Influencer Contract: How To Draft An Agreement Template
An elaborate influencer contract will protect your company from much trouble, such as non-fulfillment of the obligations by an influencer or liability for breaking the FTC requirements. In this article, you will find tips on how to prepare a comprehensive influencer agreement for your campaign.
So, you’ve decided to follow today’s media trends and promote your brand with the help of social media influencers. What’s next? You probably are going to write an email to an influencer and ask if they would like to talk about your product in their next post, video or stream. You got lucky and the influencer is willing to promote your brand. Is the deal settled? We wish it was that easy.
Sometimes cooperation with influencers can be as simple and straightforward as described above. But in most cases, collaborations with various types of influencers require a more thorough approach with terms and conditions carved in stone (written down).
Influencer Contract: Why Do You Need One?
Working with social media influencers is just another way of business cooperation, like signing a contract with a famous athlete or model to promote your product. Yes, you should treat social media influencers as celebrities – they are, in fact, for their followers.
Fashion bloggers, travelers, fitness instructors, food gurus, gamers – many of them are social media stars who earn millions of dollars annually. For example, according to Forbes, VanossGaming, who is one of the most popular gaming YouTubers, earned $11.5 million in 2019. Forbes also reported that the top 10 Twitch streamers made over $121 million from brand sponsorships in 2019.
Cooperation with influencers can sometimes benefit your brand more than working with well-known movie or sports stars. Social media celebrities have a closer connection with their audience. They are more approachable for their followers, and their opinions have a significant impact on people’s decisions. Influencer marketing campaigns are essential and highly effective if executed properly.
To make sure that both sides are happy with the collaboration results, writing down all terms and conditions of the deal is the ultimate step in the campaign planning. So, the first reason why you need an influencer agreement is to make sure that your expectations and deliverables actually match.
Another reason for signing an influencer contract is to obtain guarantees for completion of services. By signing a contract, both parties are legally obligated to fulfill their part of the deal. Any delays, unmet requirements, violated compliances are monetarily covered. With a solid legal document, both an advertiser and an influencer feel more secure.
Simple Influencer Agreement: Key Points To Take Into Account
A well-comprised influencer contract will get both you and an influencer covered so that all parties stay satisfied with the results of your campaign. A typical influencer agreement has to include the essential aspects described below.
Be specific about the scope of influencer content. Enunciate the type of content you are looking for: is it a dedicated YouTube video? An Instagram Carousel post? 3 Instagram stories? A 60-second shoutout during a Twitch stream?
Determine the number of posts or videos you require and indicate the publishing frequency. You can also include information about reposts to influencer’s other social media channels, if necessary.
Agency Tip: If you want an influencer to share the sponsored content across other social media channels, you need to specify that in the influencer agreement.
Example: an influencer creates a sponsored YouTube video. Do you want it to be shared on Twitter? Make sure to mention this expected repost in the influencer contract.
Being specific with all these details will save you from a headache in the future.
Schedules are necessary for you to plan your campaign and for influencers to stay creative without feeling too much pressure. You should agree upon reasonable deadlines for content creation and approval, duration of work, publishing time, and, of course, payment.
Plan your influencer marketing campaign so that you have enough time to review the content. Also, leave some room on your schedule for an influencer to make edits to the content after your review.
Don’t forget that you are working with creative people who don’t like to be pinged every day. Providing breathing room for inspiration while sticking to deadlines is beneficial for both parties.
Agency Tip: Speaking of timing, it would be a good idea to specify how long the content should be displayed on the influencer’s account. Some influencers might delete the sponsored content from their feed several weeks after publication.
Details are vital since influencers cannot do the guesswork about your brand’s needs.
If you are planning a YouTube influencer collaboration, you have to indicate whether it should be a dedicated, integrated, or other type of sponsorship. What should be the length of the brand integration (30/ 60/ 90 seconds)? Should the influencer talk about your product at the beginning or at the end of the video?
Working with Instagram influencers, you have to specify the details as well: is it a static post or story? What hashtag should the influencer use? Should they tag the brand’s account? How many posts or stories should be published? Should an Instagram story feature a photo or a video? Is a swipe-up link required?
