The USA has one of the biggest market sizes in the world, and Influencer marketing is getting bigger and bigger every single day. The rise of influencer marketing comes along with some requirements for transparent relationships between brands, influencers, and consumers. Federal Trade Commission involves in the business to make it clear for consumers about which endorsement is real, and which is fake.
Transparency is the most important thing between an influencer and the audience. It helps building trust relationships with influencers, and consequently with the brand the influencer works with. This idea of transparency is supported with a survey report saying that: 94% of the marketers agree that “transparency and authenticity are key to influencer marketing success” and 92% agree that “working with influencers who have a natural brand affinity and shared ethics with the brand is critical.”
To avoid public misleading, FTC published a guideline called “Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers” to preserve the rights of all three parties involved.
Let’s check out the articles below.
What is required?
Influencers’ relationship with the brand should be all crystal clear to the followers. In cases where influencers have a “material connection” with the brand, meaning that influencers will not get paid for the endorsement but only helping a friend, the disclosure should be made. Either you promote or recommend a product, it should be mentioned again and again to the consumers. Influencers shouldn’t suppose that the relationship with them and the brand is already known. The social media laws of the States will apply even though influencers post from abroad as long as it affects American consumers. When a hyperlink is used, it needs to be near the main text to be visible. Besides, the style of the hyperlink should be consistent so that followers instantly know that it is an endorsement.
But how influencers should disclose?
- For written descriptions,
The disclosure should be totally comprehensible and visible. So, it should be placed within the endorsement itself. Consumers should see the disclosure without clicking “more”.
Thanks to Instagram’s updates according to the regulations of influencer marketing laws, it becomes easier to disclose in a visible way. For example, influencers can put “paid partnership with…” right below their username while posting something. It is visible, and it forces viewers to see the disclosure as soon as they see the post.
- For periperal contents,
The disclosure should be right over the picture and the content needs to have enough time for every view to see the disclosure. Affiliate linking is one of the most favored marketing way at the moment, and it means that every time a sale is made from the link, the influencer will earn commission. The font is required to be easy to read, and on an appropriate and contrasting background.
- For video contents,
The descriptions in the videos may not be visible enough for every viewer. So, the disclosure should be in the video. It is easier for disclosure to be noticed when made in both audio and video. The words should be understandable and slow paced. Also, the language should be appropriate considering the target audience.
- For live streams,
Disclosure should be mentioned repeatedly because some viewers may watch only a small part of the whole live stream.
It is both brands’ and influencers’ responsibility to make consumers see it. By using analytical tools and checking the posts regularly from different devices and browsers, the visibility should be brought under control.
What should influencers and brands avoid?
- Influencers can not mention about their experiences on a product they have not tried.
- When Influencers get paid to endorse a product and it turns out to be bad, they can not mislead the consumers saying it is excellent.
- If the product is not scientifically proofed to treat health condition, the influencers can not declare anything about it.
To conclude, we can say that there are “4 P’s in Disclosure”
- Placement: it is important to put disclosure on where the endorsement is.
- Proximity: Users need to see the disclosure without clicking “more” or scrolling down.
- Prominence: The font of the disclosure should be big and easily legible. Even though there is no necessity for graphics, it can be used to increase prominence.
- Presentation Order: The disclosure needs to be first thing to see before the consumers click into the production page.
Do you think these laws make sense? Do yo think more laws regarding influencer marketing in the USA should be enacted? Or do you think all these requirements are necessary? Let us know by commenting below and don’t forget to follow us on our socials!