A post should be considered sponsored anytime you are paid, receive a free product, or free services. In any of these conditions you must disclose that the post is sponsored in order to follow the FTC regulations. Today we are going to look at how to disclose a sponsored post properly so you are following all of the legal guidelines.
How to Disclose a Sponsored Post
1. Blog Disclosures –
These are mandatory on every single sponsored blog post and must be included at the top, before the content. It is important that you are completely clear about what you received in exchange for the post.
For example: Zipline Costa Rica provided me with a free trip in exchange for my honest review of their products and services. While the trip was compensated all opinions are my honest thoughts of the Zipline Costa Rica experience. (A girl can dream right?)
2. No Follow Links –
When adding links into your sponsored blog content you must make sure that each link in marked as a No Follow link. The easiest way to do this is to mark them as No Follow when writing in a program like Windows Live Writer. Another simple method is to install a No Follow plug-in for WordPress.
However, you can also mark links as no follow manually.
– copy rel=”nofollow”
– find original link <a href=”http://backatsquarezero.com”>www.backatsquarezero.com</a>
– insert rel=”nofollow” into original link
– new No Follow link should look like this: <a rel=”nofollow” href=”http://backatsquarezero.com”>www.backatsquarezero.com</a>
3. Social Media Disclosures –
Whether you are disclosing sponsored content on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, SnapChat, etc. it is very important to remember a few key rules:
– Only #sponsored or #ad are legally acceptable. You can not shorten it to #spon, that is illegal. Also, if a brand asks you to use something like #OurBrandHereFriend instead that is illegal too.
– Any and all links must come after you have included the disclosure #sponsored or #ad to let your followers know the links are part of sponsored content.
– In a normal retweet or repin the hashtags #sponsored or #ad do not need to be included, they are only for the person whose content it was originally. However, when users are entered into a contest or get a benefit from retweeting or pinning a piece of sponsored content then they too must use #sponsored or #ad.
4. Video Disclosures –
At the very top of the video description you must write out a statement about the sponsored content much like you would do during a blog post. Then, when the video starts you must mention the sponsor verbally, with a shout out, or visually, by using a note card, insert, etc. Make sure you get both disclosures – in the video itself and in the description.
Let me know –
Did you learn anything new about how to disclose a sponsored post?
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