Influencer Marketing is BOOMING! Everywhere you look on social media, a new influencer is uprising and making brand deals. There are numerous Influencer Marketing Agencies and platforms to illustrate how the booming industry continues to gain momentum. It is easy to reach out to an influencer via private messages and inviting them to the business for a product sample and a few freebie campaigns. But, influencer marketing has always been a bit of a grey area when it comes to the actual rules and regulations. Criticisms levelled in terms of influencer marketing that it is unregulated; known as the Wild West of the marketing world; believing influencers are fraud, have fake followers and non-disclosure of paid-for relationships is rife.
Understanding influencer marketing guidelines is vital. Some companies like Confluencr – An Influencer Marketing Agency, are well versed and implement the campaign under the hood of regulations. But for most of the influencers and marketing agencies, it is often unsure of what they have to disclose when and how to do so.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has clear rules about influencer marketing. It is also a classic code of ethics that needs to be watched out for. If someone caught pulling what customers perceive to be cheap tricks, the impact of the campaign and some of the trust of your loyal customers are a goodbye.
Rules to follow in influencer marketing from an influencer and brand perspective-
What Influencers Need To Do-
- Influencers should not talk about their experience with a product or service if they haven’t actually used it as they say.
- Influencers must disclose relationships between themselves and the brand if its a sponsored content. They can do so by adding hashtags like #sponsoredpost #sponsored or #ad to their captions.
- If an influencer is paid to review a product but had a horrible experience, they cant say that it was good. They cant lie. This will lead to false content.
- Youtube influencers must put the advertisement disclosure in the actual video
- According to the FTC’s official influencer guideline, it’s not enough to just put it in the description because its too easily missed. The same is true for other video content on all social media platforms.
What Brands Need To Do-
- The one big rule that brands need to be particularly aware of that influencer doesn’t, is to not intentionally use unrepresentative testimonials to misled customers.
- A universal principle is that the consumers should be able to identify when they are being advertised to and those ads should be decent, legal, honest and truthful.
- Giving influencers with contracts that contain the rules of disclosure and any other salient regulatory points.
- Selecting responsible influencers is the main duty of a brand. This can be done by checking for follower’s fraud, disclosure non-compliance, etc.
- According to a study, one-third of brands are not labeling their influencer marketing as “sponsored content” because they believe that this may have a negative impact on consumer trust. But they need to understand that influencers, even though they are compensated, are looked upon as relevant sources of information. It should not matter if they are tagged as “sponsored content”. If they have a strong following, consumers will still come.
- There needs to be a plan that allows non-compliant posts to be pulled as soon as an error is noticed or a complaint is received.
Statistically, 54% of consumers say that they do not see sponsored posts by influencers as negative. The brands that are not following the guidelines need to get acts together and follow the rules. The rules are put in place to guide marketers. If not followed, it leaves marketing, brands, and advertisers looked upon in a negative way. Not revealing an ad is sponsored content that could be more damaging to a brand in the long run. As influencer marketing continues to evolve, the marketers will also continue to evolve with it. Influencer marketing is becoming pivotal in any broad digital marketing strategy, or social media campaigns. Therefore it is up to marketers and influencers to keep the activities ethical.
Influencer Marketing company like Confluencr goes onwards hand in hand with being authentic and ethical. The company blends the brands and influencers, with fine regulation towards the consumers.