Shaken & Stirred - Influential Brand Profiling and Positioning

Faecbook’s new branded content policy spells new age in digital marketing

Facebook last week announced a host of changes to its branded content policies signalling new opportunities for brands and rights holders according to Repucom, the trusted advisor in sports and entertainment intelligence.

The new policy allows content such as videos and photos to include promotions, third party products, brands and sponsor logos.

Branded content, which differs from traditional advertising on the social media network, allows brands and the rights holders they sponsor to commercialise content posted on Facebook, helping develop and monetise their own partnerships whilst ensuring the site remains a vital platform for engaging their fans.

Utilising branded content on Facebook had until now largely been a grey area for sponsors looking to activate, often creating a barrier for rights holders looking to monetise posts. However, Facebook’s new policy change has removed this uncertainty, paving the way for a new age in digital marketing and sponsorship.

The challenge now however is how brands and rights holders ensure their branded content remains seamless and authentic for the fan as well as unlocking the monetary value such content holds. Aside from social media valuation, Repucom’s Fan Stories™, which enables categorisation of social media content to maximise value and ensure authenticity is as a result being increasingly utilised.

Max Barnett, Head of Digital, Repucom, said: “This change in Facebook’s branded content policy means there will be a shift in how fans engage with sponsors and the way in which brands and rights holders monetise their partnerships. In turn, Facebook hope for an increase in the posting of premium and exclusive content on their platform.

“As a result, Facebook is about to become much more of an established sponsorship platform than it already is. Alongside the traditional advertising models such as Promoted Tweets on Twitter or paid for ad space on the likes of Facebook, Google and YouTube, done well, clear and defined policies around branded content will provide digital commercial teams with the legitimacy needed to establish such content as a true marketing asset and the ability to better monetise partnerships online.

“Repucom’s Fan Stories™ allow rights holders to commercialise their content and collaborate with sponsors through categorising stories such as ‘Match Highlights’ in sport or ‘Behind the Scenes’ content in entertainment.”

Renee Plato, Senior Vice President, Media and Entertainment, Repucom, said: “This way of grouping content allows brands to ‘own’ Fan Stories™ which resonates with both a large audience as well as their own strategic objectives – take Hays Recruitment’s partnership with Manchester City FC’s squad announcements as one example.

“Fan Stories™ also provide different levels of fan engagement and offer sponsoring brands a consistent platform throughout a season or year, helping to increase brand recall and association and potentially direct sales. By categorising content in this way, essentially brands and rights holders are creating more opportunities to engage with fans through entertaining and authentic ways.

“These elements combined allow branded content in digital to become a more valuable marketing asset and Facebook’s policy change will only act as a catalyst to encourage greater collaboration and monetisation between rights holders and brands. The flood gates are about to open.”