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Last month, Facebook expanded its ability for influencers to work with Brands in its “Facebook Branded Content" advertising solution. This is advertising integrated with an influencer’s own content, which promotes a third party. Although it isn’t as sexy as Facebook Live or Facebook Reactions and therefore not getting the same attention, for the purposes of brand marketing on social media, it can be invaluable. It’s a nuanced change in the otherwise seismic world of Facebook updates, but it’s one not to be ignored. Facebook is specific in its advertising rules, unless third party content is part of a paid campaign through Facebook, it’s prohibited on “blue ticked” Verified pages. The rules state, “Third-party advertisements on Pages are prohibited, without our prior permission.” Facebook defines Branded Content as “any post — including text, photos, videos, Instant Articles, links, 360 videos, and Live videos — that specifically mentions or features a third party product, brand, or sponsor. It is typically posted by media companies, celebrities, or other influencers.” Somewhat because it’s tough to enforce, and mostly because Influencer Marketing is taking larger and larger portions of the marketing mix, Facebook is adjusting its policies to accommodate this trend. Updates to Facebook’s Branded Content Policies Include the Following: Only Verified Pages: Branded Content coming from “Verified Pages” must abide by the Branded Content rules. These are the pages with the “blue badge” beside it, and are usually associated with media, celebrities, and influencers. Newly Approved Content: Verified Pages can share a Promotion, Videos or Photos featuring a third party Brand, Links, Text, Instant Articles, 360 video, Endcards, Product Placement, Sponsor logos, and posts that clearly disclose the content is sponsored or provided by a third party. (Live Video will also be rolling out soon, but it is not live at launch) Branded Content Tool: This tool ensures that the Brand associated with this content is permanently attached to the post. Any time this piece of content is shared, the Brand mention will go along with it. This tool will also allow marketers to track the performance of the post, and allow for more transparency when partnering with influencers. Although a Branded Content post looks very similar to any other post (that’s the point of course), the dead giveaway is the word “with” after the name of the influencer and before the Brand. See the Lady Gaga example below as an example: The number one benefit with Facebook’s Branded Content, aside from the reach and impressions generated, is the wealth of insights. When an influencer shares Branded Content associated with your Brand, you will be notified of it and have access to post level data. This means that Brands will be able to see performance metrics of this content the same way you would be able to see metrics for your own posts. With these insights, you will know how particular influencers and media outlets deliver exposure for your brand. Moreover, you can share the post with your own followers, and provide paid support, furthering the reach. In the world of Facebook, this won’t have the same impact on engagement rates for your Brand’s content as Facebook Live, but it will provide you with a much more transparent and holistic view of your Influencer marketing campaigns. Where appropriate, you should encourage your Influencers to use the Branded Content Tool, and when required, you should make sure they are using it. Facebook will start enforcing this new rule, and removing any content that is not in line with the new guidelines. As a rule of thumb, if you’re working with a “Blue Ticked” Influencer, and they are posting about your Brand, make sure they are using the Branded Content Tool. Source: Facebook; VentureBeat