“Is that an ad?”: Increased Regulations and Disclosure in Influencer Marketing

Due to recent events and settlements, influencer marketing is in the headlines yet again and has resulted in the Federal Trade Commission taking a stronger stance with regard to disclosure of sponsored content.

This isn’t the first time that influencer marketing has been brought into question and scrutinized. However, increased regulation isn’t necessarily negative, but is rather symptomatic of influencer marketing’s rapid growth and relevance.

More people are becoming distrusting of traditional advertising and media and are moving toward digital and mobile platforms while at least 62% of brands in 2016 have activated some form of an influencer marketing campaign.

Evidently, as one medium dwindles, another takes its place and as a result, is more carefully watched.

Rest assured, when you and your brand are ready to invest in an influencer marketing campaign, you have to do it right to ensure both legal adherence and maximum effectiveness.

Regulations and restrictions are in a constant state of flux, such is the nature of digital and mobile advertising. Keeping up with these changes, along with contacting influencers, drafting up contracts, targeting demographics, building narratives, seamlessly integrating the campaign into your current marketing mix and a multitude of other things to consider can prove to be time consuming and quite frankly, hard to do.

That is why it is imperative to partner with an effective influencer marketing agency that fosters authentic relationships between brand, influencer and consumer in order to create engaging and trustworthy content while adhering to regulations. The key to influencer marketing is that influencers aren’t just faceless, disconnected celebrities but are real people, followed by their fans who trust them to give share their honest and valued opinions - sponsorships aside.

While the FTC’s guidelines only affect American brands and influencers, it’s difficult to forecast whether or not government agencies in other markets will follow suit. Though many in the industry worry about the FTC’s clampdown and the affects of increased disclosure, influencer marketing nonetheless remains one of the most disruptive and impactful vehicles of communication to consumers: one that is trusted, proven and effective.

There is nothing to worry about if there is nothing to hide; and we sure aren’t worried.

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Photo content attributed to: The Marketing Scope