Just a few years ago, influencer marketing seemed like a fad. However, it endured the derisory comments and prophecies of doom, and now, it is one of the most effective strategies for creating brand awareness and building stronger customer relationships.
Today, an influencer agreement is a vital step towards making the most of this relatively new marketing channel, which has the potential to generate 11 times as much return on investment (ROI) compared to traditional digital marketing methods.
In this article, we'll tell you what that is, why it's important, and how you can create an influencer agreement that protects your rights as a freelancer.
An influencer agreement is a legal contract between a marketer and a social media content creator, which summarizes the terms of their working relationship. Typically, an influencer agreement will include details about project specs, deliverables, timelines, and payment.
As brands invest more in influencer marketing, their marketing team sets higher standards for these freelance contract workers, expecting more bang for their buck. Businesses have targets, and if influencers are going to charge higher rates, there needs to be a contract in place to ensure that everyone involved knows the expectations, their rights, and obligations.
Going forward, we'll cover 11 essential aspects of an influencer agreement. You can customize a contract however you like, but there are some critical sections that you should include in an influencer agreement:
A clear statement that explains a marketer is entering a contract with an influencer. This section should include the full names of all parties, the dates, and a concise outline of the purpose of the contract.
Is this a one-off project, or will there be long-term work? Establish initial expectations for the length of the working relationship here.
Describe the products or services the influencer must deliver. For example, you can list the specific number of videos, Instagram posts, or blog posts. As a freelance employee, it’s good to include more detail to provide greater clarity and to safeguard against scope creep.
It's a good idea to include some provisions that will allow you to terminate the contract early if specific circumstances arise. For example, if the client requests something that could harm your online reputation or prospects of getting work as an influencer in the future.
Many companies will have a list of things they want to avoid posting online. These boundaries could include the use of certain phrases, profane language, or referring to any competitors by name.
The influencer agreement should clearly define the approval process, so you understand the standards the client expects. Taking this step now can avoid contentious situations later.
There’s a good chance that businesses will share private company information with influencers, so they will naturally want some form of guarantee that any valuable data or sensitive documentation will remain private. Furthermore, many businesses will want to secure an exclusive influencer agreement that ensures you aren’t working for a competitor at the same time.
Influencers are paid in several ways, with commission-based rates being quite popular, especially for social media content. In addition to the agreed rates, you may wish to include bonus incentives or perks. For example, travel influencers may seek free airline tickets or hotel bookings if they hit a specific target.
Both parties need to know the rates or expected total amounts, as well as the payment methods and dates. Will invoices be sent weekly or monthly? Is it to be paid by wire transfer or PayPal? Get specific with the payment details, so there is no confusion down the line.
For several years, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has encouraged influencers to disclose sponsored posts, so consumers understand when they are looking at a paid post. However, not everyone has been following the non-binding guidelines. In February 2020, TechCrunch reported that the FTC is considering making these guidelines into official rules, and could enforce financial penalties for those who rebuke the law. Your influencer agreement should take steps to avoid any repercussions in this area.
If you operate in different states or countries, it may make sense to include details about how you will handle communication across different timezones or what would happen if a dispute escalates to the point you need legal counsel. Also, a standard Force Majeure clause is worthwhile, just in case something extraordinary impacts the project. As an influencer, you may not be focused on posting about international cruises in the midst of a global pandemic.
There are thousands of excellent content creators in the digital age, many of whom have the skills and dedication to drive a business forward in a way that benefits the company and their own reputation as an influencer and marketing specialist. However, influencer marketing has drawn some criticism as some individuals have failed to deliver on expectations, even when they charge astronomical sums. There are also incidences of companies not paying influencers fairly for their work.
With an influencer agreement, the company and the content creator can develop an official, written document that protects their rights, outlines their responsibilities, and ensures the other party understands their expectations. Doing this will give the working relationship a strong foundation to grow from, which is good news for everyone involved.