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Influencer marketing is a modern, exciting way to promote your brand online. Unfortunately, this virtual medium comes with challenges. How do you compose a legal contract between the influencer and your business? This guide will provide some tips and a template to help you produce an influencer contract that leaves no room for confusion.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencers are online content creators with a large audience on social media. They may enter into agreements with brands to endorse their products or services.
Influencers often build a niche, such as beauty, fitness, or career, and choose brand partnerships relevant to the themes of their pages. For example, a career-oriented influencer might promote a phone system for business, while a fitness influencer promotes a set of resistance bands.
Influencers succeed in a large part because of their charisma. Whether they’re glamorous or relatable, they manage to make users feel like their friends. Partnering with an influencer confers their trendiness and authority onto your brand.
What Is an Influencer Contract?
The influencer contract lays out the agreement between the influencer and the brand. Typically, brands create their contracts using customizable templates. The contract can be negotiated and may undergo a few drafts for both parties to reach an agreement.
Why Is a Contract Necessary?
Influencer marketing seems easy: an individual simply name-dropping a product in their video. So why do you need a contract?
An informal approach might appear simpler, but it isn’t. The relationship between a brand and an influencer is transactional. Ensure both parties do what they say they’re going to do, or risk losing time and money. If something goes awry when money is involved, you risk a lawsuit.
When considering time management techniques, influencer marketing is a huge boon: you can outsource your marketing to proven talent. However, you won’t save time if you leave room for chaos and confusion. Having the terms of the agreement written down in black and white means there is no opportunity for miscommunication. Before you start writing, undertake research beforehand about the audience the influencer attracts, or ask directly about their marketing analytics.
Key Elements to Include
Names and dates
Who are the parties involved in the agreement? What is the title of your project or campaign? What is the length of the contract? Is it a one-off or a longer-term relationship? Make sure the exact dates are presented clearly.
Additionally, include a brief summary of your campaign. You can expand on this in more detail further in the contract.
Like any service, influencers require compensation for their content. It could be a straightforward payment or an exchange of products for creator content (for example, reviews of the products). If you choose this arrangement, state the value of products sent in the payment section.
How much an influencer charges may depend on their experience level or the size of their following. Do research beforehand to help your company budget for influencer marketing.
Before drawing up the contract, ask for the influencer’s media kit to get an accurate idea of their payment rate. Much like choosing phone plans, you may be able to negotiate a price for a specific set of services.
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Regarding payment, you should also take into consideration:
Currency. If the influencer lives in a different country, you may have to discuss with them to eliminate confusion about currency and banking.
Deposit. Some influencers may ask for a deposit before they produce content. State how much you offer for a deposit and when you will pay the remaining sum. Only pay when both parties have signed the contract.
Frequency. If the partnership is over a long period, determine how often you will pay them. If they are producing a high volume of content for your brand, it may be more convenient to pay a sum at the end of the month rather than after each post.
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Influencers are required to follow FTC guidelines when posting endorsements or sponsored content. These guidelines vary from place to place. If the influencer lives in Europe, they should abide by the GDPR’s regulations.
These guidelines uphold transparency. In most cases, they require that the influencer clearly states that the post is sponsored, using Instagram’s sponsored post feature and hashtags such as #ad and #sponsored. Following these rules is both a legal and social responsibility.
To create an FTC-approved sponsored post on Instagram, you may have to add the influencer’s account as an “approved business partner” on your own Instagram business account. The influencer will then upload their post and be able to tag you as a business partner.
It also has the benefit of allowing you to review and approve the content before it goes live. Set out the influencer’s legal responsibilities clearly in the contract. Legal software can be used to ensure all necessary clauses and obligations are included. If possible, consult with a lawyer. This way, you can ensure all the information is accurate and does not leave you vulnerable to legal liability.
Describe the work the influencer will be doing for you: the creative brief. You may have to deliberate with the influencer on the format the content will take, e.g., TikTok vs. Instagram posts, videos, reels, etc.
