Influencer marketing is absolutely everywhere. Whether you hire a celebrity to take a photo with your product, a blogger to use it in a recipe, or simply offer a percentage of the sale price to anyone with a social media account, it’s a power way to spread the word about what you’ve got to offer. There are FTC influencer guidelines, however, that govern how the relationship is conveyed to others.
Ideally it’s done with an authentic voice and truthful statements, both about the product/service and disclosures about compensation. That hasn’t always been the case, though. Recently the FTC requirements regarding those disclosures were enhanced to tighten the reigns on influencers, essentially, misleading consumers in this space.
If an influencer is compensated in any way, it must be disclosed, regardless of the content format. The FTC aims to keep messaging honest and has published Endorsement Guides, which include specific rules for social media. In the fast-changing world of digital, it’s critical to stay up-to-date on the FTC influencer guidelines. Here are a few things you may need to disclose when leveraging an influencer opportunity:
- Sponsored content – influencers must disclose if they are being compensated in any way for their content, in all formats.
- Contests – users must use #sweepstakes or #contest in posts if they are posting as part of a contest.
- Client relationships – it must be disclosed if a post is shared by someone who works for or with the company in any way.
As a brand, it’s your responsibility to review the most recent FTC influencer guidelines and have any influencer you work with to formally agree to them. As an influencer, it’s your responsibility to full review the latest FTC guidelines, review the requirements set forth for you by the brand, and provide 100% compliance. Brands, if an influencer does not operate within your formal agreement, terminate the relationship. Influencers, if a brand asks you to operate outside of the FTC regulations, terminate the relationship.