How to Draft Influencer Contracts for Successful Campaigns [Template Inside]

Nail influencer deals with a strong influencer contract.

Priya Nain

Priya Nain

October 5, 2023

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Contents

Like any partnership, you might need more than just a handshake (or email!) to work with influencers.

Drawing clear boundaries, setting expectations, and ensuring all parties are on the same page is crucial.

To bridge this gap, it becomes essential to bring these understandings onto paper.

Formalizing these agreements in a contract ensures clarity for both, brands and influencers. It also significantly reduces misunderstandings on what each party is supposed to do and expect. This also serves as a reference for any discussions or clarifications down the road.

In this blog, we'll dive into how to use influencer contracts to foster successful and hassle-free partnerships with influencers. We'll guide you on what to include, and even share a few handy templates to get you started.

🤷 Is an influencer contract always necessary?

Many brand marketers and founders often don't have a lot of resources or time to put into formal contracts and they grapple with the question "Do I really need an influencer contract?"

The answer, like many things in business, is "it depends."

The necessity of an influencer contract often aligns with the level of risk involved. If you're partnering with an influencer on a high-budget campaign or sharing confidential information, then having a contract in place is a wise move.

On the flip side, if you're simply sending out free products in the hope that influencers will post about them, a formal contract might be an overkill. An email outlining your expectations can suffice in such cases.

Here is an example of an email you might send to a creator whom you've sent a free product to:

Subject: Product Collaboration with [Your Brand Name]
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Hi [Influencer Name],

We're thrilled to partner with you! As discussed, we'll be sending over our [Product Name] for you to try out. In return, we're hoping for a post on your [Platform, e.g., Instagram] showcasing the product by [Date].

Looking forward to seeing your post.

Best,
[Your Name]

To send these emails you can use tools like SARAL. It's an all-in-one influencer marketing tool that can send personalized emails from your own inbox each week.

Not just that, it will also automate follow ups, so if influencers miss your initial email, you automatically write back to them.

Get this for yourself (7 day trial)

If you're venturing into a pay-per-post agreement and anticipate multiple collaborations, it's time to weigh the costs. If the combined value of the products and payment is significant, drafting a contract would be beneficial. If not, a detailed email might suffice, just like with product-only collaborations.

For long-term partnerships, affiliate deals, or unique UGC guidelines, it's a good practice to formalize the relationship with a contract. This provides clarity, sets expectations, and ensures both parties are on the same page, reducing potential friction down the road.

📜 Sections to include in your influencer contract

📸 1— Deliverables

a) Type of content:

Whether it's a blog post, Instagram story, YouTube video, or any other format, clearly mention the expected content format. If you want more control over how that format is used, put that in the contract.

For example, if it's a video, you might want to specify the minimum length or if there are any key shots or angles you want covered.

b) Timing & frequency of posts:

If your campaign involves multiple influencers and hinges on a pivotal moment – say, a product line launch or a grand opening of a physical store – it's crucial to specify an exact date and time. By doing so, you can coordinate a synchronized content release, creating a buzz as all posts go live simultaneously.

For ongoing campaigns where flexibility can be afforded, a date range might be a better approach. For example, you can say, "The post should go live between October 1st and 5th." This gives influencers some leeway, aligning with their content schedule and maximizing potential audience engagement.

If you've agreed on a series of posts, clearly indicate the frequency. For example, mention "two posts within the first week of October" to set the right expectations.

c) Platform:

Explicitly state the platform for the content, especially if the influencer is active across multiple channels. This avoids any ambiguity. If you require the content to be cross-posted or shared on other platforms, include those in your contract.

d) Any hashtags to be used:

If you have specific branded hashtags or campaign tags, list them out. It's also a good practice to specify if there's a maximum or minimum number of hashtags to be used.

