4 Tips For Brands Who Want To Do Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing can deliver content to consumers faster and more effectively than most paid advertising campaigns. That’s because influencers have the power to reach a large, targeted audience who trust the influencer to deliver relevant content.

Doing an influencer activation campaign is a strategy that, if done right, can bring great rewards to a brand. But recent high profile charges against brands by the FTC have highlighted the risks associated with poorly executed influencer marketing.

Whether your brand is just starting out or has been doing influencer marketing for years, these tips will act as a checklist for ensuring a successful, and law abiding campaign, every time.

1. Work With A Reputable FTC Compliant Influencer Agency

Brands are sometimes on the fence about hiring an agency to handle their influencer campaigns. They believe that they can build an internal influencer network and do it themselves. But this option is time consuming, expensive, and could lead a brand into muddy legal waters.

Rather than reinventing the wheel brands should hire a reputable influencer agency that has experience:

  • Running campaigns for big brands
  • Finding quality influencers
  • Measuring campaign progress with metrics
  • Delivering actionable results
  • Maintaining influencer relationships
  • Keeping up with FTC regulations
Pro Tip: 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.

2. Provide Clear Campaign Expectations

Campaigns that run smoothly are always well planned. From the first touch point a brand should be very clear in outlining the needs from influencers and the agency. Do you want the influencers to publish recipes? Share photos of themselves using your product?

Maintain regular conversations with the campaign manager to align messaging and goals.

Make sure you’re explicit in the kind of metrics you’re wanting to generate from the campaign – reach (impressions), engagement (clicks, likes, comments) or some other measurement.

3. Respect Influencer Professionalism

Although an influencer agency like Acorn controls the messaging it is best to give the creative freedom to influencers so they can do what they do best.

Good influencer agencies don’t acquire influencers based entirely on follower count. They vet them for quality, professionalism and reliability.

It’s a good rule of thumb to remember that influencers got their audience by proving themselves to be worth following. Their reputation is also at stake if they don’t deliver content that their audience enjoys.

4. Educate Yourself On Native Advertising Guidelines

Even if you use an influencer agency make sure your brand is aware of the FTC native advertising guidelines.

First, Lord & Taylor settled charges laid against them by the FTC, after they deceived customers protected under the new native advertising guidelines.

Then earlier this month Warner Brothers was also charged because it failed to tell consumers, “clearly and conspicuously”, that the social media content influencers had published was sponsored by WB.

When the FTC first introduced regulations for influencers, each publication written about a product or company had to feature the hashtags #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.