With influencer marketing on the rise, and with Facebook trying to find new ways to lure more influential creators to their network (particularly video publishers), The Social Network is now working on a new influencer marketplace platform, which would enable brands to find relevant influencers based on specific characteristics, then organize deals to help them boost their efforts.
As you can see in this screenshot (first reported by AllFacebook.de), the new platform has targeting details on the left-hand side of the screen. Here, you select the audience you want to reach - based on location, age, gender, education and a range of other qualifers. Once you’ve specified your focus market, the dashboard will provide you with a list of registered influencers whose audiences match those you want to reach, along with specific engagement, audience and follower stats for each. You then have the ability to either save their details or get in touch.
The process – which Facebook has confirmed is in test mode – will make it easier for brands to expand their Facebook presence through influencer marketing, which could become even more important as News Feed changes reduce the reach of Page content.
Given the influencer platform is still in early test mode, there’s not a lot of detail on the specifics, but it will likely partner with Facebook’s Creator App (which they launched late last year) in order to list registered influencers who are open to brand proposals. It’s not clear yet whether Facebook will be vetting the influencers listed to avoid potential content concerns.
It’s a logical move from Facebook, which, thus far, hasn’t provided any clear path for creators to make money from the social app. They have rolled out new tools like live-stream ‘tipping’ and ad breaks in Watch content for selected publishers, as well as Branded Content Tags to better clarify partnerships. But the options for creators are not as advanced as those on YouTube, where the majority of influencers end up making their money.
That comparison is particularly relevant for Facebook Watch, their YouTube-challenging video platform. When first launching Watch, Facebook paid various publishers to create content for the platform, but they’ve since sought to reduce their outlay for such content, in the hopes of building a more self-sustaining content eco-system through ad revenue sharing.
As reported by CNBC in February:
“Facebook wants to allow more people to create their own shows on Watch. Instead of buying rights to these shows, however, Facebook wants to create a system where creators can upload their shows for free, then earn a cut of the revenue from ads placed on that content — similar to how YouTube pays its online creators.”
A dedicated influencer marketplace would add to this capacity, enabling creators to not only take a cut of revenue from ads, but also from brand partnerships, better matching the opportunities available on other platforms.
With social platforms giving every individual an outlet to share their views and passions, it makes sense that some of the more dedicated, and entertaining people are also building their own followings, dedicated audiences which have grown to anticipate their next post or update.
That can be hugely beneficial for creators, who previously needed major publishers or media partners to help them reach an audience. Now, they can largely do this off their own bat, and can establish their own, niche audiences, related to the topics that they’re most interested in. The next stop from there is to monetize that engagement.
One of the most common ways for these creators to monetize their efforts is through influencer marketing. For the creator, this enables them to align with products that they already use and like, enabling them to make money for, essentially, not doing much more than they already are. For brands, they get to tap into the platform expertize of these users, helping them create more resonant content, with targeted outreach – a win-win in many cases.
And with social platforms evolving all the time, the case for influencer marketing gets even stronger – with so many new additions and tools to test, brands often find it difficult to keep up. But influencers are well in tune with such updates, and can adapt their content to these new styles. In essence, influencer marketing, when done right, can enable help brands maximize their reach and performance through social networks in a logical, mutually beneficial way.
And while Facebook clearly has its challenges in catching up to YouTube on video content, the platform still has the biggest audience, and offers a range of opportunities – especially with the aforementioned News Feed algorithm favoring engagement.
Given this, a Facebook influencer marketing platform makes perfect sense. Expect to see the company roll the tool out officially sometime soon.