​Are the Wild West days of influencer collaboration over?

The latest AANA rulings have opened up fresh debate as to how to engage in authentic influencer collaboration


Butcher Baker & Co Communications’ director, Jane Evans
Butcher Baker & Co Communications’ director, Jane Evans

Expert Tips for brands to effectively collaborate with influencers

From Butcher Baker & Co Communications’ director, Jane Evans

Accept that aligning and affiliating with influencers in brand campaigns is legitimate and expected – be open and transparent.

Develop guiding principles for your brand - whether you are a small business or a large one, understand down why it makes sense for you to work with influencers, and also what rules you will operate by (and ask of influencers) to ensure transparency. Share this with customers and staff.

Create visible cues as part of your campaign - How will you make sponsored content highly visible? Innovate, be creative and consistent.

Become your customer - How would you customers feel if they didn’t know you had a commercial arrangement with an influencer? Keep your campaigns genuine and real. This probably means that you won’t limit yourself to the AANA rules alone but apply across the board.

Practice the rule of seven - Plan for seven times that you can declare a specific commercial interest with an influencer to your customers and importantly why it makes sense – from website to social channels to newsletters. Make sure the influencer does same.

Take a partnership approach, and expect two-way transparency - from both influencers and also PRs / third parties. If you are working directly with an influencer, be clear on your expectations of them, and work out together how you can meet the requirements of the code and expectations on transparency in a way that makes most sense for both brand and influencer.

Don’t be bound by the AANA rules - An influencer is invited to attend a dinner at a restaurant for free on a no strings basis / no specified quid pro quo – this is not in breach of the AANA code. But is it relevant to future customers to know that influencers attended the event for free? Probably. And what about products sent out as gifts? That too. Think about it from the perspective of customers - and keep campaigns transparent and real.

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