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Influencer marketing is an important aspect of content marketing. It has the potential to reap huge rewards, as evidenced by statistics such as 49 percent of Twitter users relying on recommendations from influencers, and influencer marketing delivering a return on investment 11 times higher than traditional digital marketing methods. The power of influencer marketing means it’s tempting to dive right in and to start working on some content with a creator you like. But before you do, take a deep breath and create a social media influencer agreement to define the terms of your working relationship with any talent you intend to partner with.

What Is a Social Media Influencer Agreement?

A social media influencer agreement is an official, legal contract that sets out the terms of any working relationship between a marketer and a content creator. The document covers all aspects of the content creation process, and helps to ensure that both parties understand their commitments to the project. Usually, an agreement includes:

  • Details of what the marketer expects the content creator to do (number of videos or blogs, for example)
  • Project specifics (such as what hashtags the creator should use, and deadlines for delivery)
  • Compensation for the creator, which may or may not be tied to the success of the project
  • Clearly defined ownership rights for all work associated with the project
  • Acceptance of Federal Trade Commission (FTC) compliance, with acknowledgment of potential legal ramifications for failing to adhere to advertising codes

The importance of the document means its creation often falls to a professional attorney. At the very least, you should get a legal professional to look over your document before you use it as the basis for kick-starting a new influencer marketing campaign.

6 Important Components of an Influencer Agreement

Social media influencer agreements vary, based on the parties involved and their commitments to the project. But there are certain important clauses that should always be included.

1. The Work

This is the most important part of the agreement, as it defines what the content creator is making for you. This section of the document sets out the format (blog, video), where the content should appear (Facebook, your company website), the number of posts, how long the posts must remain visible, what hashtags the influencer must use, what additional promotion the influencer needs to undertake, specific guidelines for what should and shouldn’t be included, details of your brand voice, the process for editing and publication (including your approval rights), and the final deadline for submission.

2. Compensation

Obviously, your content creator needs to know what you intend to pay for his or her services. In this section, specify the amount for completion, and any special stipulations that might affect payment, such as fines for late delivery or whether the payment is dependent on how successful the campaign is. Often, the amount relates to how big the influencer is. For example, for a YouTube creator, expect to pay around $2,000 for every 100,000 followers (subject to negotiation). Be prepared to pay as much as half the money up front to secure the influencer’s services, and don’t forget to specify how you intend to make payment, and the time frame for settlement.

3. Proof of Success

For influencers to confirm a campaign has had the expected level of success, it may be necessary for them to grant access to their personal metrics, such as viewing and engagement figures. Be clear up front about what information you expect your influencers to provide, as you don’t have the right to demand access to personal account information and usage statistics after the event.

4. Exclusivity

Influencer marketing is big business, and it’s common for influencers to work with several brands at the same time, especially if they are very successful. If you want an exclusive partnership with a content creator, you need to include that in your social media influencer agreement. Be aware that the most powerful influencers may not agree to such terms, while you might have more luck with micro-influencers.

5. Legal Obligations

It’s essential that all parties understand their legal obligations and adhere to them. For example, the FTC requires that any influencer publishing paid endorsements of products and services must clearly disclose their relationship with the marketer so that the audience understands the influencer is running the content as an advertisement (this is particularly important with good content that doesn’t obviously look like an advert). This disclosure may be within the content, or included as clear hashtags such as “#ad” or “#sponsored.” The one exception is if the nature of the content makes it obvious it’s an advertisement already. Make sure you understand your legal responsibilities, and ensure your influencers are following all applicable advertising codes and laws.

6. Declarations and Signatures

A social media influencer agreement is a legal document that both parties must adhere to. Parties must sign to say they have read through the document, agree to all elements of the working arrangement, and accept any repercussions that may arise from breaking the terms of the contract.

Final Thought: All In Agreement

Drawing up a social media influencer agreement is an essential part of any arrangement you make with a content creator. The agreement sets out in writing what both parties are expected to do, and what they should receive; and reduces the risk of any miscommunication. Furthermore, it helps to protect parties from any legal actions that might arise from mistakes or willful neglect. If you lay the groundwork for your partnership in a document, everybody will be on the same page, working together towards a clearly established, common goal. The result is improved relationships with your content suppliers, and a more efficient content marketing system.