How to be Legally Compliant on Instagram
As an influencer, all branded content partner posts must be labelled as such on Instagram. It can oftentimes be confusing when you should be labelling your posts as branded content, and when it is okay for you to avoid doing so. Being legally compliant is extremely important, not only to protect brands but also to protect yourself. If you are consistently misrepresenting content, your posts will be taken down, which could have a drastic impact on your engagement. If your engagement starts to drop, brands will be less likely to want to collaborate with you on future campaigns. Not sure when you should be labelling a post with a branded content partner? As a general rule, if your followers cannot tell when you are endorsing a product or when you are just posting about a product that you enjoy, you are probably not being legally compliant. Keep reading to find out how to ensure all of your posts are legally compliant.
Make it Obvious
When you are making a sponsored post, make it painfully obvious so that anyone engaging with your content can see that you are being endorsed for this product. For feed posts, make sure that you include the brand as a branded content partner. In addition to this, it is important to also tag the brand in your photo as well as in the caption. For the caption, it should be clear within the first 2 lines that this is a sponsored post, and should not be hidden past the “More” button. To ensure that your caption is legally compliant, ensure that it includes “Ad” or “#Ad” before any text to ensure that anyone engaging with your content can tell that this post is sponsored.
For Instagram stories, it is important to follow the same guidelines as with a post. Ensure that the brand is added as a paid partner; when the story is posted, there will be a banner under your username that says “Paid partnership with” and the name of the brand you are working with. Also ensure that you are tagging the brand in the story, as well as include a text overlay with “Ad” or “#Ad”.
Use Clear Language
It is extremely important that the language you are using cannot be misinterpreted. All sponsored posts should be obvious to your audience, and by using simple and clear language you can avoid any confusion. The rules on Instagram state that you must make some type of acknowledgement to the brand to comply with their rules, and so using “ad”, “advertisement”, “sponsored”, or even “a big thank you to [brand name] for the free product” will suffice. In each of those suggestions, it is clear that a brand has endorsed you. It is also important to avoid vague terminology that can be easily misinterpreted. Terms to avoid would be “collab”, “ambassador”, or “spon”, as these are left to be interpreted and deciphered.
Use Consistent Language
If you are creating a sponsored post, the language throughout the caption should be the same. That means both the tone and the physical language of the post should be consistent. When working with brands, it is important to positively represent the brand in order to maintain its image. If a brand is known for being formal and elegant, your caption should reflect this. If a brand is known to be light-hearted and often uses slang, this should also be reflected in your caption. You should not have a portion of your caption written in the style desired by the brand, while the remainder of the caption is written in your own personal style. Furthermore, if you are writing a caption about a branded partner in a different language, such as French, it is important that the remainder of the caption is also written in French.
As long as you are being clear that your sponsored posts are sponsored, you are being legally compliant. It is important to note that just adding a brand as a branded content partner may not be enough to be considered legally compliant, and that is why it is extremely important to ensure that you are incorporating all of the other tips highlighted in this blog. By ensuring that all of your content is legally compliant, brands will look forward to working with you on future campaigns. Now that you know how to ensure all of your posts are legally compliant, it is time to start your influencer journey! To sign up as an influencer on Embold, click here or visit: https://app.embold.co/signup