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Successful influencer partnerships begin with careful negotiations. By making your intentions clear and offering fair compensation, you can keep influencers happy and achieve your campaign goals.

Share the Objectives

Before you can communicate your business needs to an influencer, solidify your objectives. Some campaigns focus on increasing the brand’s name recognition among the public. Others want to boost actual product sales, drive traffic to a specific landing page or generate leads. Your campaign objectives will help you and an influencer come up with content ideas, so put your goals in writing and share them with potential partners.

Don’t forget to include a rough timeline for the campaign. A timeline can help an influencer assess whether they can meet your demands within a given time period. If your calendar is flexible enough, a timeline can also be a negotiable condition. For example, you should consider offering higher pay for tighter deadlines.

List the Deliverables

Influencers can come in handy during content-brainstorming sessions. However, most influencers are counting on you to present a list of initial deliverables before they sign a contract. Deliverables are the types of content you expect them to produce for the campaign. Your list of deliverables should at least answer the following questions:

  • What type of content — such as blogs, videos or tweets — should the influencer produce?
  • Which social media platform should the content appear on?
  • How often should posts be made? What are the other timing details you want to share?
  • Are there certain points about the brand or product you want the influencer to include?
  • What links, hashtags or keywords should the influencer incorporate?
  • Is there any specific way in which the influencer should engage with audience comments?

Be prepared to negotiate some of these points. You might want the influencer to follow a schedule, use a phrase or post on a platform they’re uncomfortable with. Additional pay might persuade the content creator to agree with your requests. However, never ask an influencer to say or do anything that conflicts with their established voice and style. The audience may notice the change and consider it inauthentic.

Decide on Compensation

Many factors will help you determine a fair pay offering. Perhaps the biggest are the content format and the influencer’s audience size.

Some content is fairly quick and easy to produce. Other types of content involve more time and effort. That’s why the 2019 average cost of an influencer tweet was $422, and the average cost of a video was $6,700. Stay updated on these common price points, which tend to jump around from year to year.

An influencer with a massive audience will also request higher pay than an influencer with a small following. Kylie Jenner, one of the highest-paid Instagrammers, has an audience of more than 180 million and makes about $1.2 million per post. That’s far higher than the asking price of influencers with more modest followings.

As mentioned earlier, factors like tight deadlines can also affect compensation expectations. Here are a few more things to consider:

  • Does the influencer have a history of successful campaigns?
  • What level of expertise and credibility does the influencer bring to the campaign?
  • How long do you expect the partnership to last?
  • What’s the quality of the influencer’s content?
  • Will you need to provide the influencer with specific equipment or software?
  • Will the influencer participate in events like giveaways and other contests?
  • Will they possibly become a brand ambassador?
The Best Practices of Compensating Influencers

Consider Additional Perks

Sometimes you’ll find an influencer who matches perfectly with your brand but is out of your price range. Rather than go over budget, this might be a good time to offer nonmonetary perks in addition to the payment. One of the most common examples is free merchandise. You can offer the influencer products in your brand’s lineup for personal use or to share with their friends. Access to exclusive events and travel-expense coverage are a few other examples of perks you can use to negotiate with the influencer. Note that this practice shouldn’t replace offering fair compensation but rather should augment it. Gifting in place of compensation typically doesn’t cover the influencer’s time so carefully consider this.

Review Content Rights

The influencer will be generating the content. But they’ll be making it for you. So, who’ll own the finished product, to what degree and for how long? Negotiate content rights with the influencer and put your agreement in writing.

In some cases, you might want to reserve the right to repurpose the content years later. But it’s also possible that the influencer will want the freedom to put the content in a portfolio, alter it and show it off to future clients.

An influencer may also need to know detailed information about the inner workings of your business during campaigns. By asking an influencer to sign a nondisclosure agreement, you can keep that information under wraps.

Explain the Regulations

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires content creators to disclose brand sponsorships in its posts. However, according to Influencer Marketing Hub research, only about 14 percent of fashion influencers on Instagram are in compliance with FTC guidelines. Failure to comply with the FTC’s requests can lead to both financial penalties and reputation damage.

If you’re working with a new influencer, tell them about the regulations and let them know you’ll regularly inspect their content. This is to protect your brand and the influencer and ensure transparency with consumers. Decide on a fair penalty for cases in which an influencer regularly ignores FTC guidelines.