Author: Sümeyye Olkun
Date of publication: 31.08.2023
In today's digital age, social media platforms have become powerful tools for brands to reach their target audiences. Influencer marketing is a strategy where brands partner with social media influencers to effectively promote their products or services. However, this marketing approach is subject to various rules and regulations to ensure transparency, authenticity, and fairness for both consumers and businesses.
Key Rules to Consider in Influencer Marketing
1. Disclosure and Transparency
The most important rule in influencer marketing and advertising is disclosure. This disclosure can be in the form of a hashtag such as #name, #affiliate, #partnership or #sponsored that clearly indicates that the post is an advertisement. Therefore, influencers must be transparent and disclose paid affiliates or sponsored content.
Moreover, it is essential to make the target audience realize that the content is promotional and not organic. This is because it holds significant importance to inform followers about such relationships. This practice ensures that recommendations remain sincere and genuine, ultimately amplifying the value of endorsements in the eyes of the audience.
2. Accurate and Honest Content
Influencers must provide honest and accurate information about the products or services they promote. This means that misleading or unfounded claims are strictly prohibited and may have legal consequences. For this reason, brands should encourage influencers to use products for themselves before approving them. This way, they make sure their reviews and recommendations are genuine. This is because the main difference between an influencer ad and a real-normal ad is based on this experience. Therefore, they should not market products that they have not yet experienced.
3. Compliance with Advertising Guidelines
Influencers must follow advertising guidelines set by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the relevant regulatory authorities in their home country. These guidelines provide specific guidelines and requirements for influencer marketing, including appropriate disclosure methods and content accuracy. So, ignoring these guidelines can result in fines and damage the reputation of both the influencer and the brand. Actually, sanctions often come in the form of large fines for non-compliance with advertising guidelines.
4. Protecting Minors
Influencers should be careful when promoting products or services that are unsuitable for minors. For example, alcohol, tobacco and other adult content should not be promoted to underage audiences. Brands and influencers must ensure that their campaigns comply with legal requirements regarding age restrictions and sensitive issues. So, it should be sensible to protect the young population from bad habits by being sensitive to public health.
5. Respect for Copyright and Intellectual Property
Influencers should respect copyright laws and refrain from using copyrighted material without appropriate permission. Actually, brands and influencers should obtain permission before using any third-party content in their campaigns to avoid legal issues. While the brand's marketing team usually controls and regulates these regulations, influencers should still question these conditions post-advertisement.
6. Data Privacy and Security
Influencers and brands should pay attention to data privacy and security when running influencer marketing campaigns. Collecting personal information from the masses requires consent and compliance with data protection laws. Also, influencers should be careful about sharing sensitive information on sponsored content. In any case, sharing is the legal obligation of every citizen in accordance with the law on the protection of personal data.
7. Ethical Behavior
Influencers must act ethically in all aspects of their work. This includes not engaging in deceptive practices such as buying fake followers or interacting to artificially increase their popularity. For instance, unethical ads driven solely by material gain can harm consumers, leading to both financial and moral repercussions, ultimately damaging the influencer's reputation. Authenticity and trust are vital in influencer marketing, and ethical behavior is essential to maintaining integrity with both its target audience and brand partners.
8. Brand Alignment
Influencers should carefully consider the brands they choose to work with and make sure they are aligned with their own values and beliefs. This is because promoting products or services that violate an influencer's policies can damage their reputation and credibility.
Influencer marketing transformed brand-audience connections, yet mandates adherence to rules for transparent, fair advertising. As an influencer, it is their own responsibility to recognize and comply with the Consent Guidelines.
This way, they oppose misleading advertisements, and make these statements. Through disclosure, honesty, adherence to guidelines, and ethical conduct, influencers can uphold credibility while creating engaging content.
In light of all this information, let’s briefly summarize the tips for a correct influencer advertising post:
What to do on influencer ads
● Be sure to include a statement that your work on the Influencer is commercial.
● Make sure this description is integrated with the content and is clearly visible within the post.
● Include your commercial description in each and all content.
● If you are doing video work, include the commercial description both visually and audibly.
What not to do on influencer ads
● Embedding the trade description in a set of tags.
● Putting the explanation in small fonts at the end of the content.
● Expressing the explanation in the profile or just implying it.
● Making it harder for readers to find the explanation.
What influencers should absolutely not do on their ads
● Giving messages that are not understood and open to interpretation. If you are doing advertising work for money with an Influencer, do not hide that it is commercial work, do not ask them to hide it.