Back in March of 2018, Facebook published “Testing New Tools and Experiences for Creators.” This blog post was the social giants first hint at what eventually became the Brand Collabs Manager, or Facebook's creator discovery tool.
In 2018, the social giant invited closed groups of people to test a new suite of influencer marketing-related tools. They were:
Since Facebook owns the richest, most-complete dataset from creators and their audiences on their platforms, they can be the honest broker between brands and the talent with which they are best aligned. And since Facebook already has deep relationships with a massive swath of brands, they knew they'd be trusted as the earnest middleman.
And so Facebook built the Brand Collabs Manager!
Facebook's Focus on Creators x Brands
Older formats of digital advertising have suffered at the hands of changing consumer sentiments and ad blockers. Digitally-native audiences are more privy to how they are tracked and productized, and are both banner blind and frustrated by disruptive ad formats.
Facebook is doubling down on a fresh ‘consumer-first’ approach to their social ecosystem, as evidenced by the decrease in organic reach by brands in the Newsfeed.
And so it follows that Facebook would eventually make inroads into the most authentic online channel today: influencer-driven content marketing. Influencer marketing and branded content are seen as champions of authenticity in an increasingly inauthentic digital marketing landscape.
In fact, an eMarketer survey found that the most important factor in an influencer campaign (according to the creators) is earnest alignment with a brand’s core values:
Since Facebook and Instagram are two of the leading platforms where creator activations take place, it makes sense for Facebook to play a larger role in increasing the transparency and efficacy of the ecosystem. They are uniquely positioned to nurture a new channel for creators to invest their resources and creative energy.
What Facebook's Creator Tools Mean for Influencer Marketing
Facebook’s announcement is an exciting validation of the social branded content industry. Their direct involvement in the space legitimizes the growing demand and marketing efficacy of influencer campaigns.
As Facebook absorbs traditional influencer platform features tied to raw social data like discovery, marketers will need to equip themselves with platforms built to handle the complex workflows of campaign execution and measurement.
Strong ROI will necessitate bigger influencer budgets – and, inasmuch, more creator relationships and campaigns to manage. Teams executing influencer campaigns should start to look toward platforms that handle influencer marketing workflows at scale.
Though Facebook’s progress may mean turbulence for many, it indicates an exciting maturation for influencer marketing and the future of creator-driven content.