Facebook’s Branded Content Feature

In the past few weeks, Facebook rolled out it’s Branded Content feature to the public (beyond verified pages, which have had it for quite a while), allowing brands to co-brand content, view the ad’s analytics, and use the ad on their own channels. While this seems like a small victory, since brands could always tag each other in posts, it’s actually pretty big for brand partnerships and influencer marketing.

Many industries, from beauty brands to beverage brands are utilizing the power of influencer marketing to get that extra boost from their influencers’ audiences. By adding that extra piece of co-branded content to the puzzle, co-branded content gives a sense of validity to the partnership, the way that blue check mark gives validity to someone users follow on their social channels. It also helps brands in making sure that the influencers that they’re paying for these partnerships are delivering, with more transparency into the performance of the posts. This rings true for brands partnering with other brands as well.

The Branded Content option on Facebook also helps facilitate easier partnerships between brands. It makes figuring out the logistics of who posts what and when easier, and what spend is going into the ad from each side as well. While the content itself doesn’t look much different, the performance insights behind branded content are more robust, which is important when working outside of your own channels. Having this data can help determine the value of the partnership and whether it’s worth continuing in the future. While there can be additional benefits to brand partnerships to what you can visibly see in the analytics, it’s a good piece of data to have access to. The Branded Content feature is simply added value to the success metrics you would be looking at anyways.

While Facebook’s Branded Content feature isn’t the most innovative feature Facebook has rolled out, considering it’s lack of new ad design features, it will be interesting to see both how brands continue to use it to their benefit and how Facebook will add on to it moving forward.

Millennial Marketing: Living in a Material World

its-all-about-meMillennial: That beautiful buzz word. That materialistic, entitled consumeristic generation. That parasite of the expanding digiverse: We consume everything, feeding off of media, product placements, and, of course, the notion that we deserve everything. And we are that beautiful breed that marketers can’t get enough of these days.

So what does this mean for marketers? How valuable is this “#genlike” demographic in reality? Pretty damn valuable. The millennial generation is a self-serving one, always asking “What have you done for me lately?” However, we are also quick to act as brand advocates, it just comes at a cost. We are a generation that feeds off of attention, be it Likes, Shares, RT’s, etc. That means that we will be quick to promote a product (often unknowingly) for free, but we seek confirmation in the meantime. After all, we are the Me, Me, Me Generation” which means that we want you to make it about us. We expect brands to interact with us – to have active social customer service, to engage us in conversation, to be a “voice for the people.” Static brand advertising is a thing of the past; brands need to be on 100% of the time. “I want it now” has never been so spot on as it is when marketing to the millennial, which means you have to have it all. 
Iwantitnow

While this may be daunting, it provides a lot of opportunities for brands to go beyond tradition marketing and actually reach their customers on a personal level. Brands like Progressive have done an excellent job of giving their product a voice and persona. They’ve taken a pretty mundane product and have given it life. By entertaining and relating to their audience, they have made themselves more appealing, and therefore are seeing the results. Millennials aren’t necessarily an affluent demographic, but we spend a lot of money. We are a generation that revolves around constantly comparing ourselves to our peers, made especially easy through social media, and our spending habits reflect that. This is where marketing becomes extremely important; signifying your brand’s products as a valuable commodity that will set us apart (or make our lives easier since that’s also often a priority with our generation) is essential for convincing us that our money is best spent with you.

This is where social media becomes an asset for brands, because it’s an easy and inexpensive avenue for reaching the millennial market. We are the demographic that spends the most time online, and we can be reached through so many avenues there: YouTube, ads on Hulu, Facebook advertising, Twitter accounts that we follow….the list goes on and on.
There’s so many ways to reach us  that it would be foolish not to get into the digital space. With the whole world at our fingertips, why would we as millennials go offline?

The online universe has taken the marketing world by storm as millennials migrate to the Internet for everything from TV viewing, to shopping, to social interactions, and even dating.
With millennials at the helm of it all, the shift towards marketing in the digital space is rapidly growing, as marketers scramble to find new ways to capture the attention of this easily distracted demographic. From real-time marketing to native advertising and even “memevertising” (so adeptly coined by millennialmarketing.com), marketers are seeking ways to elude the obvious, and capture the millennial dollar without being overt about it. The best advertising after all is the kind where consumers don’t even realize that’s what it is.

So basically, when it comes to marketing, millennials are a necessary evil, and we are a demanding demographic. What can you do for me? Woo me. Make me feel special. Give me what I want, and more importantly, give me what I need. Most importantly, and at the most basic level, just make me believe that’s what you’re doing. After all, “we are living in a material world, and I am a material girl.”