in sponsorships to ensure their campaigns are useful, interesting and entertaining to their target audiences.”

Branded content is a good way to spread product and company information without relying on traditional ads, which people tend to ignore. The effectiveness of branded marketing is worth the effort. And since people respond better to brands that are authentic, being open about branded content can help the company in other ways.

For more information about the proper use of branded content and native advertising, read this article on guidelines from Google on what websites must do to avoid SEO penalties.

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