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8 tips to guarantee a watertight influencer agreement for your brand

by | Jul 24, 2023 | Public Relations

In recent years, marketing has shifted dramatically. Who would have thought ten years ago, for example, that to buy .io domain would be classed as marketing? Today it’s a solution that more and more tech companies are investing in. But one of the biggest changes in marketing by far, is a shift towards influencer marketing. 

In 2023, the influencer marketing industry is set to grow by a huge $21.1 billion. Influencers represent an exciting opportunity. But there’s a caveat: If you’re investing in this solution you need the right protections. This is where an influencer marketing agreement comes into play. 

If this is the first time you’re hearing the term, don’t worry. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about influencer agreements. We’ll also talk about how you can build your agreement properly. So, let’s get started. 

8 tips to guarantee a watertight influencer agreement for your brand

Image sourced from influencermarketinghub.com

What is an influencer agreement?

An influencer agreement is a contract between a brand and an influencer. It sets out all the terms of your working arrangement. What’s expected from an influencer? What should a brand do in return? This should all be laid out within a clear contract. 

A well-handled contract lays out the terms of the agreement clearly and provides both parties with legal protection. 

Fostering lasting relationships with an influencer is important. Influencers will also be keen to build strong client relationships and ensure future sponsorships. An agreement ensures that everyone is on the same page. 

The benefits of an influencer agreement 

Of course, technically you don’t need an influencer agreement. You can go ahead without a contract. But make no mistake, doing so is the wrong idea. Without an agreement, you’ll miss out on some of the following benefits and protections. 

  • Provides legal protection

By far, the biggest benefits of an influencer agreement are the legal protections it affords. When a business has an arrangement with any third party, a contract is needed. Working with influencers is no different. If things don’t go to plan, an influencer agreement provides protection from lawsuits. 

Additionally, money is being exchanged, and both parties have a clear set of expectations. Without a contract, you find yourself being scammed. Or, an influencer might be suspicious and less willing to work with you. 

You must use effective contract management practices to ensure that the agreement is properly handled, monitored, and enforced, maximizing the effectiveness of these protections.

With the right legal KPIs you can ensure you’ve included all the corrected protections in your contract. That way, you can ensure a legally binding agreement that instills confidence. 

8 tips to guarantee a watertight influencer agreement for your brand

  • Protects reputation

Remember, an influencer is also representing your brand. In other words, their behavior is seen as being reflective of you. If an influencer behaves badly, it can damage your reputation. Your agreement sets out how you want an influencer to act when representing your company. 

  • Sets deadlines 

During marketing campaigns, it’s vital that you can meet your deadlines. It’s important that influencers can produce material on time to meet your goals. A contract sets out clear deadlines, helping to keep you on schedule. 

Influencers will also be keen that they are paid on time. An agreement can outline a deadline for payment. 

  • Improves compliance

There are a clear set of advertising standards that you must comply with. Straying from these regulations can lead you into hot water – potentially receiving fines. Even worse, you may damage your reputation with customers. 

An influencer agreement lays out what both parties must do to be compliant with regulations. 

8 tips to guarantee a watertight influencer agreement for your brand

Building an influencer agreement

There’s no denying that an influencer agreement is important. But an agreement needs a well-written influencer contract to be effective. But as mentioned, influencer marketing is a new concept to a lot of businesses. You might be unsure where to start with your agreement. 

With that in mind, we’ve put together some best practices for building the best influencer agreement. Keep the below points in mind, and you’ll be sure to have a watertight agreement. 

  • Always tailor the agreement to the campaign

When it comes to your influencer agreement, a one-size-fits-all approach won’t cut it. Each influencer has their own needs and expectations. To build the best relationship, and the strongest agreement, you should always tailor your document. 

This means setting aside time for planning. Consider all the relevant sections before you begin writing. That way, you won’t accidentally miss out on any important elements. 

