Why Ethics and Responsibility are so Important in an Influencer Marketing Campaign?
Influencer marketing is a very talked-about space today. Whether you are an influencer, marketer, or consumer of the content, everyone is attached to it in some or the other way. As per an independent research about online video consumption, the statistics showed that 92.8% of internet users worldwide consume digital videos everywhere. These include a wide range of video content such as music videos, gaming, tutorials as well as influencer videos.
The wide reach of video content amongst the world’s population indicates the impact it can have on those consuming it. It is therefore the responsibility of the content creators and the brands that work with them to adhere to caution while creating and promoting any content online. The ethical component of video or any form of creation should be at the forefront of any marketing campaign.
Ethics and responsibility practiced during influencer marketing are beyond just preserving the brand reputation. It has now transgressed into building goodwill which means being open and honest about sponsored content, owning up to one's shortcomings, not over-promising, and taking criticism positively.
By doing so brands and creators will not only get the trust of their audience and build a solid reputation, but it also brings with it peace of mind and measurable gains which are collectively beneficial for all parties involved. Here’s how:
#1 Saves from litigation and lawsuits
Litigation and lawsuits not only hurt the reputation of the brand but also cost them time and money. Brands have to be careful about not only following the regulations and compliances, but also staying away from false advertising. This is important because it can have a direct impact on the purchasing decision of a consumer.
Recently, the department of consumer affairs released the “endorsement know-how” guideline for brands, social media influencers and celebrities alike must reveal the material connection in all types of sponsored content. Failing to comply with the rule can lead to hefty penalties.
At a time when the economy is shaky and several small and big businesses are bootstrapping their operations, litigation, and lawsuits are the last thing one wants. Following the law of the land and being transparent will save creators and business owners from unwanted legal hassles.
#2 Promoting positive social messaging
Influencers have a responsibility to use their platform for positive purposes and avoid promoting harmful or unethical behavior. This includes promoting products that are safe and beneficial to their audience and avoiding promoting messages that are discriminatory or offensive.
Similarly, brands also need to be careful about the influencers they pick to work with. They need to look into the past work of the influencers and should stay away from influencers who have a negative reputation or have engaged in unlawful activities. This is very important for the image and reputation of the brand.
#3 Improving the reliability and authenticity of the influencer community
The influencer community is very powerful, both in terms of reach and the impact it can have on the society at large. Many influencers have loyal followers or subscriber bases and it is the utmost duty of the content creator to be transparent and ethical with the content they are showcasing on their platform.
For example, as part of a paid collaboration, if a content creator is reviewing a product, he or she must highlight both the pros and cons of the product and brands should be okay with that approach.
Today the influencer community is driving the world of marketing. Brands are benefitting from it because influencer marketing is effective and cost-friendly and is therefore a collective responsibility of the creators and business owners to uphold the value and credibility of the influencer ecosystem.
The bottom line
Influencers have built their reputation and following based on the trust their followers have in them. If an influencer engages in unethical or irresponsible behavior, they risk damaging that trust and losing their audience. This can also reflect negatively on the brand they are promoting, as their association with the influencer can be viewed as an endorsement of their behavior.
In summary, ethics and responsibility are essential in an influencer marketing campaign to maintain trust, comply with legal regulations, protect brand reputation, and promote social responsibility.
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