Offer guidance like "Please use #OurBrandName and at least two of the following hashtags..." This allows the influencer some choice, ensuring the post feels genuine while still aligning with your branding.

e) Expectations around description or captions:

If you want influencers to write a description about the post, mention your expectations around that. Detail out any key messaging or talking points you'd like the influencer to hit on. For instance, if there's a particular feature of your product you want highlighted or a story angle you'd like them to consider, specify it.

Apart from mentioning the USPs of your product, offer some context. If there's a backstory to the product or if it solves a particular problem, share that. Influencers can weave this into their narrative, making the content relatable and engaging. Also, if there are any claims about the product (e.g., "sustainably made" or "provides 48-hour protection"), make sure that the influencer has evidence or access to resources that back these up. Authenticity is paramount.

🥍 2— Brand objectives

When you're teaming up with an influencer, the collaboration isn't just about creating content but aligning that content with your brand's objectives. So it's crucial to include this section in your contract.

It keeps both parties aligned on the desired outcome.

  • When the influencer knows the purpose, they can tailor their content to align better with your goals. This clarity can shape the tone, style, and overall approach of the content they create.
  • It also makes assessing the campaign's success more straightforward as you have a clear metric to measure against.

If you have specific performance metrics for the influencer – like a certain number of visits to your website, a specific engagement rate, or a set number of referred sales – do state this.

💰 3 — Compensation

This section details how the influencer gets rewarded for their efforts.

  • Be explicit about the compensation amount. If dealing with influencers from different countries, stating the currency is crucial. For instance, "You will be paid $500 USD."
  • Besides monetary payment, some collaborations might involve product gifting, commission-based earnings, or other perks. Clearly define the nature of the compensation. For instance, "Compensation will be in the form of a $200 payment and products worth $100."
  • Detail out the payment timeline. Is it a one-time payment post-campaign? Is it 50% upfront and 50% upon completion? Or perhaps it's based on milestones, like after every post. For example, "50% of the payment will be made upon contract signing, and the remaining 50% after the last post goes live."
  • If there are performance-based bonuses, describe the criteria. For example, "An additional bonus of $100 will be provided if the campaign garners over 10,000 combined engagements."
  • If the influencer needs to make purchases for creating the content (props, outfits, etc.), specify if and how they'll be reimbursed. "All purchases made for the shoot, up to $50, will be reimbursed upon submission of valid receipts."
  • If the payment is facilitated through a platform, mention who covers any associated transaction fees. State explicitly something like, "All transaction fees incurred through the [Platform Name] will be borne by [Brand/Influencer]."

Managing payments for influencers can get tricky. Especially when multiple collaborations are involved.

Get it wrong, and you might upset an influencer or your accountant - neither is good news.

Spreadsheets might seem handy but they're prone to errors and the process is frustrating.

That's where SARAL can help. It's an all-in-one tool for influencer marketing, built specifically for DTC brands like yours.

With SARAL, the numbers are crunched for you. After a quick approval on your end, payments are dispatched seamlessly, ensuring a smooth financial relationship with every influencer you collaborate with. Claim your 7-day free trial here.

🖼️ 4 — Usage Rights

Having a clear understanding and agreement on usage rights and legal licenses ensures that both you and the influencer know what to expect post-campaign.

This section of the contract will ensure you have the freedom to maximize the ROI of your content while respecting the influencer's rights and work.

Broader usage rights typically come at a premium. So, as you define these terms, be mindful of the potential impact on the overall collaboration cost.

Here's what you should include in this section:

  • How long do you want the right to use the influencer's content? A month, a year, or indefinitely? Clearly state the duration to avoid any future disputes.
  • Can you use the content only on Instagram, or can you repurpose it for your website, email campaigns, or even billboard advertisements? Define where and how you intend to use the content.
  • Will you be tweaking or editing the content? If you're planning to crop images or overlay text on videos, mention it.
  • Under what circumstances can you or the influencer pull down the content? Maybe it's a time frame, or perhaps certain metrics that need to be met. Outline these clearly.
  • Are you looking for a one-time use license, or do you want complete ownership of the content? This will decide how you can use the content in the long run.
  • If the influencer uses copyrighted music or features someone without their permission, who's responsible? Ensure there's clarity on who holds responsibility for any legal issues arising from the content.

