With influencer marketing set to remain a significant consideration in 2020, particularly on Instagram, Facebook is now looking to provide an easier, more direct way for brands and Instagram creators to collaborate on campaigns and partnerships.
Last year, Facebook launched its Brand Collabs Manager tool, which is essentially a search engine for Facebook creators, in order to help brands find relevant, on-platform influencers to connect with.
Now, Facebook is opening up Brand Collabs Manager to Instagram creators as well, which will make it a more comprehensive creator marketplace tool, and could, potentially, establish the building blocks for the definitive Instagram influencer database.
As explained by Facebook:
"...we’re opening up Facebook’s Brand Collabs Manager - a marketplace tool previously only available to Facebook creators - for a select group of Instagram creators. They’ll now be able to share insights and engagement with brands and find partners that will resonate with their audience. Creators in Brand Collabs Manager can also search for like-minded brands looking to partner on content creation. They can source new deals, manage partnerships, and automatically share insights with them (before this, many creators could only send brands screenshots of their analytics)."
That last element could be particularly interesting, given the removal of public Like counts. Many have speculated that the removal of total Like counts on Instagram could cause significant problems for influencer marketing, with creators having to revert to manual screenshotting to prove their performance. But through Brand Collabs Manager, they may be able to avoid this - or at least lessen the relative impact to some degree.
This would only relate to Likes generated on collaborative campaigns (you would assume), but still, maybe, with options like this available, the impacts of hidden Like counts won't be as significant as first thought. Interestingly, as part of this update, Facebook is also making it possible for brands to see insights when they’re tagged in branded content within both Brand Collabs Manager and the Instagram app.
Total Like counts may be disappearing, but Facebook is providing expanded transparency measures, which could minimize reporting concerns.
Along with the expansion of Brand Collabs Manager, Facebook has also taken the opportunity to announce additional enforcement of its rules against paid promotion in certain product categories.
From now on:
- Facebook will take stronger action against branded content which promotes vaping, tobacco products and/or weapons. Such promotion has long been against Facebook's advertising policies, and it'll now look to take more action on this front.
- Facebook will also be looking more closely at branded content which promotes alcohol or diet supplements, in order to ensure that it adheres to the related restrictions for such.
Facebook says that it will begin taking stronger action on each of these elements from early in the new year, as it continues to improve its tools and detections.
"For example, we are currently building specific tools to help creators comply with these new policies, including the ability to restrict who can see their content, based on age."
It's an interesting update from Facebook. As noted, influencer marketing only looks set to rise in 2020, and Instagram will be a key focus for such promotions, so the expansion of Brand Collabs Manager to include Instagram influencers makes a lot of sense. The announcement also shows that Facebook will be looking to take influencer partnerships more seriously in 2020, not only through rule enforcement, but also by building native discovery and connection tools, which could end up having a significant impact on the broader influencer industry.
There are plenty of influencer discovery tools already out there, but Facebook will be able to offer more data, and more insight, both in regards to individual creator performance and broader platform trends. That will make the Brand Collabs Manager listings more reliable, and potentially, more indicative of likely reach and engagement.
As Facebook adds more Instagram creators in, it'll definitely be worth brands paying attention to the tool.
You can read more about Brand Collabs Manager here.