Your brand is the biggest asset you have to offer to your target audience.
Brand safety is a huge issue in influencer marketing – no matter the budget. You will want to ensure any messaging format is aligned at all times and not jeopardize how your brand is perceived.
While it seems impossible to maintain, you don’t need to work with many influencers before you start hearing “that shouldn’t have happened.”
Having defined brand guidelines will ensure influencers know what they can and cannot do while representing your brand.
Ways to Ensure Brand Safety in Influencer Marketing
Heard of the PDCA cycle?
- P – Plan
- D – Do
- C – Check
- A – Action
It’s a continuous process that can be applied to any system and process to improve efficiency, quality, and customer satisfaction.
Let’s implement the same model here to ensure brand safety in influencer marketing.
(PLAN) Develop a Plan
The first step towards brand safety in influencer marketing is to PLAN.
Don’t get caught up in the excitement of the campaign and forget to set goals that can be measured and evaluated.
Set goals that can be measured and evaluated, for example:
- Campaign timeline
- Campaign deliverables
- Campaign do’s and don’ts
A well-thought and researched campaign plan helps all your team members and the shortlisted influencers align towards the campaign goals.
(DO) Take Extra Care During Influencer Vetting
There’s no denying that influencer vetting can be a tricky process.
Several factors, from influencer following count to the business category, audience demographics, and more, come into play when vetting influencers.
Take a look at how in-depth data you require in vetting an influencer:
Make use of the below checklist before shortlisting influencers:
- Influencer’s category/niche
- Influencer demographics
- Past brand collaborations
- Quality of content
- Average engagement rate
- Fake follower testing
- Is influencer brand exclusivity required?
Carefully analyzing every factor during the vetting process is the key to finding the influencer who speaks your brand language.
(CHECK) Supervising the Content
It’s better and advisable to focus on the content created by the influencer and ensure every element sticks to your brand guidelines.
Your main focus can be around the following:
- The verbiage used in the video or the caption
- Hashtags allocated for the campaign
- The tone of the video (formal, witty, etc.)
If the influencer’s content is not up to your expectations, communicate the changes and get the revision done.
This step is crucial to ensure the influencer’s content adheres to your brand’s messaging. This ensures that your target audience isn’t confused about your brand’s offerings.
When said SUPERVISING, do not translate it to MICROMANAGING.
Micromanaging every step of the way would affect the influencer’s creativity (backfiring your campaign goals).
(ACTION) Make Guidelines and Contracts Your Friend
As the influencer marketing industry matures, legal and compliance regulations are also evolving.
A contract will put everything into black and white, clearly outlining while helping you avoid brand safety issues.
Laying down the clauses helps the partnership be transparent and risk-free. The contract usually includes the following information:
- Payment terms
- Length of the partnership
FTC guidelines demand every product endorsed by an influencer be declared as an ad.
Failing to follow this will result in compliance; hence the influencers must add the sponsored tag to their content. If not done, it’s the brand’s sole responsibility.
When any content that goes live have a member from your brand to ensure all the guidelines are followed
The risks involved in securing your brand image in an influencer campaign can be high, but they are often outweighed by the potential benefits.
When vetting influencers, it’s important to always look past the surface level.
Even a small mistake in the influencer campaign affects your brand. Hence it is vital to make data-driven decisions benefiting your brand’s value and ensure brand safety.