6th December, 2021 | Influencer_Marketing

9 Easy ways to ensure brand safety with your Influencer Marketing

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Danielle Lewis

Co-founder & CEO

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What is brand safety?

From a digital marketing point of view, brand safety is a set of actions designed to safeguard a brand from being associated with harmful, questionable or off-brand content when advertising online.

How does it impact Influencer Marketing?

In Influencer Marketing, there are millions of influencers, billions of pieces of content, consumer interactions and conversations and hundreds of thousands of brand collaborations going on at any given point in time.

Plus, Influencers aren’t exactly regulated or corporate professionals.

What could go wrong?

A. Lot.

Incorrect tagging of brands. Going live before a product is launched. Associating the brand with banned substances in photos. Swearing. Even just a poor quality photo.

No wonder marketers are asking the question, How do we ensure brand safety when running Influencer campaigns?

9 ways you can set your Influencer program up for brand safety

  1. Vet your influencers
  2. Create clear Influencer briefs
  3. Have your Influencers sign a contract
  4. Mandate content approval before posting
  5. Educate yourself on advertising guidelines
  6. Plan for hiccups
  7. Consider exclusivity
  8. Check for fake followers
  9. Give yourself time

1. Vet your influencers

OK seriously, it’s 2021, you have data at your fingertips. If you’re not already vetting your Influencers using some kind of platform then I’m crying right now. Even if it’s not Scrunch, just use SOMETHING!

Influencer tools have everything you need to vet an Influencer.

  • Followers
  • Engagement count
  • Engagement rate
  • Content snapshots
  • Audience data
  • Audience age
  • Audience gender
  • Audience locations
  • Audience interests

Some will even calculate the likelihood of the Influencers having fake followers.

By ensuring that the Influencers you are working with have the correct audience that you want to target, you will not only ensure you marketing dollar goes further, but you are one step closer to brand safety knowing that the right audience will be seeing your message.

2. Create clear Influencer briefs

Setting clear expectations early works just as well with influencers as it does with boys 😉 But seriously, the more information and guidance you give an Influencer, while still giving them the space to be creative… the better!

If there are must do’s and must don’ts then you need to be clear on that BEFORE the Influencer starts creating content.

They are not mind readers.

Trust me, the more detailed and clear you can be, the more you will save your own sanity throughout a campaign.

Read more about the 18 things we include in our Influencer brief here.

3. Have your Influencers sign a contract

You might feel uncomfortable about having your Influencers sign a contract to work on your campaign. But set that aside.

This is a commercial transaction between two businesses. So should be documented as such.

If something DOES go wrong, then this is the document you can fall back on to get out of trouble.

4. Mandate content approval before posting

Most professional Influencers will already be used to sending their content through to you before they post it. But just in case, you should make sure you are clear with the Influencers that this must be done before they get started creating content. It’s the perfect item to add to their Influencer brief.

That way, if there is anything that they might have even innocently missed, you can pick it up and make sure it’s corrected before it gets out into the world.

5. Educate yourself on advertising guidelines

Every country has different guidelines and governing bodies when it comes to Influencer Marketing. But they are all variations of the same. If you have any Influence (pardon the pun!) over an Influencer’s content then it is considered an ad and must be identified as such.

Read up on the guidelines here:

6. Plan for hiccups

As organised as you might think you are, you have to remember that you are working with individuals. Some (most) who run their business of Influence on the side to their full time job.

So expect the unexpected.

  • Someone won’t read their brief.
  • Someone will send through off-brief content.
  • Someone will post without approval.

The best strategy is to have a plan in place to deal with issues as they arise.

  • Have one of your team following all influencers on your campaign to monitor their posting.
  • Be prepared to push back and ask your Influencer to reshoot or tweak their content.
  • Be prepared to ask an Influencer to take down their content.
  • Be prepared to remove an Influencer from a campaign, if it gets to that.

Remember, you are the one in control and it’s your marketing budget. You have briefs and contracts in place to fall back on when issues arise. Stay calm and be a boss.

7. Consider exclusivity

It’s no secret that Influencers make their money off product endorsements. The ‘sponsored post’ is still one of their most popular income stream. So it goes without saying that they might be keen on doing as many as possible if they want to increase their revenue.

If your product is particularly sensitive around competitors or conflicting industries, then adding in an exclusivity clause into their contract can be a great way to combat any conflicting posts going live for a certain period before and after your post.

Just be prepared to pay a premium for limiting their access to other revenue sources.

8. Check for fake followers

If an Influencer has fake followers then not only are you paying too much for their reach, but they might also be more likely to be problematic in other areas.

The key markers of fake followers are:

  • A low engagement rate
  • Followers in obscure locations in relation to where the influencer is located
  • Followers who don’t have a profile picture
  • Followers who’s names are a random combination of letters and numbers

It only takes a few seconds to find 1 + 2 on a platform like Scrunch. And 3 + 4 is a quick scan of who is following them on their social platform.

A very worthy investment of your time!

9. Give yourself time

Finally, give yourself the time you need to prepare for your Influencer campaign. We have so many brands ask us ‘how quickly can we turn this around’ and sure you can get Influencer posts live in days, but if you really want to back Influencer Marketing as a strategy then take the time to plan, assess the data, get your briefs and contracts in order and build relationships with the Influencers you plan to work with over time.

So did I scare you off Influencer Marketing for life? I hope not! Remember, we put these items in place as risk management, issues don’t necessarily happen, and when you plan ahead they are more likely NOT to happen.

Happy Influencer Marketing!

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