BENTONVILLE, Ark., July 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- When it comes to influencer marketing, we've all seen the tell-tale signs of a sponsored blog or social post. Influencers sometimes use #spon, #ad or create their own disclosure statement to show that they were paid to promote a product.
But what happens when that disclosure statement isn't included or as obvious as it should be? The Federal Trade Commission gets involved.
Earlier this month, Warner Brothers settled with the FTC on charges that it deceived customers during a video game marketing campaign. Situations like this might make companies hesitate before launching an influencer campaign, but I have a couple of suggestions for ensuring success.
1. Work with a Reputable Agency
When signing on with an agency, ask to see a copy of its policies and procedures on disclosures. Reputable agencies are well-versed on disclosures and FTC regulations. They have the knowledge and infrastructure in place to ensure influencer campaigns are successful (and legal!). But If you choose to manage your influencer marketing program in-house the following suggestions might help.
2. Provide Clear Expectations
When starting a campaign, I encourage businesses to be very clear about what they expect from influencers. Do you want the influencer to create a recipe using your product? Should they review your product? Be very upfront about what you are wanting. Be detailed in what you are looking for, but it's important to trust your influencers.
3. Set Guardrails
I can't stress this enough: Don't provide the exact posts you want your influencers to share. We've all seen celebrities get roasted in the media for copying and pasting specific messages from brands. That's embarrassing and incredibly inauthentic. Establish guardrails with influencers. Provide information about your product or company, but trust the influencer to create the content. This will resonate better with their followers, which leads to more engagement.
4. Be Aware of FTC Regulations
When the FTC first introduced regulations for influencers, each post written about a product or company had to feature #spon or #ad. The FTC now states influencers can create their own disclosure statement, as long as it clarifies the relationship between the influencer and the brand.
Stephanie McCratic is the founder of Acorn: The Influence Company, an influencer marketing agency that has created successful campaigns for Johnson & Johnson, SC Johnson, Kimberly Clark, Walmart and many more.
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SOURCE Acorn: The Influence Company