When partnering with Twitch streamers, be specific about the brand mentions during the sponsored stream. How many times during the stream should the streamer talk about your product? Should they add a chat-bot command with a message from your brand? Should they encourage their viewers to visit your website?
While listing all these requirements, remember to provide creative freedom – followers love influencers for their unique style and personal opinion.
Agency Tip: When putting together the content requirements in your influencer contract draft, you’ll tend to think of things an influencer should INCLUDE in the sponsored content. Another good idea would be to list things to AVOID in the influencer content. For instance, you might want to specify that the influencer should not mention your brand’s competitors when talking about your product.
Make sure to spell out no-discrimination, no-foul language, FTC compliance, and sponsorship disclaimers. In case of violation, your company might be subjected to disciplinary actions.
So adding all these compliance requirements to your influencer contract draft will help you stay on the safe side.
Brands prefer to review the content before it’s published by influencers. A common practice is to add a content approval clause to your influencer agreement.
Such a clause would normally describe the procedure for content review by the brand’s representatives: how many rounds of iterations are included? How much time does an influencer have to make the necessary edits?
A good idea would be to set up a clear deadline by which each post should be submitted for review, as well as the approval timeline.
Points to define in this clause include payment terms, amount of compensation, and payment model.
1. Forms of compensation to influencers can vary:
Free products granted to the influencer: you can compensate for the influencer’s work by providing them with free products, access to your services, or gift cards.
Flat fee: influencer receives a specified monetary amount with no regard to the campaign’s performance.
Cost per view: the compensation will depend on the number of views the influencer content generates within a specified time period.
Cost per action: the compensation will depend on the number of specific actions (like Clicks, Sales or Installs) the influencer content generates within a specified time period.
Commission: influencer receives a fee if a product is purchased via their affiliate link or promo code.
2. Terms of payment might vary as well:
Payment in advance (PIA): brand pays the total amount for the influencer’s service in advance. This option might be necessary when you work with celebrity influencers that get numerous brand sponsorship offers.
Deposit Payment: to secure both parties of the deal, you can pay in parts. For example, the influencer will receive 25% upfront, and the remaining amount shall be transferred after the content goes live.
Payment upon delivery: the influencer receives the compensation within a specified period of time after all terms of the agreement are fulfilled.
Bonus Payment: you may want to include additional monetary payment for highly performing influencer content.
Your payment terms may vary but one condition is a must – they should be clearly stated in the influencer contract. This way, each party will have a clear picture of the financial side of the deal, with no reservations going in or regrets afterward.
3. Payment Methods
The final touch on the payment terms clause of your influencer contract would be indicating the method of payment. You can add the payment method stipulated by your company: for instance, bank transfer. Adding PayPal transfer as another payment method is a common practice as influencers often prefer to receive compensation via PayPal.
In this section of an influencer agreement, you need to state who will own the content created during your cooperation with an influencer.
90% of brands see the value of repurposing influencer content. If you plan to re-use the materials, you have to mention it, as well as the terms of such usage. Also, you have to cover any licensing, copyrights, and clearance from third party users.
Consider adding an exclusivity obligation to your influencer contract. This term means that an influencer cannot promote competitors’ products or any others from the same industry or market niche for a particular period of time, during and after the completion of your project.
It’s a good idea to consult with a legal counselor to compile this part of an influencer agreement draft. You can find some influencer contract templates online, but they are not one-size-fits-all solutions. What’s suitable for one company can be irrelevant for another.
Keep in mind that many influencers are unwilling to enter into exclusive brand deals. Offering some extra fees can help convince the influencer that an exclusive partnership is worth it.
Agency Tip: When negotiating this challenging clause with an influencer, you can present it as a benefit both for your brand and the influencer. Focusing on a single brand from the niche adds credibility to the influencer’s opinion, while switching from one competitor brand to another might lead to loss of trust from the influencer’s audience.
When working with influencers, you will share a lot of internal information with them. Your influencer contract needs to protect your financial terms, marketing plans, and other proprietary materials from being disclosed to any third parties.
Results measurement and data tracking are essential for any marketing campaign. In order to understand the impact of a specific project, tracking links can be generated and shared with an influencer. Tracking links usually lead to the advertiser’s landing page and allow measuring of a campaign’s performance by metrics such as clicks, conversions, etc.