📁 5 — Guidelines

Proper guidelines ensure consistency in the content that your influencers create. For simpler campaigns this can be part of your influencer onboarding, after they sign the contract. If you're keen on setting clear expectations right from the outset, you can add these guidelines directly into the contract as well.

It reduces back-and-forths and ensures a smoother collaboration.

  • If there's a specific color palette, mood, or theme that resonates with your brand, share it. "We gravitate towards pastel shades, especially blues and pinks. Try to incorporate these in your backgrounds or outfits."
  • Clearly specify how and where your brand logo or any other branding elements should be displayed. "Our logo should appear on the bottom right corner of any video content, and not be obscured."
  • The guidelines can also be for how you'd like the influencer to interact with their audience regarding your brand or product. "If followers ask about pricing, direct them to our official website."
  • Lay out clear actions or topics the influencer should avoid. It might be related to controversial topics, competitor mentions, or even certain types of content. For example*, "Please refrain from mentioning any direct competitors or using alcohol in your content."*

💼 6 — Legal Obligations

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has set forth specific guidelines to ensure transparency in influencer marketing. While the exact requirements can vary from country to country, the essence remains consistent: transparent disclosure of sponsored content.

In the U.S., the FTC mandates clear disclosures for paid or sponsored posts. Typically, this involves the inclusion of hashtags like #ad or #sponsored in the content. This also builds trust with audiences as you're being transparent about paid partnerships.

Instagram, acknowledging the significance of these guidelines, has incorporated features to help influencers and brands comply effortlessly. It has a built-in "Paid Partnership" tag that influencers can use on their sponsored posts.

If you're operating in Europe, be mindful of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guidelines as well, which emphasize user privacy and data protection.

If you're operating in other regions as well, consider exploring the differences between GDPR vs CCPA as well as other data privacy laws to ensure you comply with all the necessary regulations.

In your influencer contract, it's crucial to outline these FTC guidelines clearly. Ensure that influencers are aware of their responsibility to disclose partnerships transparently. By doing so, you safeguard your brand's reputation, & stay legally compliant.

In addition to outlining FTC guidelines in your influencer contract to ensure transparent disclosure of partnerships, consider incorporating electronic signatures as a streamlined method for influencers to acknowledge their responsibility. This not only enhances efficiency but also adds an extra layer of documentation to safeguard your brand's reputation and maintain legal compliance.

📊 7— Access to influencer data

When drafting this section in the contract, specify what kind of data you'll be requesting.

This might include insights into post engagement, story views, click-through rates on linked content, or even audience location and age breakdowns.

Having this data will provide a clear picture of the campaign's performance beyond just likes and comments. It delves into deeper engagement metrics, audience demographics, and other insights that can shape future marketing strategies.

👉 Influencer contract template

Here's is a simplified influencer marketing contract. It might not encompass every legal nuance required. For comprehensive legal coverage, it's recommended to consult with a legal professional.

Wrapping Up

Having a good contract is just one piece of the influencer marketing puzzle. The real magic happens when you team up with the right influencers and genuinely connect with them. That's how you get campaigns that truly click.

So while you spend time creating contracts, don't overlook building relationships with your influencers.

If you're aiming to run influencer campaigns at scale, month after month, without multiplying your overheads or extending your team, the efficiency of the process becomes paramount. Here's where tools come into play. And not just any tool, but those tailored for influencer marketing for DTC brands… tools like SARAL.

👉 That's where SARAL can make your life easier. It's like your personal assistant for influencer marketing, helping you monitor how things are going and making every campaign successful. Claim your 7-day free trial here.

In short, focus on building great relationships with influencers and let tools like SARAL handle the behind-the-scenes stuff.

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