With both social media and content marketing being extremely popular, influencer marketing has emerged as one of the most effective types of marketing available.
Influencer marketing is used by brands, businesses, PR firms as well as marketers with the hopes of engaging their target audience and seeing more leads, conversion, and ultimately, ROI.
The amount of investment that a brand puts into influencer marketing will dictate the type of results expected in terms of social media engagement and increased sales figures. In order to ensure your expectations are met, you have to have a solid system in place for accountability.
It can be difficult to guarantee that you obtain the results you hope for, which is why contracts for influencer marketing are increasingly desirable and common. It’s vital that you have set clear guidelines for your influencer in terms of posting, regardless of whether they are a nano influencer or a mega influencer.
It’s really exciting to venture into influencer marketing, but it’s important not to overlook the fact that it’s still an official agreement that should be solidified beyond a simple word. You want to establish boundaries, parameters and regulations so that all parties will benefit as intended.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the must-have elements to your influencer contract to keep your investment secure and enjoy the benefits that influencer marketing brings to your brand.
- Instagram influencer marketing contracts
- Standard contract terms
- Content creation guidelines
- Relationship disclosure
- Content approval and revision requests
We’re sure that after reading, you’ll be better equipped than ever to create a successful Instagram influencer campaign that will bring benefits to all. Let’s get started!
Drafting an Instagram Influencer Marketing Contract
We are happy to provide you with some overall guidelines that will help you to create a productive Instagram influencer contract.
That said, all of our examples and explanations are suggestions that don’t replace official legal guidance; you’ll be able to navigate the demands of an Instagram influencer agreement, but you’ll definitely want to tailor them to your specific brand needs and have them finalized by your legal team.
Before you Begin
Your main goal when drafting an Instagram influencer contract is to be professional and direct without being too harsh or threatening.
An approach to be avoided is to presume that your influencer partner is going to commit all of the undesirable elements imaginable; this will surely scare off your potential influencer and end with no deal.
You need influencers more than they need you; influencers oftentimes have the luxury of choosing who they will work with, especially if they have a large and established following.
Keep in mind that a contract simply serves to protect both parties and ensure that they’re on the same page. Let’s take a look at some of the terms that your contract will include.
Standard Contract Terms
The first thing you need to do is state that both parties are entering into a contract of services. The basic elements include:
- Both parties’ names
- Simple contract terms
Let’s take a look at an example.
Here is a basic write-up of what your contract will include:
This Influencer Agreement (“Agreement”) is entered into on [Month Day, Year] by and between [Brand] (“Advertiser”) and [Influencer Name] (“Influencer”)
Both Advertiser and Influencer agree on the following terms: XYZ
In addition, you want to include the timeline: how long will this contract last? You could include this after the date of entering the contract, or create a separate section:
Agreement is to have a term of [X days/weeks/months/years] and is to automatically renew for [X days/weeks/months/years] unless either party provides written notice [X period] in advance of cancellation.
You’ll also need to include information about how many posts will be a part of the contract— is it for a single post, a series of posts for a campaign, or will there be an ongoing relationship that determines posts on a needs basis?
In addition, you’ll need to include a clause for both confidentiality as well as exclusivity. It’s important to protect your brand’s private information as well as how they interact with other entities.
Let’s take a look at some of these specific terms in more detail.
Content Creation Guidelines
When creating a contract for Instagram influencers, you need to give as much direction as you feel comfortable with. Each brand has their own needs, but you need to ensure that you’re direct and specific in the contract so that your needs and preferences are met.
Nothing is worse than reaching a deal with an influencer, not outlining the content expectations, and then finding that these needs aren’t met and your contract doesn’t cover it.
Here are some things to include when determining guidelines for your Instagram influencer contract.
Details about Content to Post
Be concise and transparent when describing what you expect from your influencer’s content, describing details including but not limited to:
- Brand guidelines
- Post format
- Messaging requirements
- Media types
These are just some ideas, but you may need to expand those if you have something very particular in mind for your brand. Don’t forget, however, that each influencer is unique.
