Last Wednesday the Viral Seeding team attended PR Week’s Breakfast Briefing on Influencer Marketing. Held in the Regent Street cinema the morning delivered excellent guidance on how to avoid some of the common pitfalls of influencer marketing, three examples of exceptional influencer led campaigns and some rather delicious breakfast pastries. But what did we learn?

Over 100,000 recognised influencers worldwide didn’t realise they had to disclose brand ads

This statistic alone is proof that confusion over the rules and regulations of influencer marketing are rife within the industry. Responsibility for the correct disclosure of ads lies primarily with the brand so it is important to ensure you’re working with influencers who know to disclose correctly for the sake of the content and your relationship with the client.

The ASA considers an ad an ad if payment has been made (either money or if the value of the item itself is costly) and the control of the message sits with the brand

If either one of these elements isn’t present in your agreement with the influencer then the content is not considered to be an ad by the ASA and thus would not need to be labelled as one. However, the ASA consider incorrect disclosure on a case by case basis so if you’re not sure it is always best to err on the side of caution.

Other hashtags, such as #spon, are not clear enough, influencers should always use #Ad 

It’s worth checking the content created by influencers you’re working with to ensure #Ad is included within their content and subsequent social sharing. Incorrect tagging occurs often and the most prolific platform for this is Instagram.

If influencers talk about your product outside of the originally agreed content, it is best to disclose this also

Say you’re working with an influencer to produce one Instagram post promoting your product and they deliver a brilliant photograph with lots of engagement. However, they then decide to include that product in another shot a few weeks later, although this is outside the originally agreed ‘one Instagram post’ it is best they also declare this post as an #Ad to ensure their followers are aware of the previous agreement.

Influencer marketing is about influencing people, not views or reach

Okay, so we knew this one already but it’s our favourite take away from the day. Influencer marketing isn’t about how many followers your chosen influencer(s) have or how many people engage with their content, it’s about how the content influencers people’s behaviour – that is what makes an excellent influencer led campaign.