Among Facebook’s more prolific platform updates of late is the ability to amplify influencer posts.
Following March’s update requiring influencers to tag brands in sponsored content, marketers can now amplify content that their brands are tagged in and authorize which creators are allowed to do so.
Some have been quick to dismiss Facebook’s move as a ploy for the company to make more money at the expense of brands that want to run influencer campaigns. While it’s certainly true that Facebook will profit from its new amplification features, I’d argue that the platform changes will help brands execute much more effective influencer marketing campaigns. Here’s why:
Enhanced targeting and metrics for influencer-generated content
Facebook’s changes will allow brands to drive even greater value from influencer-generated content.
Until a few months ago, marketers were only able to use Facebook’s targeting capabilities for advertisements and other brand-generated content. When an influencer used to post about a brand on Facebook, that brand simply had to be content with one of two scenarios: Either the post would reach the influencer’s network, or the brand could essentially repurpose that post as brand-generated content.
Now, brands have the option of scaling the reach of influencer-generated content directly to their target audiences. This may seem like a small point, but in light of research showing how much more effective user-generated content is at driving engagement than brand-generated content, this change could drive significant results for marketers.
As brands start testing the performance of amplifying influencer-generated posts, it’s quite possible that they’ll shift some of their resources from creating brand-generated content to amplifying IGC.
On the measurement side, brands can access stats around reach, engagement, total spend and CPM (cost per thousand impressions) to determine the brand effectiveness of the IGC that they choose to amplify.
Greater insight into IGC performance, paired with the ability to then scale the reach and frequency of delivering that content, introduces scale and targeting to influencer marketing that brands have never had access to before.
Brands can now extract more value from influencers of all sizes
Traditionally, when brands think about influencer marketing, they think about paying celebrities thousands of dollars for one paid post, or working with influential bloggers to get the word out about their products or services. But with Facebook’s new amplification features, brands will now be able to benefit even more from groups of people who have smaller, more focused spheres of influence.
Take micro-influencers, for instance: These are everyday consumers who have relevant influence through highly engaged networks of friends and family, but do not necessarily earn their living through being an influencer like a celebrity or well-known blogger.
Through Facebook’s new amplification feature, brands could take greater advantage of micro-influencer posts by ensuring that they are seen by an even wider audience.
Minimal risk of Facebook throttling sponsored influencer posts
As Facebook has made clear in recent earning calls, the company is at peak ad load, and it will continue to seek out new ways, like Watch on Facebook, to grow revenue and monetize its network.
But the company will likely not do this at the expense of News Feed engagement. Facebook is dependent on influencers’ content and audience command to drive News Feed engagement. Throttling content from this audience risks alienating them, which is why I’d be surprised to see the company do so.
Still, it’s important to remember that Facebook is only one channel, and marketers’ influencer strategies shouldn’t be based on one channel alone.
In order to develop an effective influencer approach, brands must consider the many different benefits of discovering and activating influencers across all social platforms—Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest—as well as different customer touch points, from websites to remarketing emails.
Pairing Influencer content with Facebook’s audience targeting capabilities may be a new holy grail of marketing, increasing efficiencies in paid media dollars and improved measurement.
If you’re still not convinced, I leave you with one final argument: Facebook has been incredibly effective over the years in creating advertising capabilities that drive value for both the company and its users. It wouldn’t invite marketers to use a paid media product without first testing whether it drives return on investment.