Many marketers still aren’t aware of the rules. Don’t be one of them
Even after all that we’ve written about the FTC and influencer marketing, there are still brands and influencers who just aren’t doing it right.
Some simply aren’t aware of the rules or the consequences. Others think they’re above the law, under the radar, or too cool for school and are convinced they won’t get caught. Unfortunately, both groups are in danger.
If you think the FTC only watches big brands
The FTC is definitely monitoring for brazen brands who think they don’t have to abide by the rules of engagement. A recent study showed that 30% of influencers had been asked by a brand not to disclose the paid nature of their partnership. That’s a concerning number. The FTC is continuing their crackdowns on brands that aren’t following the right rules, so the people who think they’ll get away with it is shrinking. Influencer marketing is huge in Australia. They also monitor this form of advertising closely and are even issuing fines to both brands and influencers working on shady campaigns. The FTC has yet to level a fine against an influencer directly, but this might be a sign of things to come.
Even more compelling is the natural selection of sorts that happens when brands fail to require influencers to disclose. Whether or not a regulatory committee lays down the hammer, the undisclosed content just won’t bring the results you need. Audiences understand that they’re being duped and that the endorsement is not authentic. Influencer marketing’s success hinges on trust and when that trust is breached, whether, from a lack of disclosure of a clearly insincere post, you’ll see the exact opposite results that you’re hoping for.
If you’re just unsure of the rules
The FTC is not sympathetic to sob stories or pleas of ignorance, the same way that you’ll still get a speeding ticket if you claim you didn’t know what the speed limit was. That’s why it is so important to get your facts straight.
The study that revealed the percentage of brands trying to avoid disclosure also showed that there are plenty of marketers who are just unaware of the rules and how to implement them. In fact, there are more influencers that are aware of the rules than marketers. 60% of the influencer community polled said they understood the FTC guidelines for their content where only 11% of marketers felt the same way. On top of that, a majority of marketers (56%) said they were either not aware of or not familiar with FTC policy.
We’ve written about this confusion before and this likely won’t be the last time we write about it either. As more marketers jump into influencer marketing and more brands get busted, there will be more education needed. We empathize with the challenges brands encounter in an ever-evolving marketing landscape. We know it’s difficult enough to keep up with the current best practices, let alone the updates to the legal restrictions around marketing strategies. That’s why we have the SEEN blog where you can subscribe to regular updates to learn more about how to effectively promote your brand and the right ways to do it. We’re providing one such example here where we’ll update you on the FTC requirements and how your influencer marketing can stay up to snuff.
We’ve packaged everything you currently need to know about the FTC guidelines on influencer marketing in one simple ebook. Whether you think you won’t get in trouble or didn’t even know that you could, this ebook will guide you to safe and successful influencer marketing. Download the ebook to get a full layout of what needs to be included in each branded post and how to do it successfully!