Facebook just upped the stakes in the lucrative native advertising game. But what can you do to make sure the engagement odds are tilted in your brand's favor?
As reported in Fortune, Facebook will now let its verified publishers, celebrities, and brands include sponsored or branded content in the photos, videos and status updates they post, rather than having to purchase an ad. This update to Facebook's policy was made in conjunction with the release of a new tool that enables these influential users to tag their brand-marketing partners, giving that business an opportunity to help boost its reach.
The move shouldn't come as a surprise, given how important native advertising and other sponsored content efforts have become to publishers' revenue streams. However, to ensure that consumers don't mistake the new content as organic endorsements, the branded posts will need to be clearly labeled as such. In addition, Facebook has placed limitations on the types of content that can be used in these efforts, prohibiting the inclusion of overtly promotional features like pre-roll, watermarks, and banner ads.
Facebook says the change was made to help connect users to more of the content they care most about. However, the real opportunity we see emerging is that marketers can now use the platform to cross-promote the content campaigns they've created for other channels, potentially extending their impact – and their ROI.
Of course, just because branded content is more Facebook-friendly than ever before doesn't mean your efforts necessarily belong on this – or any other – social network.
Adding any distribution outlet to the marketing matrix is a decision that we advise our clients not to take lightly. As we've seen in the past, an increased brand presence on a social network can be a turn-off for consumers. This is just one of the reasons why we typically recommend conducting a thorough evaluation of your target audience's social media engagement preferences and behaviors before making any changes that might impact the trust you've established with them.
Make sure you protect your sponsored content investment: If you are interested in pursuing marketing opportunities on any social platform, give us a call and let us help you explore the options.