Blunders happen. It’s human. That’s why marketers need to shelve brand safety in influencer marketing high.
When you’re tackling dozens of influencer marketing campaigns, reviewing hundreds of creators and thousands of content pieces, errors creep in. Even when you have elaborate campaign briefs with strict do’s and don’ts.
An influencer may tag the wrong brand. Write an irrelevant caption. They may post content before the go-live date. Use a prop in the background that you don’t want associated with your brand. Or the simplest of all, publishing poor-quality content.
Such incidents shatter the brand’s image and reputation.
6 steps to guarantee brand safety in influencer marketing
- Have a fleshed-out campaign brief
- Vet creators thoroughly (not just check for fake followers)
- Sign a contract (optional if you use an influencer marketing platform)
- Make content approval mandatory
- Be aware of ASCI guidelines
- Have a plan B
These are the six broad steps that power brand safety during influencer marketing campaigns. Some of them are self-explanatory. I dive deeper into the rest.
1. Easy to understand brief
A well-written campaign brief sets clear expectations. The brief should not only have all the do’s and don’ts while creating content, but it should also list down rules to follow when writing the caption.
The more comprehensive your campaign brief, the better content submissions you’ll get.
2. Vet influencers
Most marketers do a basic sanity check before collaborating with creators. While making sure the influencer doesn’t have fake followers is important, you need to vet them with a finer tooth comb.
During influencer discovery, go through:
- Past content quality
- Previous brand collaborations
- Metrics – ER, Audience demographics, location, interest
Use an influencer marketing platform (if not DYT, then any) that will sift through this data automatically for you. So, the creators you do end up collaborating with are fit for your brand. Thus, laying the foundation for brand safety while executing the campaign.
3. Have an influencer contract
If you use an influencer marketing platform to run the campaign, the influencer contract becomes moot. However, if you’re directly dealing with creators or just want to cover all your bases, get one signed.
It’s a legal agreement that binds the creator and you to certain terms and conditions. You get the peace of mind that the creator won’t drop the collaboration at the 11th hour, and the influencer gets the assurance of payment.
4. Content approval before posting
One of the biggest dangers to brand safety in influencer marketing campaigns is not approving content before it goes live. Content approval brings a method to the madness.
Always ask creators to submit a draft first. Have a dedicated team member who vets the content to ensure that influencers didn’t miss anything from the campaign brief. Always offer feedback, so they can reshoot or tweak the content.
Because content approval necessitates a lot of back-and-forth on emails and messages, the wiser choice is to relegate all of the complexities around it to a platform.
5. Make plan B
There are about 80 million content creators in India or so, estimates Kalaari Capital. Out of these, only 150,000 are professional creators. Translation: most creators you’ll work with do it as a side hustle to their full-time job.
They may be masters at attracting the attention of their community, but they’re still individuals. So, expect some ebb and flow during the campaign. Prepare for it.
For instance, have a process in place to get a creator’s content taken down if they post it without approval. Waitlist a few creators, so that if you have to remove an influencer from the campaign, you still have backups.
Secure brand safety in influencer marketing campaigns
It takes small #thngs to secure brand safety in influencer marketing and to reach fruitful campaign completion. There is one last piece of advice I offer.
Don’t rush influencer campaigns.
Brands continuously ask us how quickly we can turn this around. Yes, end-to-finish, a campaign can be completed in a week.
But influencer marketing wins big when you take the time to strategize, assess influencers for brand synergy, and then carefully execute the campaign.
More importantly, it works when you build a long-term relationship with influencers.
Power brand safety during your influencer campaigns with DYT
*Images are representational