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As a freelance digital marketing contractor, you have to keep abreast of emerging trends entering the marketplace. You must pay attention to rapidly occurring shifts within the digital marketing industry, or you will lose your cherished clients to your feisty competitors.

For your clients to reach more of their clients, they need to become more visible. To attain this visibility, they will look up to you for services that will help them exploit emerging technology advancements

New formats are evolving daily, and video popularity is rising. As such, digital content marketing will no longer be about writing great blog posts or informative listicles. Content strategies will change due to voice search, aiming at enhanced snippet features and direct interactive tutorials spoken to online visitors while they undertake complex or commonplace tasks.

‍Image Credits: zooryx.us



Content will, therefore, be mostly about integration and interaction with new user interface features. Impersonalized ads and email blasts will disappear as the fax machine did. What will be become increasingly important will be hyper-targeting and a focus on personalization of each interaction. Attention will become a critical currency while creating a personal connection with each prospect will become an important aspect of digital marketing.

This all means that you and your clients will have to enter into binding agreements that clearly pinpoint which services that you have on offer, the terms, conditions, and costs. That way, you will be able to offer your clients precise options for the services you have on offer and what they will have to pay for those options, leaving little chance for disagreements.

A digital marketing contract template is a crucial document that best covers such issues.

What Is This Template?

The term Digital Marketing Contract Template is a standard reference to the various types of contracts through which you as the marketing services provider reaches an agreement with a client to create and distribute different types of content that markets a business held by your client. This content can take numerous forms that include audio, video, or text.

In other words, it is an agreement to generate content that shall appear online on your client’s website, distributed through press releases, and in social media, among others in order to promote your client’s business.

Understanding the Various Levels of Your Services

As alluded to above about exploiting emerging technological advancements, you will appreciate that the scope of services you offer your clients varies widely from contract to contract. This is while the level of service provision appearing in your bill to each client. A major determining factor depends on who shall supply the content needed for the marketing.

Some of your clients on a shoestring budget will attempt to cut down on expenses through creating their own content, such as writing articles themselves. They will then hand over the created content to you for distribution online with the objective of generating new clients for their businesses.

With such a budget content marketing arrangement, frequent disputes are bound to arise due to two reasons. First, your client may not have current expertise regarding how to create search engine friendly content required to convert easily into sales. Second, your client may fail to create required content on time and in a timely manner.

As a proficient content marketer, you can avoid the resulting disputes and associated lawsuits by insisting on creating this content yourself rather than relying on your client to do so. It would be prudent, however, to have an arrangement where your client signs off on the content you have created before you can upload it. This way, you ensure your client is happy with such content before their clients can access it.

Defining Service Provision Scope to Your Client

In order to come up with a mutual understanding of what is required between you and your client, it is important that both of you have a concisely written scope of services in the form of a content marketing agreement. A good scope will clearly outline what you must deliver to your client and specifically exclude those services that fall beyond your scope.

This way, the risks of disagreement fall drastically between you and your client while ensuring that your bill to your client professionally and precisely reflects the value you will have delivered.

To give a generic example, should you have to create and upload online four pieces of marketing content each week there are certain things that the scope of services should make clear. These include who creates the content, how long the content will be, such as one thousand words for example, and whether you can have a sub-contractor to create and distribute the content.

Other areas to cover in the scope are the manner in which content will be distributed, a blog post for example, and the platforms upon which the content will see promotion such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and so on.

Result Measurement

An entrepreneur lacking in current digital marketing experience may have the mistaken notion that content marketing has a basic objective to build a famous brand such as Microsoft, Apple, or Google. For the privately held enterprise, however, the basic digital marketing objective remains to identify and converting prospects into sales.

This means that your content marketing agreement needs to focus on metrics associated with returns on investment from your marketing strategy rather than vague notions such as marketing creativity, social media awareness, and building brands.

Essentials to Cover

As a freelance digital marketing service provider, you require a clearly formulated digital marketing contract template that will go a long way in protecting your rights as a freelancer. This is as it ensures that you and your client understand clearly your respective responsibilities.

As you go about formulating a template for your services that you can use repeatedly and successfully, there are certain issues that require addressing.

1- Change 

First is an understanding on your part that change is the only constant in this business. This means that with each new development that arises in this industry, you must be able to have this reflected in your template fast.

2- Period

Second, it requires a precise reflection on how long your digital marketing engagement with your client will last. When the term starts, when it ends, its length in weeks months or years has to come out clearly.

