WFIMA Recommended Guidelines
While consumers trust influencers more than traditional advertising, marketers have a responsibility to maintain trust between customers, influencer partners, and their brand. To help avoid brand safety issues in the realm of influencer marketing, marketers should employ the following industry best practices:
Select Influencers Thoroughly
Nobody understands the unique needs and nuances of a brand like those on the inside. Rather than defaulting to automated systems that attach influencers to an ad or campaign, brands are wise to handpick their influencers or work with agency experts who can identify the right influencers.
Use Influencer Marketing Whitelists
Brands can begin searching for potential partners on influencer marketing whitelists. Offering details about an influencer’s reputation and content, brands can find the insights they need to make more informed decisions around collaborations.
Review Content Carefully
While offering creative freedom to influencers has been a hallmark of the industry, businesses should still involve themselves in the content development process. Brand safety protocols, such as content review and approvals, will help ensure that no piece of content gets published unseen. Moreover, outlining a distribution plan for the content can help to avoid undesirable placement or incorrect timing of an ad or campaign.
Create A Crystal Clear Contract
A detailed influencer marketing contract should be created to ensure all negotiated elements of a campaign are outlined. Contracts should set expectations, define content ownership, list deliverables, and ultimately protect both parties. They also allow brands to terminate a partnership should an influencer no longer be a match for the brand.
Follow FTC Guidelines
Failure to properly disclose influencer sponsored content will land your brand in hot water with the FTC. Be sure to communicate with influencers and require them to comply with FTC guidelines across all social media marketing channels.
Expect The Unexpected
While it sounds cliche, brands need to prepare for the unknown. Influencer marketing comes with several benefits, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all formula with prescription outcomes. Some of the world’s largest brands have been negatively affected by unfortunate events and partnerships, so cover all the bases to lower your brand’s chance of falling victim to influencer controversy.
Work With An Agency
Brands looking to help mitigate brand safety risks can look to partner with a reputable influencer marketing agency. From providing access to whitelists, to designing, managing, and launching campaigns, to acting quickly if problems arise, a qualified agency can be a great ally in the quest to protect your brand.
Influencer marketing is a productive and exciting new marketing discipline that many brands are having success with. The winners are those who understand how to effectively utilize the discipline and integrate influencers’ following, content and advocacy into their brand’s marketing.