Influencer Agreements: Everything You Need To Know
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What You Need To Know About Influencer Agreements
As brand collaborations with today's top social media influencers become an increasingly effective and prevalent way for companies to connect with large, engaged audiences, outlining expectations (such as campaign schedules, content requirements, payments, and usage rights) in a working influencer agreement is the best way to ensure that the partnership is beneficial and executed well for all parties involved. Having a plan—and getting it in writing—regarding the details of an influencer marketing campaign will help keep both brands and social media stars moving in the same direction and help avoid future complications.
Why Influencer Agreements Are Important
Both social media influencers and brands have a lot invested in influencer marketing collaborations, and influencers agreements serve to protect the interests of all parties, define ownership and usage rights of materials, and clarify campaign expectations. As recent legal actions by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (i.e. FTC, the governing body that protects consumers from deceptive advertising and unfair business practices) illustrates, crafting an airtight influencer agreement complete with the requisite FTC stipulations can be largely helpful to both digital influencers (e.g. YouTubers, Instagrammers, Viners, Snapchatters, bloggers), content creators, audiences, and brands.
A Note On Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Disclosure
While there may be some ambiguity in what constitutes as adequate disclosure, Federal Trade Commission Endorsement Guides clearly state that disclosures should be clear, unambiguous, and visible to all consumers. According to federal guidelines, hashtags like #Promotion, #Contest, #Sweepstakes, #Ad, #Spon, and #Sponsored are all acceptable ways to label sponsored content, but to avoid legal complication, brands need to be explicit in telling influencers exactly how to properly disclose advertisements or brand/brand sponsored marketing material.
For more information on the Federal Trade Commission's guidelines regarding influencer marketing campaigns, see our article here.
Elements To Be Included In Influencer Agreements:
Depending on the nature of the campaign (i.e. whether it's a one-off collaboration, includes multiple social media platforms or not), influencer agreements need to be tailored accordingly. For example, influencer agreement verbiage for a YouTube influencer campaign will vary from a blog only one (e.g. specifying the brand mention within a certain timeframe of the video is pertinent to YouTube campaigns).
To align expectations, and craft campaign timetable of deliverables between social media influencers and brands, influencer agreements containing the following points will help to ensure seamless collaboration. We've included the salient agreement points (in bold) followed with a sample text and/or explanation.
- Who retains creative control? "Influencer will retain creative control over the blog content"
- Image specifications? "Influencer must include five or more original lifestyle photos (no stock photography) in sponsored post"
- Copy Points? How will copy be incorporated? Brand will provide copy points for the influencer to put in their own words and incorporate into the campaign
- Will tracking links/codes be provided? Brands will provide tracking links and coupons/promo codes for the influencer to incorporate into sponsored content
- Dedicated vs. Non-dedicated? Campaign should differentiate between "dedicated" and "non-dedicated" sponsorship—if dedicated, no other brand name mentions must appear in the sponsored post. For a dedicated YouTube video, influencer will guarantee that sponsoring brand is the only brand mentioned in the video
- Will a preview be made available prior to posting? Brand should set preview expectations, deadlines, and schedules to review/approve subsequent posting
- Will content created by promoted across other social channels? Both brand and influencer should clarify expectations regarding social media promotions on other platforms
- Length of campaign? Brand and influencers should agree on campaign schedule and the exclusivity period for content. Influencer will refrain from working with or mentioning a brand's competitor for a set period of time
- Payment details? All parties should agree on payment details and payment timelines
- Standard contract clauses? Both brand and influencers will accept standard contract clauses such as a non-disparagement clause
- Ownership, licensing, clearances? Influencer and brand will agree on ownership of content, copyrights, licenses, and clearances for third-party use of content
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Since 2011, Mediakix has helped the world's most recognizable brands concept, execute, and scale marketing with top YouTubers, Snapchatters, Instagrammers, bloggers, and more. For an in-depth look at how top brands launch effective and standout influencer marketing campaigns, see our free whitepaper strategy guide "10 Steps To Influencer Marketing."
March 23, 2016 By Mediakix Team