Social Media

Why an Influencer Agreement is absolutely vital for a successful partnership

- May 2, 2022 4 MIN READ

Influencer marketing is big business. And with big business can come big pitfalls, especially if you don’t have an effective Influencer Agreement in place, writes Shalini Nandan-Singh, founder of Love Your Legals.

Influencer marketing is a social media marketing strategy where influencers’ endorsement or mention of a particular product works as a recommendation or promotion of that product to their followers. When matched well, the influencer’s followers are the brand’s potential customers.

More and more businesses are investing in influencers, with the industry heading towards $3billion and still growing. With millions of influencers across multiple platforms, conducting successful influencer marketing campaigns takes consideration and communication.

What is an Influencer Agreement?

Social media influencer trying on makeup

The best way to ensure that both the business and influencer are on the same page is via an Influencer Agreement.

An Influencer Agreement is a legal contract that sets out the agreement between the influencer and the brand, relating to the rights and obligations of each party. This contract protects both parties, and defining roles and expectations helps ensure the success of the partnership.

Most problems with influencer engagement are usually the result of neither party ensuring all expectations, requirements, and limitations are communicated, understood, and agreed upon.

Here’s a true example of how easily things can go wrong:

A pet accessories brand (P.A.) was approached by X Brand to see if P.A. would send some products, and X Brand would send footage and photos for P.A.’s marketing use. The sort of shots P.A. was after was discussed; however, no formal agreement was made.

P.A. sent $300 of product and tried to communicate with X Brand in a friendly manner but was constantly ignored. Finally, after one month, X Brand posted one story with a P.A. collar and tagged them in it, but also included another brand.

And P.A. hasn’t been able to get a response or any further promotion from X Brand since.

While P.A. Brand is understandably disappointed, they have no legal recourse without any contract. The good news is P.A. have learnt a very valuable lesson for a relatively small sum. Others in similar situations have lost thousands before concluding that an influencer agreement is a MUST, not a ‘should’.

What should an Influencer Agreement include?

Legal contract or form of agreement

Negotiations with influencers and marketing campaigns differ on product, audience and influencer reach, and contracts for each campaign should be tailored.

However, some information and legal clauses are a must, including:

General information – details about the campaign timings and specific clauses

  • full legal names, addresses and email addresses.
  • dates, including the length of the campaign and a campaign schedule.
  • exclusivity periods.
  • cancellation clauses.
  • an NDA (non-disclosure agreement or confidentiality clause).

Services – details about the type of content needed

  • Descriptions of the work; e.g. the influencer is to create a certain aesthetic using specific colours.
  • Specified products to be featured.
  • Format; e.g. photos, videos, stories, etc.
  • The number of pieces of content that will be shared.
  • Specific hashtags to be used.

Deliverables – how the service is performed

  • E.g. providing an image or video to the product or service brand for promotion on their own social media channels and/or;
  • Posting (including posting schedule) the content on the influencer’s own social media channels using specific hashtags.

Creative control over the campaign

  • Will the brand provide images and copy, or is this the influencer’s responsibility?
  • Who has final approval of the content before posting?
  • Influencer terms and conditions; e.g. the influencer may wish to archive posts after a certain time.

Payment details

  • Agreed fees.
  • When the influencer is to be paid.
  • If working with an international influencer, determine the currency of payment.

Ownership of work

  • Define who owns the products, images, intellectual property rights, copyrights and licenses.

Handling of comments and engagement on the campaign’s posts

  • Certain comments and engagement from followers may threaten a brand’s or an influencer’s reputation. Therefore, it’s important to communicate who is responsible for handling any public relations issues.

Legal obligations

  • The necessary steps required for each party to take so that both parties can comply with their legal obligations should be spelled out. For example, the contract should require the influencer to be transparent about their affiliate status or commercial gains, when they post the content on their social media accounts. There are many considerations to be made, and they will vary on a case-by-case basis.

Other provisions

  • Reporting metrics, liability, moral rights, dispute resolution, etc., may need to be considered depending on each campaign.

If your business is in the health and wellness industry and you either already work with influencers, or are considering it, you will find this blog very helpful.

Influencer marketing can be highly effective. The key is understanding expectations and defining the requirements of each party, through Influencer Agreements that are well-drafted to protect both parties’ interests and become the foundation for a successful marketing campaign.

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