What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing whereby individuals and organisation with large social media following are used for the endorsement of products.
Influencers usually have a particular following within the area being promoted and may be known as an expert in their respective fields.
Generally this type of marketing would be seen on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram but it can be applied to all types of platform.
This type of marketing is increasingly popular and some of the largest brands in the world have adopted this approach in recent time. How though, do you manage the risks associated with effectively handing over the promotion of your brand to a third party in this way.
What can go wrong?
When an Influencer makes a post online it can be seen usually by hundreds of thousands if not millions of people. If therefore they use your band in a way that has negative connotations, is misleading or even shows your product in the wrong way, it can have devastating effects on your brand and ultimately your business.
Equally, if the Influencer themselves is not the right person for you to associate to your brand, irreparable damage could be caused.
What should you do before proceedings?
Is the influencer the most appropriate brand representative for your business, product or service?
Have they ever promoted a brand which is either competing against yours or even worse, has the opposite values to yours. If they have previously promoted brands which conflict with your brand, it can be difficult for their follows to buy into their new association with you. If that is the case, it is unlikely that the marketing with have the desired effect.
What is their usual online presence? It’s also not uncommon for historic offensive or embarrassing social media posts to come back to haunt influencers and the brands that they are supporting at the time. You do not want the reputation of the Influencer to tarnish your brand if they are promoting your brand at the same time as perhaps having a public debate online.
Carrying out a reasonable level of due diligence before you consider starting any promotion is key.
Disputes are commonplace in business. Many disputes arise from mismatched expectations, misunderstandings or from parties not understanding what is required from them at the outset.
Having a formal contract in place is the best way to avoid the likelihood of disputes arising or resolving them quickly if they do.
Putting a contract can be an inexpensive step to take but it will make clear all of the parties respective boundaries, responsibilities and roles. It can then also be used and relied upon if things go wrong.
The contract can also clearly set down the rules of how your products & services are to be promoted, including:
- who is responsible for content creation
- how the brand is shown and where
- when the posts will be made and how regularly
- what must not appear within posts e.g. offensive language
- agreement to follow the relevant advertising regulations, including the CAP Code, enforced by Advertising Standards Agency.
Whenever possible the contract should be entered into before a promotion starts but it can be entered into at any time and would then govern all further promotion moving forward.
Influencer marketing is a great way to promote your brand.
It is however also potentially dangerous and if your brand is handled incorrectly, irreparable damage could be caused.
Doing your research on the intended influencer is the foundation stone of getting it right, before then seeking legal support to ensure that a suitable contract is in place to ensure the promotion goes smoothly.
At Johnson and Boon we specialise in all types of marketing contracts including governing the relationship between influencers and the brands that they promote. Contact a member of our team for an informal discussion if you believe you need assistance.