#Sponsored – How to work effectively (and legally) with Influencers
If you’re a human with an Instagram account, you’ve most likely heard of social media influencers. Characterised by their large followings (and sometimes a blue tick), influencers have engaged audiences who are interested in them, their lives and the content they share.
Whilst some influencers are TV stars, sportspeople or media personalities, a large percentage of them are also everyday people who have built up a community of fans over time.
Influencer marketing is now a key focus of most company’s advertising spend budget. Approximately $10 billion USD is tipped to be spent on influencer marketing collaborations in 2020.
Partnering with the right influencer at the right time can catapult a brand from obscurity to the masses, but as the industry grows, so too do the regulations and legal requirements surrounding it.
Released just this year, the Australian Influencer Marketing Council (AIMCO) has put together an industry code of practice, aimed at formalising influencer marketing processes for both brands and influencers.
The Code of Practice is split into the following categories:
Influencer Selection, Advertising Disclosure, The Brief of Contract and Metrics and Reporting.
A thorough vetting process must occur when selecting influencers to work with.
- The influencer must have an ABN for tax purposes
- The influencer must have a business profile on Facebook / Instagram.
- The influencer must not have suspicious activity on their profile which would mislead a brand to think that their engagement is higher than it is. (This could include the buying of ‘fake’ followers or bots that engage with their posts)
Milkbar Tip: Ask to see the influencers ‘insights’ (available on Instagram) and take a look to see if their target market aligns with your brand. e.g a female focused brand collaborating with an influencer whose audience is 60% male would likely not be successful.
One of the largest impacts of the code is the clear guidelines that outline when, and how influencers must disclose their partnerships.
- Influencers must disclose when working with a brand, whether it be for in exchange of product or paid. This is a legal requirement of Australian Consumer Law.
- #Ad or #Sponsored must be used if there is a contracted engagement and set deliverables in place. This must be clearly stated in all posts, videos and stories that discuss the product or service. This applies to collaborations where both payment is being made OR product is provided in lieu of payment.
- #FreeGift is the recommended disclosure when posting about a product or service that was provided free of charge (but with no contracted engagement).
- Influencers or brands are welcome to use additional hashtags such as #Collab or #Ambassador but these aren’t to replace #Ad or #Sponsored.
Milkbar Tip: If possible, the influencer should make use of the ‘Branded Content’ tool on Instagram which not only adds another level of disclosure, but also allows the brand to view the insights of the content in real time.
The Brief or Contract
A comprehensive brief and a contract is required for all influencer collaborations.
- The contract must outline deliverables, a time frame for set deliverables, remuneration and any specific brand guidelines the influencer must follow.
- In this stage, the brand must disclose how they plan to use the content created by the influencer and clearly state the planned usage/ownership rights.
- The review and feedback process must also be communicated.
- Does remuneration include GST or Agency Services fee, if applicable?
Milkbar Tip: Have everything in writing! This allows both parties to be across the expectations of the collaboration.
Metrics and Reporting
When reporting on the success of an influencer collaboration, the following metrics are considered important.
- Audience / Follower growth
- Campaign Impressions / Video Views
- Overall Reach
- Specific demographic data
- Website Visits / Sales (if tracked through a tracking link or via a unique discount code)
Milkbar Tip: Set up a tracking link for the Influencer to use on their Instagram stories. Learn more about tracking the success of Influencer collaborations here.
AIMCO’s new code of practice has brought some much-needed structure to influencer marketing and is helping both brands and influencers get the best out of their campaigns. Get acquainted with the full guidelines here.
Whether your brand wants to run a gifting campaign or engage multiple large influencers to create sponsored content, Milkbar is here to help with the ins and outs of the ever-changing influencer landscape! Get in touch with us here.
Allison is a Social Media Manager at Milkbar Digital. She loves writing copy, brainstorming new ideas and arranging scroll-worthy feeds. When she’s not hard at work you can find her with a burrito in hand, hanging out with her greyhound Kimchi.
If you’re looking to make influencer marketing a part of your social media strategy, Milkbar Digital is here to help! If you need help with your social media or don’t know where to begin, get in touch!