Facebook is an increasingly popular platform for brands and publishers to advertise their products. As you’re scrolling through your news feed, you’ll find many “Sponsored” posts mixed in with baby pictures, BuzzFeed listicles, friends who have “Checked In,” and those that have been tagged in pictures or posts.
Publishers and influencers now have the ability to make more money and increase advertising ROI through Facebook. On April 8, 2016, Facebook announced a change to its sponsored content guidelines and branded content policies.
Only verified accounts (those featuring the Blue Badge) are able to take advantage of the new policy. Previously, Facebook prohibited publishers of sharing branded content, but have since changed their rules to adhere to the wishes of their users.
Facebook defines branded content as “content originating from a Page owner that specifically mentions or features third party products, brands, or sponsors that are different from the Page owner.”
Advertisers spend more and more money on sponsored content across the web, and Facebook needed to change their policy for third-party advertisements.
What This Means
Publishers and other influencers can get their marketing material in front of their fan’s eyes without prior permission from Facebook. Any marketer or celebrity with a verified page can now post articles, videos, photos, and other branded content that was paid for by a third party without asking Facebook first.
These posts will not be “Sponsored” and will be displayed organically as fans of these brands and celebrities scroll through their feeds. You’re now able to sell Facebook reach as a means of advertising without wondering whether you’ll receive backlash or punishment from Facebook itself. However, for further reach, you can boost the post, making it appear sponsored.
Product placement is now allowed in videos shared by brands and publishers on Facebook. Post videos, photos, or articles that mention and feature your brand without giving a share of earnings to Facebook.
It’s clear that Facebook is trying to keep their platform top of mind when advertising online. Similar to YouTube’s platform of branded campaigns, Facebook is trying to keep brands and businesses in their good graces, hoping engagement with customers and revenue earned will help advertisers favor Facebook over other social channels.
How it Works
You’ll have the availability to post promotional content with the branded content tool. This is available through the Page composer, Power Editor, Marketing API, iOS Mentions app, and Ads Manager. You must tag the marketer or brand you’re promoting for the post to be accepted.
Facebook’s goal is to create a better experience for publishers, and while utilizing the tag, it makes it easier for individuals browsing the social platform to see that the post is branded content. As marketers for these verified profiles, you’ll have access to analytics that shows you how the campaign is performing. You’ll see additional options that allow you to boost and share the post for further reach.
The tag also alerts the marketer with a notification they have been mentioned in the post. Both the brand and the marketer will see how many clicks, how much engagement, and the reach of the post through Facebook’s analytics.
Below, you can see an example of Lady Gaga using Intel technology and her post about the partnership. You can see how she had to tag Intel in the post to let you know that this is an advertisement.
What is Prohibited?
You can’t get too carried away with this free way to promote your content organically. Preroll ads, videos with watermarks, as well as banner ads with third-party sponsors within photos, cover photos, and profile pictures are prohibited.
A Social World
The world is going social, and Facebook provides the broadest reach. While there are some restrictions, you’re now presented with the opportunity to make as much money as possible with your branded content.
Your customers will be connected to the content they care about most. It’s time to start adjusting your campaigns, focusing on branded posts. As you think about having a celebrity spokesperson for your brand, you are no longer limited to Twitter. Facebook is allowing its users to stay connected with quality content that resonates.
If you’re a marketer and haven’t stayed up to date on the latest changes to Facebook’s policies, you’re missing out. Create content for brands and keep a significant portion of the money. Get your branded content in front of millions, even billions of eyeballs without having to split earnings with Facebook.
Branded content is an ever-changing and evolving aspect of the marketing landscape. Already with features that include live video, Instant Articles, and other updates focusing on enhancing user experience, Facebook is taking the next step to aid advertisers in getting their brand in front of as many eyes as possible.
What do you think about the new policy changes? Connect with me and let me know your thoughts.