The reason why people gain traction as top influencers is because they know how to create awesome content; don’t take away all of their creative liberties. Instead, be clear about what type of things you expect to see in the content and let them fulfill their side of the agreement.
What’s more, you should also include measurables, such as when posts should go live and how frequently, and what will happen if those are not met (missing or late posts). This information would best belong under a Schedule of Services section if you have a lot of specifics.
Set Boundaries or Limits for What’s Not Allowed
It’s also important to let them know what you don’t want to see as part of your campaign. One of the most imperative things to do is maintain your brand’s reputation, and this influencer will have an impact on how your brand is perceived.
It’s vital that all of the social media content they create for you is appropriate. You might pen something like this into the contract:
All social media content produced by Influencer must be in good taste, free from offensive and inappropriate language. Content must not promote racism, violence, or discrimination (gender, nationality, race, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability).
Have you ever heard of the infamous Fyre Fest? If you haven’t, check out the documentary on Nexflix— it’s wild.
There’s a reason we mention this here: the Fyre Fest was such a huge dumpster Fyre that people even wanted to seek legal action against the influencers for not making it clear that their promotional posts were, in fact, paid advertisements.
Situations where Instagram users aren’t able to distinguish an ad or sponsorship from a normal at-will post caused the FTC to create an endorsement requirement— all influencers, or users of IG for that matter, must disclose that their post is sponsored.
There are hashtags that can be used to do this, including #ambassador, #partner, #ad, among others. Your influencer will know how to do this in a casual and conversational way that doesn’t make their posts seem salesy.
This relationship must be established above the 3-line cutoff on the Instagram caption so that users can see it without clicking the see more expansion link on longer captions. If it goes beyond that, it’s not in line with FTC disclosure rules.
Instagram also now allows for users to tag the brand and disclose the partnership directly; it will appear as Paid partnership with [Brand].
These rules also apply to Instagram stories— the same paid partnership tag can be added and hashtags should be used to disclose that it is, in fact, a paid ad.
If having the #ad hashtag in the comment worries you, you can instruct your influencers to be more conversational and authentic in their caption. They can say something like:
This post is a sponsored ad for @brand, and I’m so excited as a long-time customer of theirs to officially be working together!
Regardless of what they say, they should use their authentic voice and truly reflect their honest opinion and experiences. You can write something like that into your agreement:
Influencer’s statements must reflect their personal image, his/her experiences, and honest opinions. Influencer should only make statements about Advertiser that are factual and can be verified.
Content Approval and Revision Requests
You as the brand have the ability to review all of the influencer’s content before it goes live as well as request any revisions that you see fit. You’ll want to lay this process out in the contract so that the influencer is clear about what they can post and when:
Advertiser has [X hours/days] to notify Influencer of revisions. Influencer has [X hours/days] to return content to Advertiser with revisions, at which time Advertiser has [X hours/days] to reject content; otherwise, content will be considered approved and can then be posted by Influencer.
As you can imagine, Influencers are in high demand— there are plenty of brands and businesses out there seeking partners. What would happen if one of your competitors approached your influencer?
You’ll want to decide how much you’re going to ask of your influencer in terms of exclusivity and include that in the contract.
Including an exclusivity clause will allow the influencer to know:
- If they can produce content for competitors
- If they can produce content for related brands
- If they can mention multiple brand names in the same ad
- If you want post exclusivity
This doesn’t mean that influencers have to stop working with other brands entirely; it simply gives a clear expectation on which brands aren’t viable and how your brand is aligned with others in content.
For example, beauty influencers frequently use a variety of products when creating a look, and it’s not uncommon for them to list all of the brands that are related to their creation.
If it’s an ad, however, they should be focusing only on one product for maximum impact and visibility. You can set those terms in writing through your exclusivity clause.
