For the latest authoritative social media and influencer marketing news, trends, and
stats, subscribe to our industry digest newsletter!
Influencer Marketing Vs. Facebook Native Advertising: Which Is Better?
With over 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook is one of the most coveted advertising platforms online. For years, businesses and brands have found success in reaching a variety of audiences via Facebook’s own native advertising, as well as through influencer marketing content.
Native advertising and influencer marketing offer distinct opportunities in terms of form/medium, reach, and engagement. Below, we’ll take a look at what these differences mean for businesses, as well as which approach might be most beneficial for a particular campaign.
Influencer Marketing And Native Advertising On Facebook
Native advertisements on Facebook are any ads or promotions endemic to the network itself. Options range from text and photo module ads to advertorial content directly integrated within a user’s “news feed.” Native ads feature a “sponsored” or “advertisement” tag to help distinguish them from other forms of content throughout the platform.
Influencer marketing advertisements are created by social media influencers from their personalized Facebook accounts. The content they post appears within a “friend” or “follower’s” newsfeed, alongside other user-generated content. While marketers should disclose the nature of any advertised content, unlike native advertising, influencer marketing isn’t branded with Facebook’s “sponsored” tag.
Though native advertising and influencer marketing content may seem similar, they each offer distinct advantages and disadvantages. To help brands determine which is best for their marketing campaigns, we weigh the differences in content creation, segmentation, and more.
To help businesses identify which marketing options best meet their individual goals, below is a list of advantages and disadvantages for the two different approaches on Facebook.
Related Post: New To Influencer Marketing? Download Our Free 10-Step Strategy Guide
Influencer Marketing: Advantages & Disadvantages
- Authentic content: Users seeing influencer posts have usually willingly “followed” or “subscribed” to the influencer’s activity, so there’s nothing invasive or obtrusive about the appearance of the content. Moreover, sponsored influencer content is integrated with non-sponsored posts — on both desktop and mobile.
- Avoids restrictions: Sponsored influencer content is posted by established social media accounts, thereby avoiding native advertising restrictions around elements such as format and length.
- Content creation and production: Partnering with influencers and reputable influencer agencies eliminates the need for brands to create their own content. Many influencers are seasoned creators who know how to craft messages that appeal to their audiences, removing conceptualization worries and production burdens from marketers.
- Campaign execution: With their own reputation and potential future deals hinging on the popularity of their content, influencers are highly motivated to make sponsored content succeed. Influencers not only understand the type of content that will resonate with their audiences, they’re also privy to social media best practices, know the best times to post for their audiences, and means to engage with them.
- Cross-platform promotion: When partnering with influencers on Facebook, many have sizeable audiences on their adjoining social media platforms and channels including YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, blogs, et. al., and can offer brands cross-channel promotional options.
- Relationships with influencers: Influencer marketing gives brands an opportunity to build relationships with industry trendsetters and the personalities driving the most popular types of social media content. These relationships don’t only offer opportunities for increased reach and awareness, but also engaging with each influencer’s followers, as well as building longer-term partnerships.
- Segmentation: Influencer marketing campaigns give brands the opportunity to reach niche audiences based on a variety of factors outside of traditional advertising channels. Few forms of advertising offer such personal and nuanced outreach as established, credible social media influencers.
- All-in-One cost: Conceptualization, production, and execution of influencer campaigns are often all included in the influencer agreement. In comparison to traditional and other types of advertising, influencer campaigns oftentimes can be the most consolidated cost option for brands.
- Impact: Influencer marketing has been shown to have great impact on purchasing decisions.
- Disclosure: Regulations around influencer marketing are constantly changing. As the influencer marketing industry continues to grow, scrutiny from the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is increasing. When brands work with influencers to create sponsored content and executive campaigns, they will need to ensure that they’re partnering with reputable influencers and agencies that understand and follow the FTC guidelines.
- Additional navigation: Since influencer sponsorships appear in regular social posts, marketers need to be strategic about the placement of CTAs. For example, marketers may need to include instructions for consumers to click on a link to learn more about a product, service, or offer.
