From raising brand awareness to generating sales, influencer marketing has proven to drive results for brands. In a recent survey, 62% of marketers reported that influencer campaigns increased press coverage surrounding their brand and 59% said it boosted website traffic.
However, without a detailed influencer marketing contract advertisers can fall prey to low campaign performance, FTC criticism, the backlash of influencer controversy, and more. Here we’ll outline the six essentials that marketers should include in every influencer contract.
A clear and conspicuous influencer contract serves the interests of both influencers and brands. For one, if both parties are happy with the experience and results of a campaign they’re much more likely to work together in the future. Furthermore, if an influencer is clearly informed of campaign expectations, he/she is better prepared to create sponsored content that meets a brand’s goals.
In order to ensure that a campaign runs according to plan marketers should explicitly document: (1) the duration of the campaign (2) the deadlines an influencer must meet in creating sponsored content for review and (3) the dates and times an influencer must share sponsored content.
In the event that an influencer is creating multiple sponsored posts for a brand, marketers should clearly outline the amount of time that’s to elapse between posts. To avoid potential confusion, time deadlines should be written in the influencer’s time zone.
An influencer contract should also document whether the influencer or the brand owns sponsored content after a campaign goes live and concludes. Oftentimes, a brand may want to reuse sponsored content for other marketing initiatives.
If it’s important to your brand to reuse sponsored content, whether on your social channels, website, advertising copy, etc. a specific agreement should be written regarding the ownership of content and the duration of that ownership.
In order for an influencer to successfully create the sponsored content a brand wants, the brand must clearly communicate campaign expectations. Brands should avoid being vague in describing campaign deliverables, as this can result in content that doesn’t meet its needs or goals.
To avoid any misunderstanding, marketers should spell out the specific talking points that an influencer must meet.
Additionally, the format of talking points should be identified, whether verbally in a video or written within an Instagram post caption or in a YouTube video description.
In the case that an influencer is to deliver talking points verbally, the contract should indicate when in a video this must take place (e.g. within the first minute). The specific deliverables for each social channel should be outlined.
Related Post: The 5 Different Types Of Influencer Marketing Campaigns
The success of sponsored content depends not only on an influencer’s ability to create content that awes and excites, but also the content’s positioning within his/her larger social media presence. For example, the sponsored post an influencer creates for a brand is unlikely to impact an audience if the same influencer partners with a direct competitor the following week.
Within a contract, brands should outline a time frame for exclusivity and clearly state the competitors an influencer is barred from working with within that time frame.
As influencer marketing continues to grow, FTC compliance is becoming an increasingly important issue. In April 2017, the FTC sent warning letters to 90 celebrities, brands, and influencers for failing to clearly disclose partnerships on social media. Failure to meet FTC guidelines can spell problems for the brand, agency, and influencers involved in a campaign.
To ensure influencers clearly disclose the nature of sponsored content, brands should clearly outline disclosure expectations within an influencer contract. This could even include the exact verbal and written verbiage an influencer must include, such as “sponsored by” or “paid partnership with.”
Apart from the influencer specific contract essentials previously mentioned, brands should also include clauses characteristic of any contract in their written agreement with an influencer. Namely, a non-disparagement clause, indemnification clause, and a termination clause should they become necessary.
To learn more about standard contract clauses for influencer marketing campaigns, please reference our related post below.