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Save the Headache - Ensure FTC Compliant Influencer Marketing With These Tips

By Jessica Schimm

in Distribution, YouTube, Brand Safety/FTC

Posted April 3, 2017

Here are four ways influencer marketing is - surprisingly to some -  a great brand safe option in advertising for those who do it right.

Everyone is talking about brand safety on YouTube in light of recent events.

Some have suggested influencers might have a difficult time right now with brand deals, but we see it differently. Influencers and brands alike still have great opportunities to continue making authentic, brand safe content on Youtube.

4 Ways to Ensure Brand Safety With Influencer Marketing


1. Choose to partner with brand-safe influencer channels.

Having control of the channel your advertisement appears on is baked into the influencer marketing process from the start. In fact, this is the most important step in ensuring a successful influencer marketing campaign.  

Some influencer marketing companies, (like Reelio!), will review the brand’s goals and tone of voice to provide advertisers with recommended rosters of talent that would not only align with their brand, but also not be compromising in any way. This should include information about the influencer’s audience demographics, examples of the types of content they post and the reach of their channels. Additionally, marketers behind the most effective and safe campaigns will personally review the influencers’ data and tone of voice of the channels to confidently approve who they want to be talking about their brand.


2. Include brand safety requirements in the contract.

Once you’ve chosen a great influencer for your brand, the next step to ensure brand safety is to get the contract right. Influencer platforms should help you clearly spell out all of the requirements and expectations, so that the influencer knows exactly what they need to do, on what platform and what date.

Before signing a contract, ask yourself:

  • Have you addressed FTC compliance?
  • Have you stated explicitly that the link should be in the first sentence of the description - or above the fold? (if it matters to your brand)
  • Are you able to submit one round of edits before it goes live? (this will be different for different platforms, like Snapchat for example).
  • Have you included key points you want the influencer to cover?  (We don’t recommend providing influencers a script, but we do encourage brands to provide key talking points the influencer is required to include.)

While it can be a bit time consuming, including the right points in your contract is an incredibly important, which is why many advertisers work with Reelio to handle this important step for them.


3. Consider brand-safe ad placements.

Not many people know that advertisers can require that the influencers disable advertising for their video. Depending on the brand goals, this can be important to those who don’t want their message to get muddled along with other brands. Don’t be surprised however if an influencer requests a higher fee for this option.

Of course another great option is to enable ads, but using Google’s reserved media placements feature and to put the brand’s ads on the influencer’s channel and reinforce messaging.


4. Review the content for brand safety before it’s published.

You’ve approved the influencer and specified the contract. Now it’s time to approve the content that the influencer plans to publish.

Seeing what an influencer created with your brief and requirements can be a lot of fun, but thorough review is crucial to ensure the content is appropriate. This can be a time consuming process, so make sure you’ve set aside time for review or partnered with a company (like Reelio) that provides content review and approval as part of their package. This final key step will ensure the content is brand safe, engaging and authentic.

Anki Influencer Marketing Case Study

Anki: A Case Study in Influencer Marketing Brand Safety

As any marketer of kid-related products knows, it’s crucially important to take extra care with product messaging and ensure it complies with the FTC’s truth-in-advertising standards. 

Anki Cozmo  Anki's product Cozmo.

Anki, a toy and robotics company, is no exception. When they came to us wanting to reach as many people as possible, using consistent and compelling messaging over the course of a year, it was communicated that brand safety was of critical importance.

Reelio partnered Anki with numerous influencers to roll out this extensive campaign, resulting in multiple pieces of content that drove 19 million views
and 3x the standard average engagement rate for toy and gaming brands in influencer marketing.

Perhaps most notably though, was that the single biggest driver of content tied their messaging into hot political conversations, without risking any safety for the brand.

Reelio’s influencer marketing specialists and creative strategy team were able to produce over


Anki YouTube Video

Cooridor Digital's campaign integrating Anki's robot Cozmo.


50 pieces of content efficiently and effectively. Below is a breakdown of how we ensured brand safe talent, contracts and approvals.

Brand-Safe Talent: Reelio provided Anki with plenty of choices of brand-safe influencer channels that aligned perfectly with their target market and brand goals.

Brand-Safe Contracts: Reelio has designed contracts that keep both the brand’s and the influencer’s best interests at heart in order to ensure a seamless and productive process for both parties. Our contracts:

  1. Ensure that all FTC compliance is met before a video is posted live. (required in our influencer contracts).
  2. Allow brands the ability to have the sponsored content removed in a worst case scenario situation where an influencer has done something publicly that could be harmful or off-brand.
  3. Require content review before publication.

Brand-Safe Content Approvals: Reelio took a first pass at content approvals to catch anything the influencer might have missed, saving Anki an initial round of content review time, and then gives Anki the opportunity to review and approve every piece to also be sure that the influencers met their expectations and most of the time, greatly exceeded them in creativity.


Questions Marketers Can Ask to Ensure Brand Safety With Any Influencer Marketing Platform

No matter how you go about influencer marketing, make sure you’re working with people that have your concerns around brand safety in mind. This list of areas that marketers should be looking at to ensure brand safety on broader digital marketing efforts inspired us to create a list of our own areas marketers should ask about to ensure their influencer campaign is brand safe.

The Questions Marketers Should Be Asking Influencer Marketing Platforms to Ensure Brand Safety

  • Will we be able to approve brand content before it goes out?
  • Does this talent have a reputable track record?
  • Does this team have in-house expertise and data that their strategy was founded on?
  • How do I know I have the right influencer?
  • What are my protections if something happens to an influencer that I partnered with that is not brand safe?
  • Are you FTC compliant?

Reelio is able to answer these questions and more. We want to ensure the safest experience possible so you don’t have to say goodbye to your YouTube audience.

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