Influencer marketing is on the rise, and so are the rules and regulations surrounding it.
As a refresher: influencer marketing is when a brand pays an influencer to market their products. Generally, this involves the influencer posting about said products on their own accounts, building trust for the brand and putting their products in front of new eyes.
The practice has been largely unregulated by both governments and social networks for years, but it looks like that's slowly coming to a close.
The U.S. government recently added new laws related to influencer marketing, and Facebook is requiring use of its new Branded Content tool.
This tool lets influencers tag the brands they're working with, in turn giving their audience proper disclosure of whose paying them for product posts and endorsements.
How to gain access to Branded Content
Not all brands have Branded Content enabled, though. You can request access to the feature by filling out this form on Facebook's website, and you'll hear back in roughly an hour's time.
Facebook doesn't list specific criteria for being approved, but the social network seems to approve most Facebook pages that are focused on publishing content like video and blog posts.
To give you a better understanding of how Branded Content works, in this article, we'll dive deep and take a look at Facebook's Branded Content policies and how to use the feature to properly disclose your partnerships.
Ready? Let's check it out!
Here's the full scoop on Branded Content
Like discussed earlier, Branded Content essentially discloses that a brand and influencer are working together on a post—and that the influencer has been paid by the brand. When used, Facebook posts will appear like the following:
So as you can see, Branded Content notes that the influencer was paid with the "sponsored post" notation, and also tags the brand that sponsored the post in the "with" field. Further, there's an "About this partnership" button that you click to learn about Branded Content.
Facebook's Branded Content policies
First thing's first: influencers must use Branded Content when they're paid for a campaign.
Facebook's policy notes that if there is a value exchange—say an influencer is paid or given a free product—then they're responsible for tagging the brand using the Branded Content tool. This also keeps you in-line with U.S. law that requires influencers to disclose paid promotions.
According to Facebook, this is always the responsibility of the influencer—not the brand.
Facebook is actively enforcing this policy too. If a influencer is found not tagging paid sponsorships, they can have their account punished accordingly.
Other things to know about Branded Content policies
Additionally, there are a few more policies to be aware of when using Facebook Branded Content in your influencer marketing campaign.
Here's Facebook's list of policies:
- "Don't include pre, mid, or post-roll ads in videos or audio content.
- Don't include banner ads in videos or images.
- Don't include title cards within a video's first three seconds. Interstitial ad cards outside of a video's first three seconds, such as mid cards or end cards, must not persist for longer than three consecutive seconds and must not be included within Facebook Stories or Instagram Stories.
- Show Pages must not include branded content in showmarks or trailer videos.
- Don't use the branded content tool to tag a Page, brand or business partner without their prior consent.
- For Facebook Pages and profiles, don't accept anything of value to post content that you did not create or were not involved in the creation of, or that does not feature you.
- Comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including by ensuring that you provide all necessary disclosures to people using Facebook or Instagram, such as any disclosures needed to indicate the commercial nature of content posted by you."
So in short: don't spam ads, get permission from the brand you're tagging, and follow all local laws and regulations. So long as you use Branded Content and follow these guidelines, you won't have any issues!
Can influencers tag whatever brands they want?
No—and please don't tag random brands!
While anyone with the Branded Content feature enabled a tag a brand, influencers should only use Branded Content if they have a pre-existing agreement with the brand they're tagging.
So don't think of this feature as a way to find influencer marketing partnerships, but rather as a disclosure that you're sharing influencer marketing content with your group.
How to use the Branded Content feature
So now you know what Branded Content is and when to use it. Here's the how.
Once approved for Branded Content (see above!), just do the following to tag a company:
1. Create a new post as usual on your Facebook page.
2. Click the Tag Sponsor button at the bottom of the screen, and enter the name of your sponsor in the With field. You can also check the "Allow business partner to boost this post" box to let your sponsor run ads for your post.
3. Once posted, your partner will be notified of the post. They can then choose to reshare the post on their profile or boost the post with their own budget.
Once the brand has approved influencers, they'll be listed as an approved "branded content publisher." This means that the brand will not have to approve future posts. Likewise, if a post is rejected, you won't be able to tag them in future posts.
That's all there is to it!
Brands can also track their Branded Content's performance
Additionally, brands can view post analytics for posts that they're tagged in.
Brands can view this by going Insights > Branded Content on their page or in Business Manager. This makes viewing influencer post stats easier than ever for brands—awesome.
And now you can create Branded Content in Social Report, too!
Just build your post as usual, click Advanced Options, and tag the brand you're working with in the Branded Content pane in step 3/5 in the scheduler.
It's really that easy! Just another way Social Report saves you time 😉
All in all, it's good to see that Facebook is taking influencer marketing regulation seriously. This keeps everyone on the same page, ensuring that consumers know when someone is paid to recommend a product.
Even better, the feature makes reporting more transparent for the brand and the influencer. Instead of the influencer manually pulling reports for their client, engagement stats are automatically shared with the brand.
And now we want to hear from you. Have you had the chance to use the Branded Content feature? If so, do you find it useful? Let us know in the comment box below.
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