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Keep it Legal: The Crackdown on Paying Influencers

Apr 13, 2016

Influencer marketing shouldn’t be confusing. It’s a simple concept: engage with influential experts that captivate the people you want to reach. Engage with them authentically and often. Eventually they may start to love you. But pay for that love? That’s called an endorsement…and it’s not fooling anyone.

If you’ve been following the latest headlines, then you know the FTC has cracked down on companies that disguise paid endorsements as authentic influencer content. Besides the fact that its illegal, failure to disclose a paid influencer's post is a bad idea for your brand.

When an influencer fails to disclose their content as sponsored they are deceiving their community. Even worse, they’re putting the trust they’ve worked so hard to build in jeopardy. A proper influencer marketing strategy leads to long-term relationships that are based on something real, such as an authentic connection .

Check out Kerry Gorgone’s take on the subject, published earlier this month on Mark Schaefer’s blog, {grow}. Even though the FTC updated its guidelines more than three years ago, it looks like brands are finally starting to pay attention. Gorgone’s advice? Insist on full disclosure from influencers. Create a formal brand ambassador program, focus on engagement, stay edgy—and above all, keep it legal.