• Mikala Marquis

5 Strategies to Guarantee Brand Safety for Your Influencer Campaign

Brand safety is always a concern when partnering with someone outside your company to promote your brand. Influencers are an amazing way to connect with viewers more authentically than paid ads, but they also have the potential to produce content that may not reflect positively on your brand.

That’s why brand safety strategies are critical for ensuring that your company is protected from any negative actions or reputational risk associated with the influencers you engage. Let’s look at five important safeguards to deliver influencer marketing brand safety.

Key Takeaways

  • Brand safety is an important consideration when working with influencers.

  • You can prevent serious harm to your brand by properly screening influencers and proactively reviewing their content before posting.

  • You should thoroughly research influencers to understand their values, behavior, and past track record before partnering with them.

  • Make sure to protect yourself by signing a detailed contract with your influencers.

Influencer Marketing Risks for Your Brand

Influencer marketing gives a great deal of power to a content creator to promote your brand, which can be an effective way to reach your target audience and increase your sales. That said, it also requires you to relinquish a level of control.

More than two-thirds of marketers say they’ve dealt with brand safety issues. Here are a few examples of potential risks that come with influencer marketing:

  • Your brand could be promoted within or alongside inappropriate content

  • An influencer produces other offensive content on their social accounts

  • An influencer promotes your product in a harmful or misleading way

  • An influencer doesn’t follow FTC guidelines or other influencer marketing regulations

  • An influencer posts conflicting content, such as promotions for your competitor’s products

5 Ways to Ensure Brand Safety with Influencer Marketing

Here are five steps you can take to protect your brand from influencer marketing mistakes.

1. Research Influencers Before Signing a Contract

You shouldn’t enter into an influencer marketing engagement lightly. Choosing the right influencer for your brand takes time and extensive research to ensure the influencer is trustworthy and aligned with your brand values.

Influencer marketing software can provide much more in-depth information about influencers than what might be readily available. For example, an influencer marketing platform can analyze the influencer’s followers, content, engagement activity, and historical performance. These key data points can inform your view of how brand safe the influencer’s content is and whether he or she is trustworthy.

Choosing an influencer that aligns with your values is vital for ensuring brand safety. For example, an eco-friendly cosmetic company should align itself with influencers that are environmentally conscious in order to maintain consistent messaging.

You also want to review each influencer’s audience data to ensure he or she has a real fanbase. Some red flags to keep your eye out for are new accounts with large followings as well as influencers with a high follower count but low engagement rate. If an influencer has over a million followers, she shouldn’t be getting only 100 likes and a dozen comments on her posts. That’s a sign that her followers might be fake accounts.

2. Create a Detailed Contract

Before working with an influencer, you should always document your partnership details in a contract to protect both you and the influencer. Here are a few elements that your contract should include:

  • List your content expectations

  • Define your ownership agreement

  • Agree on project deliverables and payments

  • Provide deadlines

Another important aspect of the contract is a non-compete provision. Most influencer marketing contracts will stipulate that an influencer can’t work with a competing brand during the contract period and up to six months afterward to avoid sending mixed messages to their audience.

3. Check All Content Before It’s Published

The amount of creative freedom you offer influencers is up to you. Some companies allow influencers to do whatever they want, whereas others would rather have complete control and write out a script.

If you choose the latter, be aware that your message will lose a level of authenticity. Scripted content often sounds like a formal sales pitch and won’t match the influencer’s style. The audience can pick up on the difference and won’t be as receptive to the message.

There is a middle path that gives you control without sacrificing the influencer’s creative freedom. Many companies ask to approve content before the influencer publishes it. You can preview sponsored posts and provide feedback within your influencer management software to make the process quick and easy while also ensuring brand safety.

4. Know Each Platform’s Safety Rules

Social media platforms also have policies and precautions in place to protect brands from inappropriate content. For example, YouTube and Facebook are cracking down on the types of content they allow to ensure ads aren’t shown next to hateful, offensive, or derogatory material.

If you are paying for your ad to run on influencer videos, you now have more freedom to choose where your ad will play to ensure it aligns with your brand safety guidelines.

5. Stay in the Know

Don’t wait for a scandal to act. You should proactively manage your influencer relationships so stay informed about what they’re saying and sharing at all times. Then, if an influencer you work with says or does something that doesn’t reflect your brand values, you can react accordingly before it negatively impacts your brand.

For example, YouTube fashion and beauty blogger Olivia Jade Giannulli found herself in the middle of a scandal in March 2019 after her mother was charged with bribing a prestigious college to allow Olivia and her sister admission. As a result, several of her sponsors, including Sephora and TRESemmé, quickly dropped her in order to protect their brands.

Get Help Managing Your Influencers

Influencer management software can help you keep track of your influencers and react quickly when you see potentially damaging content.

Schedule a demo to see how Paladin can help ensure brand safety for your influencer marketing campaigns.