Playing catch up on Influencer Marketing

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Maria Casas, Head of Content at Ikon Group Sydney, takes a look at the AANA new influencer marketing guidelines.

The Australian Association of National Advertisers has now set Influencer Marketing guidelines that help distinguish advertising and paid plugs by influencers from other content, effective March 1st 2017.

It’s another move by the industry to self regulate ahead of increasing pressure from savvy consumers who are growing tired of attempts from both brands and influencers to pull the wool over their eyes.

With the rapid rise of the “influencer” it’s no surprise that legislation is just starting to be defined, and although it’s great to see the AANA start to take some first steps, we are far from reaching clear and concise laws that would be realistically enforceable.

The language used throughout the clause is quite lenient and vague, using phrases such as “brands should take care” or “there is no absolute requirement”

The hope is that the guidelines will further bring the issue into the spotlight and move influencer marketing out of the shadows and into a legitimate space with better quality standards.

Both brands and influencers will be called on by their empowered followers to take responsibility and be transparent in their communications.

The important thing to remember is what us “content folk” have been going on about for ages when it comes to influencer marketing: be authentic and relevant.

Brands should choose influencers that align with their brand and aren’t simply talking heads used for financial gain alone. On the flip side influencers should not partner with brands they don’t genuinely believe in.

Brands should have really tight strategic briefs that outline who they engage and what their desired outcome is, whilst allowing influencers to remain true to their own voice and style with enough creative freedom to make it their own.

Only then, whether the consumer knows in a subtle way or it’s stamped in the middle of the content piece, IT WON’T REALLY MATTER that a brand is behind it.

If the output is content that provides value, rings true and is relevant to an already engaged audience, both the brand and the influencer will most likely see it is well received by their audience.

And if in doubt, chat to experts like us.  #ad #bluntad #Ikon (see, it’s easy)