8 tips to guarantee a watertight influencer agreement for your brand

  • Outline your expectations explicitly

What exactly do you want to achieve from your influencer marketing? If you don’t outline your goals in a contract, there’s no guarantee they’ll happen. Clearly explain the scope of the work, and what you want to achieve. This might include: 

  • The frequency of work: How often should content be produced? Do you have a one-time deal, or are you looking for a series of posts? If the latter, what is the duration of your agreement? 
  • The form of content: What sort of content is being produced? Are you aiming to promote your products on YouTube, grow your Instagram following, or host blog posts on your website? 
  • The length of content: Are you looking for long-form or short-form content? Be explicit, so that influencers have a clear idea of what’s expected. For example, for a blog post, you may set a 1,500-word count.

It’s also a good idea to outline the expected quality of work. Ensure that you can request a rework if the content doesn’t meet your standards. 

  • Establish ownership

Who has the intellectual property (IP) of the content being produced? This is an essential factor that shouldn’t be overlooked in your agreement. Remember, if the IP belongs to the influencer, make sure you outline your right to use the work. Failure to do so could see you ending up in a lot of legal difficulties. 

Additionally, if you do own the rights to the content, establish how an influencer can use it. To build a strong relationship, you should give some leeway to the influencer. 

  • Talk to your influencer on the phone

We’ve mentioned the importance of building a rapport with your chosen influencer. It’s important that you discuss your agreement with the influencer before sending it over to them. Reassure the influencer that amendments can be made if there’s an aspect they’re unhappy with. 

To avoid communication blackouts, it’s worth investing in a high-quality solution. For example, hosted phone systems ensure stable and clear calls.

8 tips to guarantee a watertight influencer agreement for your brand

  • Work out all payment details

It’s now the established norm to pay influencers (favored by 42 percent of businesses) over offering a free product. But if you are paying an influencer, you must explain how payments will work. 

In other words, will you be paying a flat fee, paying per conversion, or offering a commission? Make sure you explain how payment will be supplied. For example, whether you are using a service such as PayPal, or a direct bank transfer, and establish a date or dates for payment. 

Even If you do go down the route of providing a free product, this should be outlined in your contract. 

  • Be sure to cover termination

It’s never an ideal situation, but the need to terminate your contract could arise. This could occur for a number of reasons, including 

  • An influencer behaving in a way that negatively impacts your brand. 
  • Problems relating to copyright arise. 
  • An organization feeling dissatisfied with the quality of work being produced. 

Whatever the reason for termination, ensure you have clauses to terminate your contract easily. Ensure that, in the event of termination, you clarify which party retains IP. 

  • Remember to ask for exclusivity

When an influencer is representing your brand, you don’t want them to suddenly start talking about a competitor. That’s why it’s essential that you don’t neglect the topic of exclusivity in your agreement. 

Establish that an influencer only talks about your brand for the duration of your agreement. It may be worth taking time to remind who your competitors are. This way, you can avoid the accidental placement of competing products in the background of videos or photos. 

  • Use agreement templates

Building a contract from scratch takes a lot of legal resources and time. For smaller businesses, building an entirely new agreement can also be too expensive. Even if you do go with a law firm, the legal intake process can be lengthy. You might decide that the hassle simply isn’t worth it. 

If you find yourself in this situation, it isn’t the end of the world. There are plenty of free online templates that can be utilized. 

Just remember, a template is designed as a placeholder. It’s still your job to add or remove relevant sections and ensure a document meets your needs. 

Conclusion

There’s no escaping it, if you want to work with an influencer, an agreement is essential. It ensures that everyone involved is held to a specific set of standards. Most importantly it provides legal protection to both parties, helping to create an authentic arrangement. A well-written agreement helps to build trust between a brand and an influencer. 

Of course, ensuring the best possible agreement is easier said than done. Any mistakes can be costly, and prevent you from getting a successful outcome from your marketing. 

Every company needs strong PR and influencers are increasingly effective in reaching the public. Working with influencers could be a vital part of your PR strategy. But only if you have a strong agreement. 

If you stick to the tips outlined in this article, you’ll be on the right path. Why not reevaluate some of our best practices, and see how they can be applied to your agreements?  

Jessica Collier
Jessica Collier is Vice President of Growth Marketing at Assembly Software.

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