Make Sure You Are Doing Influencer Marketing Legally
Digital marketing has continued to evolve and now includes social media influencer tactics. Even more, the quick changes have necessitated oversight and regulation that might be hard to keep abreast with. After reviewing many Instagram posts by athletes, celebrities and other influencers, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) staff sent out around 90 letters to remind marketers and influencers that they should conspicuously and clearly disclose their relationship to a brand when endorsing or promoting its products through the common social media platforms. For the first time, FTC managed to educate social media influencers.
If there is any material connection between the advertiser and endorser – a connection that might affect the credibility and weight of the consumer’s endorsement – it should be disclosed. The connection includes family or business relationship, monetary payments, and free products gifts. That applies to both the endorsers and marketers.
Rolling out influencer powered advertisements
Before rolling out any form of influencer-powered advertisement on social media platforms, you should hold yourself answerable for doing it right. Keep in mind that your goals with influencer marketing should relate to improving your consumers user experience and to develop an authentic connection, which influencers and marketers believe is the most powerful influencer marketing aspect. Never use influencers as a way of concealing the promotional nature of the messages you send.
If you have ever found yourself wondering on whether concealing is an added benefit, you should never do it. Customers in the modern business world are observant and savvy and you have to inform them when marketing to them. According to FTC, some of the deceptive ads include:
- Any advertisement appearing in news format or one that would otherwise misrepresent its source of nature. The advertisements include those formatted to look like regular search results without disclosure of their paid nature.
- Any advertisement with misleading open doors such as emails misleading recipients as to the content or their source.
- Any deceptive endorsement that does not disclose the sponsoring advertiser such as reviews in Google App Store posted by public relations firms’ employees hired by the application developers.
Always disclose all types of native advertisements so that your target customers will clearly understand the motives behind your promotion messages. You should use clear and unambiguous language when making disclosures. Even more, the language should be closer to the native ads they relate to and the font and the colour should be easier to read. Always ensure that the shade stands out clearly against the background. When using videos, ensure that your target customers can notice, read and understand them. Audio disclosures should also be easier to follow and the included words should be easier to understand.
Influencer marketing works better in celebrity marketing. Actually, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is wary of the posts. Influencer marketing has many enormous benefits but like blog posts, you should be ready to wade through a regulatory framework. Many influencers and companies have found themselves under fire for deceptive advertising. Therefore, you should be ready to learn what to do and what you should not do to safeguard your brand.
Legality of influencer marketing
Both influencer marketing and sponsored content are lawful when clearly labelled as advertising. The consumer protection laws have one common goal: ensuring that consumers are purely motivated by love of products. Therefore, when working with influencers, ensure that the YouTubers, Instagrammers, bloggers and any other influencer you work with complies with the disclosure requirements. FTC can easily crack down on brands that pay influencers easier than they can chase down thousands of the individual influencers. If you would still like to engage influencers in your marketing, you should do it in a better way.
Influencers should explain that your brand has not paid them when promoting your products. You can also review all sponsored posts before they go live. That way, you will be certain that they have included the disclosure. Longer posts appearing on influencers’ sites have plenty of room for explanation. In such posts the influencer should explain whether he/she was paid, the free services or goods they received and the sponsored relationship existing between them and the brand.
Lastly ensure that the contracts include the start date, the end date and the specifics on payments. Influencers will require compensation to promote your products.