Influencer Disclosure: Why Influencers Need to Tell Followers They’re Being Paid

In the age of social media marketing, brand deals, and Instagram influencers – more and more companies are turning to these options for promoting their latest and greatest. While this route has had huge success for some, for others it has led to some serious backlash (Fyre Festival, anyone?). 

Thanks to its growth in popularity and effectiveness, influencer marketing gained the attention of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2017. The FTC has provided an “endorsement guide” to companies and influencers to disclose brand relationships to the public. They can disclose this information by using the hashtag #ad on social media posts or share their paid promotion/partnership info online.  

While initially most companies and brands pushed back on the idea, once brands and influencers moved towards disclosing this information, it prompted an attitude change among consumers. According to the Harvard Business Review, “The likelihood of viewing a brand positively following an influencer’s recommendation was roughly the same whether or not a relationship between the brand and the influencer had been disclosed.” 

Why Your Influencers Should Disclose

So why exactly should your influencers disclose their brand partnerships? Not only is it best practice, but it also enhances authenticity and trustworthiness. Followers and potential customers are much more likely to buy into a new idea or product if they trust the person referring them to the item. 

With that level of trust on the side of the influencer and your brand, customers are more likely to become loyal buyers and continue to come back for more. 

Why Authenticity Matters in Influencer Marketing

With Instagram filters and Facetune taking the forefront of social media, authenticity provides a breath of fresh air online. Authenticity helps with continuing and increasing the level of trust your influencers’ followers will feel and experience. 

Thanks to those positive emotions and level of trust, followers will continue to buy in and purchase the influencer’s favorite items and promoted products. 

Authenticity is a straightforward way for your influencer and their audience to connect together! 

The Data Behind the Disclosure

If you aren’t already a believer in the benefits of influencer disclosure, the data will speak to you. The Harvard Business Review did an extended study on the relationship to influencer disclosure and purchase intentions. 

They found “that in any particular year, disclosure makes almost no difference to the impact of the influencer’s recommendation on the purchase decision.” That means that having sponsored content doesn’t prevent an influencer from connecting to their audiences–and doesn’t prevent those audiences from buying. This is likely because influencers’ recommendations have become an important part in purchase decisions in the market. 

Another thing to consider with the data is that “disclosure may actually have reinforced the importance of influencers in purchase decisions.” So all in all, influencer disclosure has become a positive addition to influencer marketing and should certainly be used within your influencer partnership. 

Be Seen as an Honest Brand

Influencer disclosure ultimately looks good on the brand. Being seen as an honest company leads to trust and loyalty, which leads to consumer dollars. The best type of customer is a loyal customer. 

While influencer marketing and brand partnerships are a great way to reach an audience that you might otherwise not connect with before, incorporating influencer disclosure into your campaign can keep them coming back with each new product and launch.
Want to learn the best ways to keep track of your influencer marketing campaigns? Use Sideqik to have everything in one place.

Nancy Rothman

Nancy Rothman

Nancy is a passionate, results-driven marketing executive with more than a decade of experience in building robust integrated marketing programs for brands of all sizes, with specific expertise in the martech space. Prior to Sideqik, Nancy held roles at four successful martech startups, each of which received multiple series of fundraising and included two acquisitions. At CallRail, specifically, Nancy served as the director of marketing where she built the company’s brand and established it as a leader in its space. She also held roles at MeetEdgar, where she oversaw the entire sales and marketing practice, increasing the company's user base and annual recurring revenue, as well as PureCars, which was acquired by Raycom Media in 2015. As vice president of marketing for Sideqik, Nancy is responsible for developing and executing on the company's marketing strategy to drive overall business growth.

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