The Federal Trade Commission just sent out letters to over 90 Instagram influencers, including celebrities and professional athletes, reminding them that relationships to brands must be clearly disclosed when promoting or endorsing products on their social media accounts.
The FTC identified “material connections” between an influencer and advertiser could consist of a business or family relationship, monetary payment, or free products given to the endorser. The letters represent one of the first steps the FTC has taken to enforce its regulatory guidelines in the up-and-coming influencer marketing sphere.
- Acceptable disclosure can come in many forms. The FTC’s guidance requires that endorsements should use clear and unambiguous language and should be easily noticeable. Marketers should already be well aware of suggested disclosure wording like “sponsored,” “ad” and “promotion.” For Instagram, however, some influencers are using sly methods to conceal or downplay endorsed posts.
- The FTC is hip to disclosure workarounds. One of these methods is burying disclosures towards the end of captions. Users can add captions to their posts, but Instagram limits how much is shown on the screen to three lines, and users need to tap “more” to read the caption in it’s entirety. The FTC requires disclosure to be above the “more” button to avoid buried references to sponsors.
- They’re also calling out cryptic attempts at disclosure. Some terms are beginning to surface among some Instagram influencers that the FTC deems as too vague for acceptable disclosure. These include abbreviating “sponsored post” into “#sp,” posting “Thanks [Brand],” or “#partner.”
Influencer marketing can be a highly valuable tool for brands, and influencer and marketers that align with FTC guidelines are likely to be more trusted by consumers.
Mobile-app makers and content creators are vying for consumer attention in a crowded and noisy market.
Even if an app can stand out enough to prompt a consumer to download it from among a list of millions, it then faces the challenge of enticing him or her to use it enough times to recuperate development, maintenance, and marketing costs. To make matters worse, those marketing costs have hit record-high levels over the past year as discoverability has become more challenging.
And while consumers are spending more time in apps, most of that time is spent in a few favorites. Consumers spend almost three-quarters of their total smartphone app time in just their three favorite apps, according to comScore.
But it's not all doom and gloom: There are numerous tools at a publisher's disposal to engage and re-engage consumers, and there are new products and solutions coming to market that can help alleviate some of the issues around this app engagement crisis.
Jessica Smith, research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on app engagement that explores the current state of the app market, the issues around engaging consumers, and the tools at a publisher's disposal. It also identifies best practices for the implementation of some app engagement tools, and presents the pitfalls that some publishers fall into in this pursuit.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
- The app market today is challenging and volatile. It's difficult to stand out, and most apps have to be offered for free in order to entice consumers who have too much supply to choose from. This puts greater emphasis on engaging consumers after they've downloaded an app in order to recoup costs.
- Consumers are more difficult to engage today, as most have dozens of apps installed on their devices yet spend most of their time in just a select handful of favorites.
- There are numerous solutions at hand for mobile app publishers and content creators seeking to engage consumers. Push notifications, in-app messaging, and app message centers with badges are three tools publishers can use to engage consumers.
- While many publishers mistakenly rely solely on push notifications for app engagements, this is a poor practice because many consumers don't allow push notifications and those that do can easily be overwhelmed when they receive too many.
- The best solution often includes leveraging two or three of these tools to engage consumers with the right message at the right time. The technology in this market has grown increasingly sophisticated, and publishers that don't diversify their approach run the risk of annoying their consumers to the point of abandonment.
- There are emerging engagement technologies that will change the current app engagement norms and present new ways for app publishers to communicate with users. The mobile ecosystem is changing quickly as technology improves and consumers become more comfortable conducting more activities on mobile devices.
In full, the report:
- Identifies the major challenges in today's app market and explains why employing good app engagement practices is more important than ever before.
- Presents the major app engagement tools currently available.
- Examines the pros and cons of each app engagement tool while outlining some pitfalls that publishers encounter in implementing them.
- Prescribes best practices for adopting various app engagement tools or strategies.
- Assesses how the market will likely change over the next five years as emerging technologies change both consumer behavior with mobile devices and introduce new tools with which to engage consumers.
Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:
- Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. » Learn More Now
- Purchase & download the full report from our research store. » Purchase & Download Now