Authenticity is the new black
In the social media marketplace, creators are influenced by two separate yet equally important groups: the followers—who drive their social status; and the brands—who they represent.
Creators have the power to decide what brands they want to work with and how they want to showcase them. Misleading advertisements for products that are pushed upon us through the media’s view of who or what is the most beautiful is a way of the past.
Companies, brands, and creators are quickly adapting and recognizing that people don’t want fake news, fake advertisements, or fake posts. They don’t want to be tricked into buying something either. They want authenticity, attainability, and the chance to learn or better themselves through social influence.
Providing full disclosure of a #sponsored post is equally beneficial for the creator, the brand, and the follower, but for a variety of reasons:
FOR THE CREATORS:
Aligning yourself with brands that are paying you is a great way to give yourself social clout and credibility. People want to feel a level of trust in what you’re posting about and aligning with a big name or recognizable brand will help build that foundation for you.
FOR THE MARKETERS:
It makes your brand attainable and realistic for the consumer (follower). Seeing your brand associated with a creator who is giving off the right message will inspire them to use, wear, or eat your brand as well. A lot of people need to see someone else doing it before they will follow, especially when it’s someone they trust. Another way to look at it is: you are supporting the creator—that their audience actively follows and turns to for inspiration and advice—with your brand’s endorsement. That’s a great way to create a touchpoint between your brand and your target audience.
FOR THE CREATOR’S COMMUNITY:
It provides a level of transparency—allowing you to see that it is a paid post and know that the creator has a commercial relationship with the brand.
It’s the Law
In addition to the benefits listed above for each party, is the simple fact that it is the law. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US, Ad Standards (Canada’s advertising regulatory body), the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the UK, and the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) in Australia all have rules and regulations outlining the requirements for mandatory disclosures. One general guideline— including #sponsored, #partner, #paid, or #ad clearly on your post when it’s a paid promotion. Click here to learn more about Ad Standards’ guidelines in Canada.
Ultimately, it is the audience’s choice to follow and be influenced by the creators they follow. This makes who you align yourself with—and what brands you place on your page—very important. We are living in a world where people want to see relevant and relatable content. There is no point in having a voice if just anyone can pay for it.
Are you a brand that is looking to expand your audience and test new waters in influencer marketing? Let’s work together!
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