Transparency is key for responsible influencer marketing, writes Simone Stevens, Senior Account Director.
Influencer marketing is something that many brands deem as an integral part of their integrated campaigns these days. So communications agencies need to ensure they are offering strategic, up-to-date consultancy when it comes to the rules and regulations around influence.
With this in mind it was troubling to hear that a recent UK survey by prize promotions agency Prizeology stated that 71% of the 2,000 respondents did not realise there were rules around the use of influencers in advertising. (1)
This flags that there is a knowledge gap, both among the public but also the influencers themselves. And there is certainly a need to educate on the rules of influencer engagement linked to advertising and working with brands.
The responsibility to educate lies with industry regulators, us as communications consultants, and the influencers themselves to be better informed.
The industry is working hard to put the right regulations in place but, as the influencer industry moves so quickly, it’s hard to ensure things do not fall through the net. For example the Advertising Standards Authority quite some time ago set out guidelines to highlight contracted paid for activity with brands and influencers, using hashtags such as #ad, or marking blog content as sponsored posts.
Individual social platforms are also taking good steps to ensure authenticity and transparency. Instagram has recently rolled out its ‘Paid for Partnership’ function that clearly highlights (as part of the header on an image) that the post is a partnership between influencer and brand.
With these refreshing moves within the industry, we as communications experts should be supporting this, ensuring our own offerings in the areas of influence are clear, transparent and authentic. We have a duty to be educating all partners involved, and setting a positive standard of excellence to the clients and influencers we work with.
If you are interested in learning more about how to work with influencers, or if you need some guidance on following regulations in this area then just drop me an email to find out more.