3- Renewal

Third, Once the term of an initial contract has ended, the template needs to clearly stipulate whether another one starts automatically, whether the marketing contract can be renewed, and if so, the procedure for renewal.

4- Termination

Fourth, the template needs to identify the grounds for contract cancellation, either by you as the service provider or by your client. It needs to identify the procedure for contract termination and any penalties either you or your client will have to incur once either of you terminates the contract.

5- Products and Services

Fifth, your digital marketing contract must clearly stipulate the services you are offering for each contract. As noted earlier, there are new ways involved in digital marketing coming out every day and how these will be incorporated into a contract calls for a clear procedure.

6- Payment

Sixth, how your client will pay you for your services is a critical component of your digital marketing contract. You might opt for specific milestones that trigger a certain percentage of the full final payment. Another option may involve weekly, monthly, or any other periodic payment schedule.

7- Warranty

Warranties you will grant your clients are the seventh issue to think about. The digital marketing contract template has to identify the warranties you will disclaim, such as fitness for a certain purpose.

8- Copyrights and Intellectual Property Rights

Number eight is agreeing on who owns the intellectual property for whichever marketing content you will have created on behalf of your client. Should you retain intellectual property ownership, you will need to come up with a license to grant clients who use this content. In addition, the template has to identify whether these licenses expire when the contract term ends or not.

9- Jurisdiction

Number nine covers the jurisdiction under which the marketing contract template falls. It must identify the laws that shall come into play once a dispute arises over a contract. This means stipulating which state laws to apply, which country laws to apply if you and your client are from different nationalities, and whether it will be the laws of where you leave or the laws applying in your client’s headquarters to take into consideration.

10- How to Resolve Disputes

Number ten, in the event that a breach of contract dispute arises, the digital marketing contract template needs to state a resolution avenue. This may include mediation, arbitration, and heading to court. It needs to pinpoint how any of these avenues shall be selected.

11- Defending and Indemnification of Your Clients

Number eleven covers how far you will be willing to go to defend and indemnify your clients against third-party suits arising from your services. At some point in rendering services, a third party may feel aggrieved that you or your service to your client has infringed on their copyright or intellectual property enough to sue your client.

In this regard, your digital marketing contract template will have provisions where you assure your clients you have adequate insurance cover against third party grievances arising from your services.

Image Credits: oerpel.us

Caution on Source

Before you can download, copy and paste, or borrow a digital marketing contract template from someone else, you need to be aware of the inherent dangers of doing so.

1- In Whose Interests

Picking any marketing contract template without careful scrutiny may turn out to favor your client to your disadvantage. As a freelance digital marketing professional, it would not be in your interests if you used a design that favors your clients more than it safeguards your professional interests.

2- Consent

If you do not have legal consent to use a downloaded, copy and pasted, or borrowed digital marketing contract template, you would be guilty of intellectual property theft. The consequence would be a suit against you for infringement of copyright and intellectual property rights.

3- Borrowed Consent

In the event you have borrowed a copy of a template from a friend who has given you their consent, there is still the danger that your friend may also not have legal rights to use or lend to a third party. This means that you would still be at risk of infringing intellectual property rights and copyrights.

4- General Definitions and Applications

Most forms of this nature available for download rarely cover specific laws of specific states or jurisdictions. This means they rest merely on general legal principals applicable in the United States but not specific jurisdictions. This means one may be good enough in one state but illegal in another, exposing you to legal liabilities.

5- Legal Expert

Ultimately, this means that before you can use a downloaded, copy and pasted, or borrowed digital marketing contract template, it would be critical to consult an expert first. Such an expert could be an attorney or any other expert with wide knowledge in contract laws within an applicable jurisdiction.

In addition, such an expert must be one with proficiency in the specific intended applications of these forms.

In a nutshell

Digital marketing platforms and trends are undergoing regular and rapid updates and changes. In the course of this year alone, Facebook algorithms have undergone drastic changes that are causing waves within the digital marketing industry.

The implications here are that consumers are digesting advertising in new ways and changes are taking place at a rapid pace. For digital marketing freelancers, it is no longer merely enough to keep abreast of emerging trends. You must look forward and prepare for what comes next.

This means creating your digital marketing contract template in a manner that contemplates and reflects these rapid changes. Only then will you be able to give excellent service provision and satisfaction to your clients while making profits appropriate to the skills and long hours you put in.

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