You should also agree on the quantity of work: how many posts they will need to make and how they should be spaced out. Automation can be used for scheduling so posts can be approved and queued ahead of time.
Share your brand’s current main objectives with the influencer. What are you aiming to get out of this collaboration? For example:
- Targeting a new market segment. Use your relationship with this influencer to reach a new audience. Undertake research beforehand about the audience the influencer attracts, or ask directly about their analytics.
- Boosting traffic. If you have a new website, product, or platform you want to promote, enlist the influencer to help get the word out. A short-term collaboration can help quickly drive traffic and bump your clicks.
- Increasing brand awareness. Improve your brand’s name recognition and stand out from your competitors. For example, if your competitor’s brand is highly visible on Instagram, getting a popular Instagrammer to promote your product could help even the playing field.
Clarifying the goals of the campaign helps the influencer to better understand your requirements. They can then tailor the kind of content they produce to fit your objectives. It’s also valuable to have these metrics as a reference so that, after your campaign concludes, you can accurately assess its effectiveness.
Remember, negotiation will occur. Keep an open dialogue with the influencer to maintain a positive working relationship. Use hosted IP phone systems to keep in touch and store valuable information from your meetings on the cloud. It will make the process of updating your contract quicker and easier.
Now we’ve highlighted the most critical items to include, let’s look at a basic contract template.
Influencer Contract Sample
1. Introduction. This contract was made on (Date) between the Advertiser (Company Name) and the Influencer (Influencer Name).
2. Acknowledgment. The Advertiser and Influencer agree to the terms of this contract.
3. Terms. The Influencer agrees to complete a contract period from (Date 1) to (Date 2). For the renewal of the term, a new contract will be created.
4. Compensation. The total payment will be (Amount in $). Payment will be made by (Payment method). This payment will be made during the contract period.
This payment represents the influencer’s entire compensation. The Advertiser shall have no obligation for any other compensation. The Influencer is liable for paying taxes or any additional costs or expenses incurred by the Influencer in connection with fulfilling this agreement.
5. Content requirements.
A. Content produced by the Influencer should be original and factual.
B. The content should comply with the social media platform’s terms and conditions.
C. All content should be in good taste and avoid inappropriate language or content promoting discrimination based on race, gender, age, religion, nationality, disability, or sexual orientation.
D. The Advertiser will approve the content before it is uploaded to any social media platform.
E. The Advertiser can request the addition of links, tags, or titles in the uploaded media.
F. After approval, the Influencer will share the content on his or her social media accounts.
6. Compliance with FTC Guidelines. When publishing posts about the Advertiser’s products, the Influencer must clearly state his or her “material connection” with the Advertiser, including that the Influencer was paid for the service. The Influencer should only make statements about the Advertiser’s products that are true and can be verified.
7. Copyright. The (Advertiser/Influencer) will own the copyright of the uploaded media. Both parties may upload it to their channels.
8. Confidentiality. This contract is confidential and should not be shared with any unauthorized party.
9. Amendment. This contract can only be modified with the written consent of (Advertiser and Influencer).
10. Governing Law. This contract shall be governed under the laws of (state, USA).
The above is a simple template intended for customization. Add any details specific to your business, consult other types of sample independent contractor agreements to ensure you cover your bases, and contact a lawyer before finalizing.
Now, you have all you need to construct a bulletproof influencer contract for your business.
Along with the name, dates, and details of compensation, don’t forget to outline legal responsibility. Additionally, use your contract to make the goals of your campaign as clear as possible. This gives the influencer the best possible chance of fulfilling the brief and ensures your influencer marketing campaign garners fantastic results.
Author: Richard Conn – Senior Director, Demand Generation
Richard Conn is the Senior Director for Demand Generation at 8×8, a leading communication platform with integrated contact center, voice, video, business internet phone, and chat functionality. Richard is an analytical & results-driven digital marketing leader with a track record of achieving major ROI improvements in fast-paced, competitive B2B environments. He has also written for other domains such as Yesware and DoneDone. Check out his LinkedIn.