- Influencer management: Influencer campaigns inevitably require relationships with influencers. Brands interested in working with influencers will need to find the right talent, develop agreements that clearly define goals and expectations, as well as manage the relationships for the length of the campaign.
- Fake followers and engagement: The number of aspiring influencers has grown exponentially over the last several years. Somewhat expectedly, the growth has resulted in some opportunists employing unethical practices aimed at taking advantage of brands. To avoid this, it’s important that businesses do their due diligence to ensure their time and money is well spent or work with established influencer marketing agencies well-versed in the space.
- Measurement: As a nascent industry, influencer marketing and its results can be measured or assessed in many different ways. Consequently, marketers will need to determine the KPIs — success, engagement, and conversion metrics on their own or through an influencer marketing agency.
- Commitment: While influencer marketing is achievable on a variety of spends, the most successful campaigns will require a monetary and relationship investment on behalf of both the brand and the influencer.
Related Post: What You Need To Know About Sponsored Influencer Content
Facebook Native Advertising: Advantages & Disadvantages
- Content format: Native advertising on Facebook provides a wide variety of content styles, from text and photos to videos and carousels. The adverts will also include clear CTA (call-to-action) buttons and interfaces that can lead directly to conversion.
- Segmentation and targeting: Facebook offers marketers the ability to find and target audiences based on demographics, interests, and other qualitative data.
- Data: Facebook offers tools to help measure performance, as well as A/B test different ads and features.
- Facebook support: Using Facebook’s native advertising products means that marketers will get direct support from Facebook.
- Flexible budget/scalability: If marketers are working on a tight budget, Facebook’s ad buying program gives marketers the flexibility to move their dollars around. If found effective, marketers are able to quickly scale their Facebook native ads.
- Impact: Native advertising on Facebook has been found to impact purchasing decisions.
- Overt advertisements: Native advertisements on Facebook will be labeled either “sponsored” or “advertisement,” which can disrupt the user experience. Additionally, audiences may have “banner blindness” or ad blindness to certain types of native advertisements when viewed on desktop.
- Format option limitations: Native advertising formats and lengths are limited to Facebook’s offerings. Moreover, the way these formats appear can differ between desktop and mobile.
- Lack of Engagement: Audiences don’t voluntary opt-in to view advertisements on Facebook. As a result, social media users aren’t as likely to comment, engage with, or share native advertisements.
- Inorganic audience: Native advertising on Facebook is based on criteria created by the platform. Such audiences may be too broad, too narrow, or just altogether miss the mark for some brands and businesses.
- No cross-promotion: Native advertising on Facebook works exclusively within the platform. Content created specifically for native ads will need to be reproduced or reformatted and reposted for social cross-promotion.
- Cost & competition (CPC-based): Native ads are cost-per-click (CPC) priced meaning they fluctuate based on demand (i.e. different criteria such as time of year/day, targeted locale, and desired audience). As such, Facebook native ads for certain seasons or quarters, especially Q4, can vary widely in rates. Moreover, brands will need to compete with other businesses for ad opportunities targeting any given criteria.
How Influencer Marketing & Facebook Ads Work Together
Though influencer marketing and native advertising on Facebook each offer different opportunities and benefits, they’re not mutually exclusive forms of outreach.
Businesses can have the best of both worlds by creating a marketing feedback loop for content and promotion by utilizing the approaches in a complementary manner. Posts created by an influencer for their social followers can be repurposed to reach other audiences through Facebook’s native advertising offerings.
Moreover, data and insights gleaned from analyzing engagement through both forms of advertising can help better inform marketing decisions and refine campaigns in the future. By using the tools available for native advertising, as well as partnering with influencers and agencies that understand the landscape, marketers are able to create meaningful engagement and achieve optimal ROI across Facebook’s two billion users.
Also See Our Posts On:
The 11 Facebook Video Statistics Every Marketer Should Know
The 4 Top Reasons Why Influencer Programs Fail
How Brands Are Partnering With Influencers On Facebook Live Videos
The 10 Most Hilarious Meme Channels On Facebook