Facebook’s recent algorithm changes to its News Feed, which will see posts from publishers demoted in a move for the channel to return to a “personal service”, could spark a trend towards influencer marketing; an assertion that adds weight to the prediction that 2018 will be “the year of the influencer”.

According to a report from Digiday, media agency buyers are informing clients to focus more on influencer content as the social media platform begins to favour posts from family and friends. Only content such as live video and discussion-based posts will be promoted on the News Feed if they encourage direct user engagement.

However, it’s suggested that influencer marketing could be poised to benefit from the algorithm changes as content produced from influencers with several followers often mimics content from family and friends.

“By prioritising [user-generated content], Facebook is giving brands an opportunity to double down on influencers that maintain authentic relationships with their audiences,” Corey Martin, head influencer marketing at 360i commented to Digiday.

In addition, content from influencers carries better reach organically and often resemble user posts, which could help marketers in retargeting posts to their audience.

According to Marco Hansell, CEO at Speakr, content performs “between five and 10 times” better in terms of engagement when shared by an influencer than a brand post.

At first hand, Facebook’s News Feed change will impact businesses that are publishing content organically, however, as Danny Whatmough, MD of integrated media strategy at Weber Shandwick points out: “a sophisticated brand approach with strong channel, targeting, paid media and content strategies remains well positioned to weather all the anticipated and continuous trend of Facebook algorithm changes that diminish brand organic reach.

“It is likely that content that truly engages and sparks debate will be rewarded – again, it remains to be seen how significant this will be.”

Video boost for influencers

In its continued efforts to boost visual opportunities and engagement for influencers, Facebook recently unveiled its Watch Party platform to leverage video has a hub to bring different community groups together while driving more engagement and personal connections with its users.

The video hub follows from Facebook’s launch of its Creator app last November where content creators can shoot and edit their own video, broadcast live with custom effects and cross-post on different social media platforms.