It’s no surprise that you should set down your payment terms in writing. When brands work with Instagram influencers, they usually pay influencers with a combination of free products, a flat rate, or other perks.
There may be bonuses or additional payment that are outlined in this section as well, depending on outstanding performance.
The following information needs to be clearly indicated:
- When invoices are to be sent
- How invoices are to be sent
- When invoices are to be paid
- Pay rate
- Acceptable payment methods
Here is a standard and generic compensation clause template:
Influencer shall be paid the amount agreed upon between Influencer and Advertiser. This includes any agreed bonus incentives if target performance is met. Influencer will otherwise perform the services at his/her own expense with his/her own equipment and resources.
You can include specific payment rates as well within this clause. If there have been conversations about rate and payment in email or text messages, you can also include this conversation as part of the Agreement as proof.
The section on compliance states that the influencer will comply with all laws applicable. This includes the FTC Endorsement Guides, copyright laws, and any other that are relevant to the contract.
In addition, if there is a breach of compliance, the consequences should be stated in the contract so that they can be upheld in the event of non-compliance.
Be Clear on Accountability
Finding Instagram influencers to partner with can be done in a number of ways; you may search for and contact them on their own, or you may use an agency that helps to put you in contact with specific influencers.
What’s great about using an influencer network is that you can lay out a contract and sign it only once— when you partner with the influencer network.
While that sounds easy enough, the issue is that some of these networks include disclaimers that make them not liable for any behavior or actions made on the part of the influencer, even though they’re a part of their influencer network.
This can cause some real headaches, so you shoudl ensure that when working with an influencer network contract, you specify in the contract terms who is responsible for communicating with the influencer when they are not acting in line with the contract.
That way, you can avoid any issues and know if you’re supposed to enforce the terms directly with the influencer or what other alternatives you may agree upon.
There are certain instances when termination of a contract is necessary, especially if your contracted Instagram influencer breached your contract or participated in offensive or inappropriate activity (either before or during your contract).
This is what the termination clause is for— it allows you to have an “out” if something unsavory is happening. In addition, you need to be able to terminate if:
- Your Instagram influencer doesn’t perform or meet expectations
- Your Instagram influencer performs poorly
- Your Instagram influencer breaks brand or content guidelines
Because this is one of the most important specifications in your contract, you’ll want to include a lot of details on the terms and possibility for cancellation. That said, take a look at a simple outline for a termination clause.
Eitehr party may terminate Agreement with [X time] written notice if the other party is in breach of Agreement and does not or cannot correct breach within the same time period.
If Influencer breaches Agreement, Advertiser is entitled to limit, suspend, or terminate access to Advertiser account and/or instruct Influencer to cease all promotional activities. Influencers are expected to comply immediately.
Either party may terminate Agreement at any time without cause with 30 days written notice.
Wrap-Up: Creating Influencer Agreements
Instagram influencer marketing is a huge business these days and one of the most powerful and investment-worthy marketing stratgegies available. Creating an Instagram influencer agreement allows all involved parties to have a clear understanding of expectations.
Not only that, it’s a sign of professionalism. You wouldn’t expect to be provided with other types of services without a contract, so why would Instagram influencer partnerships be any different? It’s not a sign of distrust— it helps all parties to legitimize their partnership.
You and your influencer will know their rights, obligations, expectations, and consequences if they are not met. With a thorough and transparent contract, all parties will be on the same page.
Even still, you should still discuss all of the terms of your contract agreement directly with your influencer before sending. These are things that you’ll want to agree upon so that they can be confirmed in writing through the contract.
Details like posting schedule and exclusivity should be a collaborative process, agreed upon by both parties— the last thing you want is a contract to arrive with a bunch of items that weren’t discussed prior.
Influencer marketing can be extremely valuable and fruitful when you choose your partners wisely and set out clear terms for the relationship. This will make for an enjoyable and productive experience on all fronts.
We wish you the highest level of success in your Instagram influencing marketing endeavors!