Before you roll out influencer marketing on any platform, hold your brand (and yourself) accountable for doing it correctly. This includes FTC compliance. Your goal with influencer marketing should always be to improve the user experience for consumers and to establish an authentic connection with your brand.

FTC Compliance: Everything You Need to Know to Be Authentic

A recent influencer marketing study from Altimeter found marketers and influencers both agree authenticity is the most powerful aspect of influencer marketing. The takeaway? Never attempt to use influencers to conceal the promotional nature of your messages.

Your consumers are more savvy and observant than you might think. They deserve to know when they are being marketed to and don’t mind sponsored content, as long as that content is relevant to them.

FTC Compliance: The Details

Earlier this week, we talked about the FTC’s warning that sponsored content must be “honest and not misleading.” In December of 2015, the FTC further clarified this, issuing a statement calling out deceptive ads. These include:

  • Advertisements that appear in “news format” or otherwise misrepresent their source or nature (e.g., an advertisement formatted to appear as a regular search result without disclosing the paid nature of the advertisement).
  • Advertisements with misleading “open doors” (e.g., an email that misleads the recipient as to the source or content of the email).
  • Deceptive endorsements that do not disclose a sponsoring advertiser (e.g., reviews in an app store that are posted by employees of a public relations firm hired by the app developer).

FTC Compliance: How to Disclose

Always be sure to clearly disclose native advertisements of any kind, so that consumers will understand the motive behind the messages. Officially, disclosures must be made:

  • In clear and unambiguous language
  • As close as possible to the native ads to which they relate
  • In a font and color that’s easy to read
  • In a shade that stands out against the background
  • For video ads, on the screen long enough to be noticed, read, and understood
  • For audio disclosures, read at a cadence that’s easy for consumers to follow and in words consumers will understand