Ethical Marketing Secrets Influencers Swear By (But Don’t Tell Anyone)

Ethical best practices every influencer, creator and brand needs to know. Implement these strategies to build trust, drive engagement and make a meaningful impact.

Matt By Matt
5 Min Read

Influencers, creators and brands wield profound influence impacting and shaping the world around you – whether you like it or not.

This significant influence brings considerable ethical marketing obligations that surpass simple product promotion. With the convergence of advertising, entertainment, and advocacy on digital platforms, understanding the ethical responsibilities of creators, influencers and brands is essential.

According to 67% of customers, influencers who advocate for sustainable products and practices are more likely to get their support. 

McKinsey & Company

The Ethical Marketing Responsibility of Influencers and Creators

Influencers and Creators with large followings hold an ethical responsibility beyond personal gain.

Is it right for them to be tasked with setting positive precedents and championing moral standards?

This obligation extends to transparency, especially concerning sponsored content. Global regulations mandate clear disclosure of collaborations, a practice critical for upholding honesty and maintaining audience trust.

Therefore, influencers and creators must consider the impact of their online content on promoting inclusivity, body positivity, the impact on our planet, and mental wellness.

They often become unintentional role models, hence the duty to ensure their influence promotes values like kindness and empathy.

Selecting brand partnerships requires careful consideration, and influencers should only align themselves with those who share their ethical values.

The Role of Brands in Ethical Advocacy

Brands need to realise that they are responsible for doing more than making a profit.

They have a moral duty to contribute positively to society and behave ethically.

Consumers should now expect brands to be socially responsible, and if they don’t live up to these expectations, they should risk losing the trust and support of their customers.

Given the environmental decline, political polarisation, and the rise of more conservative social and moral values, it’s time for brands to take their ethical responsibilities seriously and step up.

Do you agree?

Sustainability should be a pressing responsibility for all of us and a compelling reason for brands to adopt greener practices.

 

Marketing approaches should mirror societies’ shift towards diversity and inclusion to reflect a broad spectrum of people and experiences authentically.

Ethical marketing should prioritise honesty and consumer privacy.

Navigating social media and online channels ethically requires influencers, creators and brands to consistently engage with integrity, transparency, and a genuine commitment to supporting the communities who engage with their brands.

Evolving Responsibilities

Navigating the future brings fresh ethical challenges for influencers and brands alike.

Deepfakes, misinformation, dishonesty and privacy issues – especially when initiated by the very leaders leading our countries – can cause ethical lines to blur.

When voted-in officials are the source of the untruths, smaller-minded individuals often follow without question or use the untruth as an opportunity to fracture once cohesive communities.

Working within this environment, our new norm, requires ongoing learning, a staunch adherence to ethics, and agility in listening, learning, and responding.

Social entrepreneurship adds an additional layer, pushing businesses to blend profit with ethical pursuits.

But if we work together, we can create a positive movement that not only forges a path for meaningful change but also sets the stage for competitive differentiation. Influencers play a pivotal role in shaping digital discourse, promoting constructive conversations over divisive ones.

Their influence can stretch far, helping to mould community and societal values. As the digital playing field evolves, so does the conversation about ethical responsibility.

Amidst this chaos, the common good stands firm.

Influencers, creators and brands are at the digital forefront- their ethical choices resonating with younger generations seeking change from the leaders who are slowly destroying our planet.

Preparing for, and influencing these shifts is crucial.

The evolving narrative of digital activism and social entrepreneurship is not just a forecast but a preparation for the digital advocacy landscape of tomorrow.

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By Matt
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I'm the Creative Director at Bona Parle. I'm also a freelance portrait and headshot photographer, award-winning filmmaker, film Colourist and a multi-award winning LGBTQ+ human rights campaigner. For part of my week I lead a successful UK-based charity that brings families closer to together.