Based on Mediakix data and Business Insider Intelligence valuations, brands are estimated to spend close to $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022. Influencer marketing is present on almost every social media platform, but Instagram continues to be the main channel for these types of campaigns. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, it has been found that roughly four in five brands primarily use Instagram for influencer campaigns, in comparison to Facebook (46%), YouTube (36%), Twitter (24%), and LinkedIn (12%). Allowing content creators to have such a large reach and impact, many have started to doubt whether they are disclosing enough information about their business deals.
The Federal Trade Commission released a guide, “Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers”, this past November to help content creators understand the laws that must be complied with if one is recommending or endorsing a product. The guide says, “As an influencer, it’s your responsibility to make these disclosures, to be familiar with the Endorsement Guides, and to comply with laws against deceptive ads. Don’t rely on others to do it for you.
As an influencer, it is your responsibility to disclose your relationships with brands. Is it also your responsibility to become certified?
With the laws regarding social media influencers constantly developing, it would be a smart move for content creators to educate themselves about the laws, especially from a liability standpoint. Being an content creator can be a vulnerable career at times, by having a certification, they would have more credibility and leave less room for legal concerns or harm to their reputation. Along with liability, brands endorsing influencers must follow certain guidelines and procedures. For brands, certification for influencers could add a level of security in addition to the agreements/contracts made.
Certification would give content creators an upper hand when it comes being selected for brands’ campaigns. Though the numbers mentioned before show that influencer marketing is a huge business arena, influencer certification could boost the market’s image as a legitimate business.