Facebook’s search engine leaked for influencer marketing – TechCrunch

Facebook’s Next Money Generator could be this tool to connect marketers with social media creators so they can partner with sponsored content Facebook ad campaigns. The Branded Content Matching search engine allows advertisers to select the biographical characteristics of the fans of the creators they want to reach, view statistics on these audiences and contact them to make deals.

Leaked screenshots of Facebook’s promotional material for the tool were first obtained and published in German by AllFacebook.de. TechCrunch has just confirmed with Facebook the existence of the search engine test. Facebook first vaguely noted that it would build a designer branding tool in March, but now we know what it looks like and exactly how it works.

While Facebook won’t actually negotiate or take a share of the deals initially, the tool could provide brands with much more compelling and original marketing content. This in turn could encourage them to spend more on Facebook ads to deliver that content, while also making the ads that users see more entertaining and tolerable so that they spend more time on the social network. By charging creators, even if they are not directly through Facebook, they will invest more in the quality of their content and the size of their audience on the app rather than with competitors.

How Facebook’s influencer marketing search engine works

A Facebook spokesperson explained the motive behind the tool like this. Facebook wants to help businesses find creators who can authentically reach their target audience, while allowing creators to monetize their Facebook content and fan base. Creators choose to participate in the test and put together a portfolio showcasing their audience size and metrics as well as their best branded content. Facebook is launching the program primarily with a collection of brands and lifestyle designers.

Test advertisers can find creators with specific audience demographics using a wide range of targeting options. These include both general and industry specific parameters, such as:

  • Main countries where they are popular
  • Interests
  • Kind
  • History of education
  • Relationship status
  • Life events
  • Home ownership status
  • House type

The search engine results page displays a list of creators with the percentage of audience matched by each with the search terms, the percentage of their subscribers they reach, the engagement rate, the number of subscribers and video views. Advertisers can save their best matches to private lists and contact creators, though Facebook is still looking to see if it’s best to connect them through their Facebook page or traditional contact details. One question is how Facebook will ensure that it only connects companies with brand creators who won’t cause them problems by posting racist, sexist or objectionable content like YouTuber star PewDiePie did.

Product placement or sponsored content creation and sharing agreements are then made between the brand and the creator without Facebook intervention. The platform does not experience any reduction in revenue during the testing phase, but in the longer term it will assess whether it should. The only thing Facebook doesn’t allow are pure sharing deals where influencers get paid to just post pre-made brand content that they didn’t help create.

The future of advertising crowdsourcing

Foreshadowed when its dedicated Facebook Creator app launched in November, this is the company’s first serious foray into influencer marketing. This emerging industry has the potential to reshape the way advertising content is produced. In the past, brands could not target very narrow segments of their customers because they used broadcast media such as TV commercials, magazine ads and billboards, or traditional celebrity backers like actors. movie theater. They might just do a few distinct styles of marketing campaigns that would attract large swathes of their target audience.

With the internet and the targeting of data-rich social networks like Facebook, they can reach extremely specific subsets of their customers with marketing messages tailored to their identity. But reaching those niche audiences with business content that looks genuine rather than fake and clever is difficult. This is where social media creators come in. Not only do they have a pre-existing, intimate relationship with their fans who will take their endorsements to heart, but they’ve also already spent years figuring out exactly what kind of content appeals to these individuals. people. When partnering with brands, companies see their products recontextualized and interpreted for that audience with content they could never create on their own.

Twitter realized this early on, which is why it acquired designer brand business broker Niche for $ 50 million in 2015. [Disclosure: I got fascinated with this industry because my cousin Darren Lachtman is one of the co-founders of Niche.] But now, as Facebook seeks to attract influencers and their audiences to its social network, it’s trying to find ways to get them to pay. Otherwise, they risk stepping away from YouTube’s ad revenue shares and Patreon’s subscription payments. So far, Facebook has tested tips and fan subscriptions, and has allowed creators to host commercial breaks – mostly commercials – during their videos. But brands want help from creators to design content, not just to distribute it.

But what about Instagram and YouTube influencers?

The Branded Content Matching search engine will help brands find these creators… but only on Facebook for now. The tool does not pull their audience sizes and metrics from other major platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat, or Twitch. Brands don’t have a holistic view of the value and reach of a creator, who could be much more popular on a platform other than Facebook.

And really, Instagram is where all of these influencers spend their time and share their content. Although Facebook owns it, it says it does not display Instagram influencers in the tool at this time. Adding them, in the same way that advertisers can serve ads on Facebook and Instagram from a single interface, would make the search engine much more powerful.

There is already an entire industry of independent designer search engines and databases for marketers like Hypr, Whalar, Fohr Card, Tap Influence, and Creator IQ. If Facebook were to build one with first-party data from its properties, or even pull statistics from competing platforms, it could crush those startups. Alternatively, he could buy one to step up his efforts here, like Twitter bought Niche.

Facebook is running out of ad inventory in the News Feed. He needs to make each ad better and more watchable so that he can increase his income by charging more per ad rather than selling more ads. Meanwhile, yesterday it started testing ads in Facebook stories, where brands will need help navigating the more personal vertical video format. Awesome content created by creators might be the answer. And Facebook could finally start helping more of these artists, actors and storytellers to turn their passion into a profession.