IAB Seeks to Influence Marketers, Publishers With Influencer Guidance

Advertising Law

Need help with influencer marketing? The Interactive Advertising Bureau has published a new guide that publishers and marketers can use to maximize their influencer marketing programs.

Created by the IAB’s Social Media/Native/Content Committee, “Inside Influence: Why Publishers are Increasingly Turning to Influencer Marketing—and What That Means for Marketers” defines “influencers” as “those who are deemed to have the potential to create engagement, drive conversation and/or sell products/services with the intended target audience.”

The key steps for marketers: Gain an understanding of how publishers identify influencers (such as the criteria for their selection and whether the marketer can review or approve the influencers in advance), ask questions about cost and execution of the campaign (Is the incremental cost of the influencer program part of the branded content package? How much control will the brand have over the creative?), and what analytic tools will be within the publisher’s control.

To assess the return on an investment, the guide advises the marketer to consider the metrics related to reach, engagement and conversion.

The IAB also emphasized the need for disclosures, and encouraged the marketers to review the Federal Trade Commission’s Endorsement Guides and FAQ from last year. The agency cautioned that publishers and marketers can’t assume that followers are aware of all brand relationships or that ambiguous disclosures on social media platforms such as “#thanks” or “#spon” are sufficient.

Building on the FTC’s “4Ps of Full Disclosure”—Prominence, Presentation, Placement and Proximity—the IAB recommends clear disclosures when a brand has financial or family relationships with an influencer to ensure that the sponsorship disclosure is hard to miss, that sponsored tags (including tags in pictures) are treated like any other endorsements, and that disclosures are superimposed over the images on image-only platforms such as Snapchat.

The guide also includes case studies of influencer marketing.

For example, Disney Digital Network teamed with Kohl’s to increase awareness and affinity for Kohl’s new Jennifer Lopez Collection. Three top social media influencers with complete backstage access and front-row seating were sent to Las Vegas to see J.Lo in her “All I Have” show. The influencers—who also got to hang out in the wardrobe rooms and with J.Lo herself—posted images from their Las Vegas weekend on social media that reached 9.6 million Instagram users and 9.9 million Snapchat users, and created 215,000 social engagements.

To read the IAB guide, click here.

Why it matters: Publishers and marketers are increasingly turning to influencer marketing to reach potential customers “in more native ways to be as credible and relevant with their desired audiences as possible,” the IAB explained. The guide offers tips and ideas for both publishers and marketers. It emphasizes the importance of disclosures and provides influencer marketing case studies for illustration purposes.



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