It’s worth adding any requirements about tracking links to the influencer contract. An advertiser specifies where this link should be placed: in a YouTube video description, as a swipe-up in the Instagram story, etc. If you are placing the link in the chat on Twitch and are using a chat-bot command – you need to specify how often this link should appear during the Stream. Having your link properly displayed can significantly affect the campaign’s performance.
Agency Tip: Some performance metrics might be visible only to the influencers via their social media profiles. If you need to dig deeper into the data, you might ask the influencers to provide you with access to some specific metrics such as Instagram story views or YouTube video watch duration. If you need screenshots or reports of these analytics, make sure to add this requirement to the influencer contract.
For some campaigns where the compensation is tied to campaign performance, the correct measurement can affect payment terms.
Cancellation Clauses / Termination
“All good things come to an end” and your influencer campaign is not an exception. An influencer contract draft should include a termination clause that specifies the duration of the contract.
Another thing to consider is the campaign’s cancellation terms. The influencer agreement needs to be specific on what the requirements and responsibilities are for cancelling the contract by either party.
Outline the terms for contract cancellation, such as non-performance or breaking the brand guidelines.
Agency Tip: Sometimes influencers might ask the brand to provide warranties related to contract cancellation. If the contract was annulled by the brand when content creation was already in progress, the influencer might require partial compensation for their work. Brands can also include a clause that would stipulate penalties for breaking the agreement terms by an influencer.
Assets Provided by Advertiser
Some influencer campaigns require the sponsored content to be branded according to the advertiser’s guidelines. If that’s the case, it’s important to include this requirement in the influencer contract. Brands can provide an influencer with assets and materials, such as brand logo, brand guidebook, banners, etc.
We recommend that you specify what materials will be given to the influencer in the agreement. Being attentive to details will help ensure proper adherence to branding.
Influencer Contract – FAQ
When putting together an influencer contract draft for your first campaign, you might face some challenges. Let’s walk through the most common questions that arise on the way.
Q: What are the ‘must have’ essentials of an Influencer contract?
Influencers might want to negotiate the terms stated in your contract draft. When working out the draft of your influencer agreement, your team needs to pin down the terms that are non-negotiable for your brand. If the influencer asks for modifications of these terms, you will have to politely decline to make them, explaining that your company’s legal team would not accept the edits.
At the same time, show some flexibility with the clauses that are less crucial. This way your deal will become a happy middle ground for both parties.
Q: When should I sign the contract with the influencer?
Usually the contract is signed after all terms of the influencer campaign have been settled via email. When the parties agree on the details, the brand’s representative puts them into the agreement draft and sends it out for the influencer to sign.
It’s important to have the contract signed by both parties before the influencer starts working on the content creation.
Q: Does a verbal contract by voice conversation or an agreement via email count?
Personal relationships should be built on trust, but when it comes to business affairs, it’s better to have all arrangements sealed legally. A verbal agreement can be interpreted in different ways by each party, and recollections may differ as well. Email correspondence can have more legal power if both parties agreed upon the terms set out. Still, having a fully executed contract will protect your brand’s interests in the most effective way.
Q: Is a digital signature valid?
Electronic signatures are legal and enforceable in most countries around the world. Electronic signatures have the same legal status as handwritten signatures throughout the United States.
Q: Who should sign the contract on the influencer’s side?
Sometimes influencers are represented by individual agents or talent agencies. In this case, you don’t necessarily need to get the influencer’s signature on the contract. The document can be signed by the agent on the influencer’s behalf.
There are some standard paragraphs your influencer contract should include. The content of every section is negotiable and should be discussed with an influencer for everyone’s mutual benefit. Note that influencers often have an entire team working under one celebrity name, and it will usually include a legal consultant. Your ability to navigate legal matters professionally will help you avoid problems and losses in the future.
Make sure that an influencer contract template you’ve compiled covers all the points. We recommend approaching the issue thoroughly and consulting with a reputable influencer marketing agency or legal professional.
The good news is that there is no need to compile a new influencer agreement for each campaign. You can work out a contract template with several variables and use it for all of your future campaigns. For more details, contact us by filling out this simple form.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog article does not, and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The content and materials provided in this article are for general informational purposes only.