Influencer marketing is an incredibly powerful way for businesses and start-ups looking to raise awareness for their brand.
The industry is expected to grow to $16.4B by the end of 2022, with Canadian influencers receiving the second-highest number of influencer deals globally.
Whether you’re looking to build brand awareness, reach a new or more targeted audience, improve brand advocacy or increase sales, there’s a slew of benefits influencer marketing can have for businesses.
But there are also inherent risks tied to these partnerships, especially when it comes to protecting your brand’s reputation. When you partner with an influencer, your brand also becomes linked to their opinions, beliefs, lifestyle and history.
One of the most effective ways to protect your brand from reputational damage and ensure you’re aligned with an influencer that shares your values is to draft an influencer contract that clearly defines the scope of the campaign and safeguards your business’s best interest. Caravel Lawyer, Judy Chun, breaks down an influencer agreement and how best to draft one.
What is an influencer agreement?
An influencer agreement is a contract between a brand and an influencer that works to protect both parties to ensure roles, expectations, and obligations are clearly defined and met. These agreements also help to ensure that influencer campaigns meet all legal and regulatory requirements.
How to draft an influencer agreement
- Be specific about deliverables
The first step in drafting an influencer agreement is to outline the goals of the campaign and to be as specific as possible about the deliverables.
- What compensation will the influencer receive?
- How many posts will be made throughout the campaign, and on what schedule?
- What topic should each post cover?
- Will the brand provide the messaging or sign off the influencer’s messaging?
- Which images or videos will be used for each post?
If the campaign is part of a contest, who is responsible for fulfilling the regulatory requirements?
It’s also important that approval rights are clearly defined. How many rounds of revision are permitted for each party? Who has final approval?
Answering these questions in the agreement before a campaign launches will help ensure that it runs smoothly from start to finish.
- Ensure compliance with disclosure requirements
It’s critical that your agreement makes it clear that any sponsored content is posted in line with the regulations set out by the Competition Bureau in Canada and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US. These legal requirements are meant to uphold transparency for online marketing campaigns by requiring companies to clearly disclose their working relationship. Most social media platforms have tools in place now to help brands ensure they are compliant with these requirements.
- Avoid unsubstantiated product claims
For brands that sell consumer products, influence marketing campaigns can come with some product liability risk. It’s important that any claims made about your product by the influencer are clearly labelled as opinions and based on their own personal experience. Any claims that can’t be substantiated shouldn’t be posted to avoid potential legal fallout.
- Include a morals clause
Sometimes, despite all your best efforts, your influencer partner may turn out not to be the right match for your brand. Whether they make offensive posts or receive negative media coverage, you’ll want to add a morals clause to your contract to terminate your agreement at any time if their actions cause reputational damage to your brand.
- Define your timeline and content ownership rights
Having a defined timeline for the duration of the influencer campaign is critical when it comes to content ownership. During the campaign, you’ll retain rights to the posts, but what happens after the agreement ends? Does your brand own these rights in perpetuity? Are you allowed to use the content on your own channels when the campaign is over? Will the influencer want to remove the content after the campaign? Oftentimes an agreement is made where the content can be kept on the influencer’s profile, but it can’t be actively promoted.
- Get exclusivity in your industry category
You don’t want your influencer partner finishing their campaign with your brand and then running another campaign with your competitor the following week. Ensure your agreement gives you exclusivity in your sector for a set period of time to avoid conflict of interest.
- Use non-disclosure agreements (NDA) where necessary
If the influencer campaign coincides with a product launch or a big company announcement, your influencer partner may be privy to confidential information that you want to keep private. An NDA will ensure no information gets leaked to the public before the campaign goes live.
- Require insurance
The growth of influencer marketing has resulted in a new type of social media influencer insurance that offers protection specifically for individuals in the public eye. Make sure you require your influencer partner to have a policy that covers the media and contractual risks that come with public appearances as well as the content they share on social media channels.
Looking for support drafting your influencer agreement? Caravel Law is an alternative legal firm with over 70 qualified and experienced lawyers, including those specializing in contract law. Get in touch with our team today to find out more.