Brands using influencer marketing to expand their business is highly effective as a digital marketing strategy. But just because it’s primarily social media doesn’t mean you shouldn’t legally protect yourself like in any other business deal. We’ve mentioned before how an influencer brief can help to derail some creative and directional issues that might come up. In this quick guide, we want to give you 9 legal considerations you should include in influencer contracts when partnering.
1. Scope of Services
This is where you map out all the details of the services that you expect to be delivered by the influencer. It’s important that the influencer understands all tasks that are to be completed in order for the project to be approved. Creators will have a fair opportunity to opt-out if they are unable to guarantee duties or special directions of the campaign. This means that you should be clear on expectations such as the amount, timing and type of posts requested.
2. Timelines & Deadlines
Every task has a designated due date to keep the team on track. When influencers are brought on for a campaign this same rule applies. Deadline specifics and a detailed timeline of events (tasks) should be included within influencer contracts to hold the influencer accountable to remaining in alignment with your schedule.
3. Fees & Payments
Brands use a variety of payment structure agreements, which may sometimes depend on the tier of the influencer, budget, relationship, etc. An influencer may be compensated with a flat fee, commissioned percentage of sales or exchange of company products. It may be best to figure out the overall goal of the campaign and use this to determine payment arrangement. For instance, if your goal is to increase traffic to a certain product then the influencer would be paid based on the engagement and sales acquired via their content.
4. Morals / Social Responsibility Clause
The essential portions of building brands are products/services and reputation. A moral clause in influencer contracts sets the standards for behavioral conduct and social responsibility. It basically says that your brand is able to break contractual agreements to disassociate from the individual and salvage integrity in the event of disorderly conduct or “bad press” mishaps. This provision can protect you from past and future incidents related to the influencer.
5. Exclusivity Windows
Influencers sign on to commitment stipulations under contracts. This portion of the contract hinders partnerships with competition by permitting brands to have exclusivity of the influencer’s audience for a specific period of time. The exclusivity can vary in length and specifics of content based on similarities and/or industries.
6. Approval Right / Creative Control
The main reason that influencers are relevant and optimal for brand/business growth is because of their ability to authentically build audiences based on their creative content. Allowing the influencer a certain amount of this freedom is beneficial for brands. However, some direction like the type we mentioned in our “What is an Influencer Brief & Why Do We Need One?” blog post is appropriate and can be set as approval standards.
7. Ownership of Intellectual Property & Usage Rights
Most agreements contractually grant brands with full ownership of content that the influencers create. However, in regards to intellectual property in general, the influencer has full rights of any of their creations outside of a campaign. If a brand wants to use a creator’s work as part of their project then going down the route of licensing for promotional (or profit) use would be best.
8. Take Down & Removal Rights
Take down and removal rights work in favor of both parties. Both, brands and influencers, may want to remove content that is no longer true representation of their identities. This portion describes specifics on when and how removal is permitted on either end.
9. FTC Endorsement Guides
The FTC endorsement guidelines for influencers and brands require that there is FULL disclosure of an advertisement. This means that you legally need to inform people of the actual intention of content if it is promotional. It also means that influencers should avoid false reviews and things of this sort when in partnership with a brand.
Brand and influencer partnerships can be great for everyone involved. We believe that collaborations are an important factor in marketing. But you should always think about the liabilities of business so including an influencer contract will help to avoid getting caught up in legal trouble or losing out on money and reputation. Check out our blog for more advice on making collaborations with influencers successful.