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The Unique Challenges of Influencer Marketing in the Supplements Industry

If you’re marketing supplements, you’re immersed in a highly distinctive — and extremely competitive — sales environment. Influencers can be an intelligent part of your social marketing plan, but as with all aspects of advertising and promoting supplements, things can get tricky fast.

First, there’s the FDA. You might believe wholeheartedly in the amazing health benefits of your product, and so might your loving customers. Watch what you do, though, with those glowing online reviews. Consumer enthusiasm captured in written comments can give you big FDA and FTC compliance headaches.

And while the best way to reach your demographic is through social media, again, you have to tread lightly.  Throw a paid social media influencer into the mix — a cost-effective way to boost sales — and face the scrutiny of the FTC, making certain that your paid influencers and ads are fully transparent.

Most brands in this industry don’t use what’s known as the “handshake tool” which clearly showcases that a piece of content is sponsored. Not making it clear that the endorsement has been paid for could easily violate Facebook’s influencer posting guidelines, which in turn could lead to the brand’s profile being punished. Much more serious, it could also attract the attention of the FTC.

When so much time and care goes into making sure the FDA doesn’t have an issue with your content’s claims, it’s important to not forget about advertising rules in the influencer age.

One way to avoid making mistakes when the stakes are so high is to hire an agency with expertise in this industry and an understanding of how to manage influencers who post FTC and FDA-compliant content.

A savvy agency should be able to:

  • Hook you up with influencers who know the supplements universe and are versed in compliance do’s and don’ts.  The agency should have contracts with social influencers mandating word choices that will keep you out of trouble.
  • Manage your customer comments. If reviews make crazy wild claims about your products, you might be well advised legally to leave those comments unanswered. Your agency should have an advance strategy ready for managing comments promptly–and safely.
  • Coordinate your social campaigns and use your advertising dollars efficiently. An influencer’s posts can be amplified by using advertiser access.  This process can turn an influencer post into an ad. Important, because ads from an individual’s own profile tend to perform better than ads from a brand’s channels.  
    • Net: A little extra investment can drastically increase the influencer’s reach, and your brand exposure, as well as add in an extra layer of accountability.  
  • Be skilled at influencer marketing in general. The agency should let you know what techniques they use to separate the good from the bad. Ask how often they test to make sure the metrics measure up.  If you work with pros, they can help you avoid painful learning curves.

Sound good? Then think about getting an agency familiar with influencer marketing in the supplement space, such as Socialike.  We can’t guarantee you’ll start sleeping better (remember those FDA regulations about overpromising?), but there’s a good chance that life will improve, and your ROI will stay healthy.