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Posted on February 26, 2017 by
Recently, we’ve explored a few topics around business reputation management and customer review acquisition. Now, we will look deeper into paid influencer marketing and sponsored content, yet another tactic for proactive reputation management.
At Roaring Pajamas, we believe that managing a business’ reputation proves a mission-critical task. As part of reputation management, we recommend proactively seeking customer reviews on online review sites to help drive increased awareness, interest and business. Influencer marketing is yet another way a business can proactively manage a reputation. Since paid influencer marketing and sponsored content effectively equate to advertising, a business must fully understand the legality around engaging with a blogger, social media influencer, media personality or even a celebrity for endorsement of products or services.
The FTC Endorsement Guides reigns supreme on all legal matters around sponsored content. The Guides reflects the truth in advertising law and are regularly updated to ensure currency with marketing tactics – particularly paid influencer marketing tactics such as sponsored posts on blogs and social media. The Guides indicate that people who receive compensation to promote or review a product should disclose that relationship clearly and conspicuously, stating:
“Endorsements must be honest and not misleading. An endorsement must reflect the honest opinion of the endorser and can’t be used to make a claim that the product’s marketer couldn’t legally make. In addition, the Guides say if there’s a connection between an endorser and the marketer that consumers would not expect and it would affect how consumers evaluate the endorsement, that connection should be disclosed.”
All very straightforward and understandable, but we wanted to get the inside scoop on best – and legal – practices directly from a real-life influencer. With the goal of creating guidelines for businesses looking to jump into the paid influencer marketing game, and to wade through the intricacies of disclosing paid or in-kind product or service reviews, we asked Adriele of StyleAssisted for her expert advice. Adriele, a style and beauty blogger, often works with brands on product reviews. We knew we could count on her to explain both the legal and ethical responsibilities a business must understand before delving into the world of sponsored content. And, in the vein of full transparency, Adriele shared her expertise with us and, in exchange, Roaring Pajamas will train her on key SEO tactics. (See how that works? Honest, upfront and a win-win!)
Adriele kindly explained to us her approach to sponsored content and influencer marketing, which ensures she remains both completely legal in the eyes of the FTC and authentic to her readers and followers. Across all StyleAssisted channels, Adriele
Trustworthiness and authenticity are character traits Adriele holds dear personally, but also professionally; readers and followers respond to someone they trust, someone on whom they can rely to tell them the honest truth. This not only allows her to sleep at night but is a bankable business policy for the StyleAssisted brand.
To put paid influencer marketing best practices into action, Adriele offers these insights:
Finally, Adriele also reminded us that the business is ultimately responsible for what a paid third party – blogger or otherwise – does and says on the business’ behalf. In fact, the FTC Guide make this point very clear in stating,
“Your company is ultimately responsible for what others do on your behalf.”
With Adriele’s insights and our own experience in initiating blog marketing campaigns for clients, we arrived at simple recommendations for a business to use when considering sponsored content. Influencer marketing allows a business to engage with new audiences, gain exposure and showcase products or services through the blogs, social media and other channels of an outside person. However, a business must be cognizant of the legal and ethical issues surrounding this practice. To that end, here are Roaring Pajamas’ three key guidelines for businesses that engage in paid influencer marketing:
At Roaring Pajamas, we firmly believe in proactive management of a business reputation and are proponents of using all available methods to achieve a positive and accurate characterization of a business in all forms of media. We encourage our clients to consider paid influencer marketing and content, and we even strategize and execute on these tactics for them. We always insist on transparency and truth in advertising and work hard to find influencers who appropriately reflect a brand and do so with utmost authenticity and integrity.
Do you have experience with influencer marketing? We’d love to hear your views and best practices!