Promoting products and growing your brand is hard work in the ever-changing world of affiliate marketing. Not only is it important to keep up with new trends, but it’s also important to keep up with the new rules. In today’s blog post, we will point out several FTC resources regarding disclosure guidelines in your marketing efforts.
Identify your promotional methods
The FTC, or Federal Trade Commission, has strict rules about disclosing that you are receiving compensation (e.g. payment, free product, etc.) for the products or services that you are promoting. These guidelines are in place to educate the consumer, who should be provided all relevant information about a promoted product or service so they can make an informed decision.
It’s important to keep in mind that disclosures vary for different types of posts and sites. Where a disclosure at the top or bottom of the homepage could be accepted for one type of affiliate website, it’s possible that it won’t be accepted for another type of site, like a blog, for example, where you have to provide a disclosure for each sponsored post.
For social media posts, affiliate marketers and influencers also have to provide disclosures for each post that is sponsored. Using tags like ‘ad,’ ‘sponsored,’ and ‘paid’ are common practices by influencers to identify their posts as paid. However, even that sometimes is not enough; placement matters too. Are you putting your tag at the top or bottom of your post? Is the tag only visible after the “read more” link? These are all important aspects to consider when providing disclosures on your posts. Take a look at this FTC press release to learn more about influencer and brand disclosures.
The FTC states that the connection between an advertiser and endorser should be “clearly and conspicuously disclosed.” This means that the customer has to easily understand for which products on your site, your blog and in your social posts you are receiving a payment, gift or compensation. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes:
- Wouldn’t you want to know if a post by a blogger or social media influencer is paid for?
- Don’t you want to know if they would still promote the product if they weren’t being paid for the post?
- Don’t you want to know how/if the payment influenced their decision to post?
We all want to be fully informed before making a purchase, and that’s why being direct is important and builds trust with your customers.
Read the news
The world of affiliate and influencer marketing is constantly changing, and with it, the rules of disclosures. To ensure that you are keeping up with the latest FTC guidelines and updates, it’s a good idea to read their
Follow local guidelines
Different countries have different disclosure guidelines. You should review your local disclosure guidelines to ensure that you are following them accordingly. Find FTC .com Disclosures Guidelines here.
We hope this blog post provided pointers on keeping up with and following the FTC guidelines. Please note that Zazzle does not provide legal advice.