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Expert Solutions to Prevent The Impact of Deepfakes in Influencer Marketing

03 May  · 
3 min read
Influencer / KOL Marketing


When conversations about deepfakes arise, they typically revolve around political manipulation or celebrity scandals. 

Yet, amidst the chaos, a quieter menace lurks, affecting a vast and unsuspecting demographic: influencers and their trusting followers.

As the digital landscape evolves, the line between reality and fabrication blurs, posing a significant challenge to influencer marketing. 

No longer confined to political realms or Hollywood gossip, deepfakes now infiltrate the realms of online commerce and personal recommendation.

The Influence of Deepfakes on Brand Partnerships with Influencers

Alice Sol, a seasoned SEO PR strategist at HubSpot, emphasizes the pivotal role of communication in mitigating deepfake risks. 

According to Sol, the harmony between influencers and brands in messaging and strategy is paramount. 

Brandon Huang, principal marketing manager at HubSpot, shares this sentiment, highlighting the importance of understanding and support when facing deepfake challenges.

While Sol and Huang agree that deepfakes alone shouldn't rupture partnerships, proactive planning is essential. 

Sol advocates for preemptive strategies, ensuring both parties are equipped to respond swiftly and decisively.

Brand Strategies for Dealing with Deepfaked Influencer Partners

In the event of a deepfake incident involving an influencer partner, Brandon Huang advises a measured approach grounded in empathy. 

Recognizing the influencer's lack of control over such occurrences, Huang encourages open dialogue and context-seeking as initial steps.

Sol echoes this sentiment, stressing the need for tailored responses and direct communication between influencers and brands. 

She emphasizes the collaborative crafting of response plans, offering flexible solutions such as coordinated messaging or joint public statements.

Moreover, Brandon underscores the importance of brand education on deepfake technology. He urges marketers to stay informed and discerning, equipping themselves to distinguish between authentic content and malicious manipulations.

Influencers' Action Plans for Responding to Falsified Content

Before diving into damage control, Brandon, an expert in online security, emphasizes the importance of proactive measures. Here's his pre-emptive checklist:

  • Establish an official link hub: Ensure your audience knows where to find your authentic content by having a centralized 'link in bio' with all your official links.
  • Secure social media verification: Verify all your social media platforms to minimize the risk of deepfakes originating from fake or 'clone' accounts.
  • Thread management: End threads with a clear declaration, such as "This is the last tweet/post," to prevent scammers from slipping fraudulent content into threaded discussions.

But what if the worst-case scenario unfolds, and you find yourself deepfaked? Janse, a prominent figure on TikTok, advises against brushing it off, but is giving it more attention the right move?

According to Alice Sol, an authority in influencer marketing, tackling the issue head-on is paramount. "An influencer should respond if they have been deepfaked," she asserts. 

"Trust is the cornerstone of an influencer's bond with their audience. Addressing a deepfake directly is crucial to maintaining that trust and minimizing its negative impact."

Huang, echoing Sol's sentiment, suggests a proactive approach, even involving brand partners. "Stay ahead of the curve by informing brands about potential deepfake threats," he advises. 

"Transparency is key. If a deepfake affects brand partnerships, communicate openly and clarify your non-involvement."

But what if you're blindsided, and the brand discovers the deepfake before you do? "Be transparent," Huang urges. "Inform the brand immediately, emphasizing your lack of involvement and consent in the creation of the deepfake."

Beyond damage control within your network, it's essential to combat the spread of fraudulent content. Report the deepfake to the hosting platform and encourage your followers to do the same.

As technology evolves, combating deepfakes requires a multi-faceted approach, combining governmental regulations and technological advancements. 

However, until such measures are firmly in place, vigilance remains our best defense.