Is Facebook's new influencer search engine, Branded Content Matching, really worth all the buzz?
The influencer marketing world has been in a frenzy since leaked screenshots of Facebook's own influencer marketing tool emerged last week, called Branded Content Matching. We weren't very surprised at the news considering we'd been watching this for about 18 months. As soon as they introduced the handshake tool, it became somewhat obvious where the platform was headed.
That said, I think everyone needs to stop and take a deep breath because this isn't really that big of a deal. Here's why.
#1. They're Not The First
First of all, they're not the first to do this. You might remember that both Pinterest and YouTube, among other platforms, built platform specific influencer tools before, and they didn't really take off. Why? You shouldn't start with the platform, you should start with the people you are trying to reach and then see what platforms they are on.
#2. You're Restricted to One Platform
Furthermore, once you know where your audience is, you may find that they aren't on Facebook so you'll need to find influencers across multiple platforms. Generation Z, for example, isn't using Facebook nearly as much as older audiences are now. So if you're really going after a Gen Z audience, why would you start with a Facebook search tool.
#3. Influencers Change Platforms Constantly
It's true, influencers move platforms all the time. Many of the big Instagram influencers were on Snapchat just a few months ago and moved after they rolled out their infamous update. Now they're starting to get upset with Instagram after they updated their algorithm which is not showing influencer content as much as it was. So they may move to new or emerging platforms. We're working with a platform called SpokeHub now, which has a totally different take on influencer marketing. So don't get wedded to a particular platform.
#4. Building a List Is Easy, Vetting a List Isn't
And finally, creating a list of influencers is not very difficult today, and that's what Facebook seems to be offering. There are lots and lots of tools to help you build lists of influencers. The hard work is figuring out which influencers you should work with as a brand. That vetting is mostly manually done if you're doing it right and Facebook's tool isn't going to help there.
At Carusele, we suspect that Branded Content Matching is going to be heavily utilized by brands searching for influencers to create content for their brand pages. We know that influencer content performs better than brand-created content, over and over again. But again, there are already tools out there to do this without the brand having to pay a premium for influencers.
Ultimately, Facebook's influencer tool does not dramatically change anything, especially considering it's not even out yet. Until then, continue to start your influencer marketing campaigns with a strategic approach, and that will continue to make them successful.