After a rough couple of years due to the global pandemic and other factors, you’re probably ready to stop just focusing on ensuring your company survives and find ways for it to start growing again, if it already hasn’t. There are many factors involved in this, with effectively handling marketing strategies for your organization one of the most crucial.
No matter what type of venture you operate or handle the marketing for, you need to ensure that all the key elements of marketing operations for your business comply with local, national, and international laws and regulations. It can be tough knowing exactly what to consider, though, so read on for some compliance tips you should know to stay safe in this area in 2022.
Contests can be an excellent way to generate more engagement and interest in your organization and what you sell. However, many entrepreneurs and marketers aren’t aware of all the rules and regulations governing how competitions are run. For example, the Federal Trade Commission, plus different state and local agencies, have guidelines in place and monitor contests to ensure these are being followed.
Social media sites, especially Facebook, also have strict standards relating to competitions and often remove posts shared on their platforms about contests if they don’t abide by the platform’s rules. Research regulations in the area the competition is being run and the platform you’ll use to advertise the comp and obtain entries, to learn what is and isn’t okay.
However, note that you can’t make people pay to enter sweepstakes, you have to be upfront about all rules you’re putting in place for entries (e.g., eligibility requirements and deadlines), and you must determine winners fairly.
Digital newsletters are immensely popular with both businesses and consumers these days since they’re convenient, low cost, and can be sent in a timely way. As such, you likely have a newsletter database that you keep and send e-newsletters to once a week, fortnight, month, etc., to let subscribers know about new products or services, great deals, award wins, and other news. There are compliance factors related to these communiques, too, though.
For example, when building and using email marketing lists, let people freely volunteer to sign up to receive such mail, and don’t just take their details from some other place and assume they’ll be okay with you adding them to your list. If people don’t give explicit consent to sign up, do not add them.
Plus, your e-newsletters need to have unsubscribe links in them somewhere that people can find without too much trouble to remove themselves from your list at any stage they choose. If you get unsubscribe requests, these should be honored ASAP, with people taken off the list no later than ten days after they asked to be removed.
Also, ensure email marketing messages have clear, relevant subject lines that reflect the content within the newsletters and don’t just bait people with exciting sounding updates or offers to get them to open up the missives. Label emails if you ever include any content in them that could be adult in nature, too.
Most businesses need to use photographs, videos, infographics, or other external content from outside the organization at some point. Be sure you adhere to copyright regulations when you utilize graphics and other work created by those outside your company.
The copyright for anything produced by those not in-house doesn’t belong to you, so you must obtain permission to use it. The level of consent required and granted varies according to the producer and where you get it from but is most strict when using creations for commercial instances like in advertising or on websites.
To stay safe, it’s wise to only select works listed on a public domain repository, whether because they’re old pieces that now have expired or forfeited copyright or because they’re things that the creators have made available for others to use for free. Plus, many helpful image and graphic websites provide content for a fee if you don’t find what you need via free sources.
No matter where you get your marketing materials, though, don’t forget to check the restrictions on the use of the material, even if it’s offered for no charge. Some photographers and other creators are okay with their work being used for no fee for personal reasons but not for commercial ones, or they might require payment in some situations or to receive attribution at least.
These are just three areas where you need to investigate and understand compliance factors for your marketing efforts, but there are others. Always do your research to stay updated on the latest laws and guidelines and follow them to protect your business from potential social media blocks, fines, customer complaints, or even legal action.