Ad Claims and Temporary Content in the Digital Landscape

Unsubstantiated ad claims in short-term content like Instagram and TikTok can lead to legal repercussions for brands and influencers alike. Learn how to leverage these digital channels while avoiding pitfalls.

With today’s digital landscape, marketing materials are being developed and advertised in a much shorter time frame than in years past. These channels include websites, social media, influencer marketing, and even emerging technologies that influence how brands market and sell products online. Temporary content, like that found on several social media platforms, can be a particularly lucrative marketing opportunity. When managed properly, CPG marketing and ad claims on these channels can drive sales and boost reach.

While the immediacy of the digital landscape comes with massive opportunities, even small mistakes can be detrimental to a brand’s credibility and may even come with legal risks. That’s why understanding both the opportunities and risks is essential when developing strategies for temporary content.

Short-Term Content Opportunities for CPG Marketing

While many digital marketing channels are designed to display content long-term, several platforms allow brands and creators to post temporary content. Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok all have features that allow users to post content that disappears after twenty-four hours. 

This is particularly useful since traditional feed posts can quickly get drowned out by posts from other brands and creators. Depending on the platform, short-term posts can be pinned or saved to specific places on a brand’s profile so they’re more accessible and more likely to get views and engagement. Even though this content is temporary, that type of traffic can make a big difference.

For marketing purposes, this strategy can help a brand expand its reach, connect with potential customers, and share engaging content that promotes brand awareness and affinity. This type of connection is also more casual, can integrate compelling storytelling, and it can create a sense of community. 

The limited lifespan of this type of content is also a unique feature that can generate FOMO (fear of missing out). Viewers are more likely to click on this type of content since they know it will quickly expire. That creates an opportunity to advertise limited-time offers and promotions.

Influencer Marketing in the Digital Landscape

While every CPG brand will need to decide which platforms are right for their marketing purposes, influencer marketing is an option for all of these platforms. These individuals have the ability to affect the purchasing decisions of their audience. So, brands who collaborate with them are able to connect with loyal audiences who trust that particular influencer’s recommendations.

Not only does this type of marketing allow brands to leverage an influencer’s audience, but it also acts as important social proof for ad claims. When a brand makes ad claims, consumers expect a certain amount of bias. However, when a friend, family member, or influencer provides a review or recommendation, consumers are usually less worried about bias. 

That all depends, however, on whether or not the influencer provides authentic and reliable reviews or recommendations. That’s why developing a thorough influencer marketing strategy is so important. In addition, this helps influencers avoid accidentally publishing content with unsubstantiated or inaccurate advertising claims.

Short-Term Content Risks for CPG Marketing

It’s important to remember that short-term content, whether published by the brand itself or through an influencer partnership, is still subject to the same ad claim regulations the FTC requires for other types of advertising. 

While a brand’s internal marketing team is usually (but not always) aware of this, influencers and brand ambassadors may assume that temporary content won’t be held to the same strict substantiation. Not only is this false, but it can also put both the influencer and the brand in legal trouble.

In the simplest sense, influencers can’t make claims about products that the brand isn’t able to substantiate. Sometimes this happens because an influencer is simply inexperienced or because they don’t understand that even fleeting content can exist forever online in some form via screenshots or archives.

Whether unsubstantiated claims are made as a result of misinformation or ignorance, the damage can be swift and long-lasting. Both the influencer and the brand can lose credibility and may be subject to fines, penalties, and more.

CPG Marketing Must Substantiate All Ad Claims Across the Digital Landscape

Regardless of where ad claims are made across the digital landscape, they must be verifiable. And when it comes to collaborations, developing a thorough influencer marketing strategy is essential.

First, it’s important to connect with influencers who align with your brand values. That means reviewing any of their previous partnerships for authenticity, looking at the way they engage with others on their platform, and ensuring they’re committed to providing sincere reviews and recommendations. 

From there, it’s important to educate them about your brand story, style guides, and any relevant details they must be aware of. This is where communication is pivotal. Influencers must be informed of specific ad claims they can and cannot make. Make sure to provide information that substantiates these claims, such as the ChefsBest award. Not only does this help avoid inaccurate and unsubstantiated claims, but it also gives them the necessary information to accurately convey product information and answer potential audience questions.

It’s also important to educate them on all legal requirements before they begin creating content around your products. After that, nurture the collaboration by staying involved in content creation. That may involve reviewing and approving content before it is ever published. 

One of the best ways to prepare an influencer for a partnership is to pass along content packages that include marketing assets with clear and concise language regarding substantiated claims. That’s why we ensure our digital content suites include a variety of assets. From lifestyle images and recipes to evaluation photos and videos, the brands we work with will end up with engaging content for publication across the digital landscape.

Want insight from an expert in the industry? Tune in to Can Influencer Marketing Work For Your Brand. In this episode of our podcast, Beyond the Shelf, Elle DeFreitas of Wonderkind Co shares an in-depth breakdown of how influencer marketing works and provides tips for getting the best ROI when working with influencers. 

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