Two years after Facebook dropped its branded content restrictions and rolled out a branded content tagging system, the number of organic posts that marketers pay publishers and creators to publish to their own Pages to promote the marketers’ brands has swelled. The number of publishers and creators posting branded content to Facebook each month grew fourfold last year, according to the company.
But “branded content” can be a slippery term. In theory, it refers to an article or video that a brand paid a publisher or creator to produce or star in and to distribute to their audience. However, in practice, it can simply be an article or video that a brand paid a publisher or creator to distribute to their audience; it may not even be content but instead a link to a product page on a brand’s e-commerce site, making something that was already closely related to an ad now all too identical to one.