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An illustration of a contact card with a profile picture and lines of a contract, with a pen signing a name and a green checkmark. Influencer marketing agreement blog post.

12 Elements of Successful Influencer Marketing Agreements

Erika Heald

Mar 29, 2024

You’ve identified the right influencers to help spread the word about your new product or service. They’ve been briefed, terms of payment have been agreed to, and you’re feeling good about making a big splash.

But then launch day comes and goes, and you’re not seeing the desired results considering your significant influencer marketing investment. So what went wrong? In many cases, it’s the scope of work (or lack thereof) specified in your influencer marketing agreement.

Yes, you had a great conversation with the influencer, brainstorming a dozen possible ideas. But did you put any of them in writing, as an expected deliverable? Influencers may be great at what they do, but they can’t read minds. If you leave it up to them to identify what constitutes “creating content” that “supports the product launch,” you’re likely to be disappointed when a key channel or activity gets omitted.

Table of Contents

What are Influencer Agreements?

Also called influencer contracts, influencer agreements are written documents that clarify the roles, duties, pay, and other expectations between the brand and the influencer. It provides the framework for the relationship so you can hold influencers accountable and so they know what you expect from them.

What is the Difference Between an Agreement and an Influencer Brief? 

An influencer agreement sets up the legal framework of your relationship, while an influencer brief sets up the creative framework for your relationship.

When you collaborate with influencers, you have certain expectations and content requirements. It's easier to communicate these requirements when they're all outlined for the content creator to refer back to.

Influencer briefs are a detailed outline of campaign and output expectations. Briefs often include mood boards, content examples, info about your target audience, the social media accounts you're using, do's and don’ts, and additional references that offer inspiration.

A brief helps influencers understand the goals of a campaign and provides enough information so that they can create the best content. Download our free influencer marketing campaign brief template to get started today. 

For example, you can use your influencer brief to specify influencer marketing KPIs and other details that might be specific to each platform. A YouTuber will have vastly different goals compared to Facebook. Vloggers and bloggers create different types of influencer content.

Why Do I Need an Influencer Agreement?

The real question should be, why don’t you need one? An influencer agreement will set up the terms of the relationship between a brand and a social media influencer. 

A social media influencer contract is vital for all types of influencer marketing, whether you're working with micro-influencers, mega influencers, celebrities, or someone in between.

Additionally, the FTC has created stricter guidelines for influencer advertisements on social media. Your agreement can ensure that your influencers properly disclose sponsored content, keeping your brand and influencer marketing campaigns FTC-compliant

Influencers are brand ambassadors who should be approached the same way you approach freelancers like copywriters, social media experts, or graphic designers. You need a legal framework so all parties are protected. Providing full disclosure upfront will ensure there are no surprises for you or the content creator later.

How Influencer Agreements Help Brands

There are many reasons why you need an influence agreement for each influencer you work with.

  • They detail each obligation of the brand and the influencer.
  • They list all required influencer marketing deliverables.
  • They establish an overview of the project, including social media channels (TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, etc.), submission dates, promotion timeline, and duration.
  • They clearly state compensation, payment methods, and procedures to invoice.
  • They address potential reasons for contract termination (such as not meeting performance requirements or not adhering to a morality clause).
  • They establish the exclusivity of the content and whether it can be repurposed.
  • They outline the content review and approval process before it goes live.
  • They ensure FTC compliance.
  • They express any confidentiality provisions.

Some brands choose to have different influencer marketing contracts for different platforms. For example, you might have a separate TikTok influencer contract template and an Instagram influencer contractor template. It's not necessary, but it can be helpful to tailor the language based on the specifics of the relationship.

Signing Influencer Agreements

It is imperative that you and your influencers have an easy method for signing agreements so you can begin collaborating. Influencer campaigns can be bi-coastal or international partnerships, so you are most likely not going to be sitting in the same room with your influencers. For this reason, e-signatures can be an easy option.

Find a tool that supports your agreement signing needs. Meltwater's influencer marketing platform enables a hassle-free sending and signing of contracts.

When Should We Create an Influencer Marketing Agreement?

Your influencer agreement template will govern the entirety of your relationship, so it should be signed before any content is created or distributed. This will give you full control over the ability to approve content before it goes live. It also lets you set content approval and feedback requirements, so you’re in full control. 

Such guidelines will protect the integrity of your brand and make you the key decision-maker for all campaign content. Influencer campaigns are meant to support brand goals, and your agreement will keep everything on track.

Plus, once you create an influencer contract template, you can use it for all of your influencer marketing. Do it once and keep getting value from your efforts!

Meltwater makes sending your social media influencer agreement and protecting proprietary information easy. Quickly learn how to approach influencers by email, find your best-fit influencers, and build a successful relationship for a campaign or a long-term partnership.

Choosing the Right Influencer Compensation Method

One of the most important stages of collaboration is compensation. It is not only important that you compensate influencers fairly and equally, but that all compensations are delivered in a timely manner.

There are many methods of compensation. It is important to determine which is best for your brand-influencer relationship:

  • Pay-per-Post
  • Long-Term Sponsorships
  • Freebies
  • Discounts

Many marketers find influencer rates to be one of the most challenging stages of the campaign. So if you’re overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Often influencer rates are established through negotiations, but as the industry grows, benchmark rates are being established.

To help make this process smoother you can read our guide to influencer marketing costs.

12 Elements Influencer Agreements Must Include

So what should you include in an influencer marketing contract? These 12 elements are essential:

  1. A clear start and end date. Yes, you’ll want to have an ongoing relationship with your influencer, but for any specific paid and contracted engagement, it’s important for both parties to agree upon when the activities start, and the completion date. If you’re paying for a post on the influencer’s website, specify the minimum timeframe the post must be live on their site.
  2. A scope of work with concrete and specific deliverables. Instead of a generic statement about “creating content” or “promoting on social,” a scope of work needs to include the specific deliverables the influencer must produce to satisfy the agreement. For example, “one 750-900 word blog post”, “a 1-hour webinar and accompanying slides”, or “one 3,000-word e-book.”
  3. The rights you’re purchasing. Are you asking for all rights to the work? Or just first publication? Is the influencer allowed to republish the content on their social and owned channels after a specific amount of time? Spell this all out.
  4. Branding Requirements: Brands have a responsibility to protect their image, regardless of how an influencer decides to portray them. Including branding requirements (e.g., use of colors and logos, language) ensures that the influencer accurately represents the brand's image and message. This helps to create consistency throughout the content and maintain alignment with the brand’s values and mission.
  5. The delivery format. If you’re purchasing written copy, do you want to receive it as a Word or Google doc? Or is the influencer expected to put it into WordPress, with formatting and links included?
  6. Edit approvals. Everyone can benefit from a good editor. But no one likes to have edits they don’t approve that accidentally change their content’s meaning. So, make sure to include details on how the edit and approval process will be managed.
  7. Derivative content. Do you plan to create derivative content from the author’s work? For instance, chopping the e-book up into a SlideShare, an infographic, and a few blog posts, all with their name on it? Or to translate the content into other languages? And if so, does the author have the right to review and request edits on these pieces of content based upon their work?
  8. Advertisements. Imagine seeing your face following you around on the web, next to a product endorsement, as a result of writing a blog post. Not cool! If you plan on promoting the content through advertising and paid promotion, include that in the contract, so the author doesn’t have any unwelcome retargeting ad surprises.
  9. Content distribution. Spell out which channels you expect the influencer to promote their content on, and how many times. Is duplicate social content OK? Be specific, down to including days/times, if appropriate. For example, for promoting a webinar, you might have a very specific, agreed-upon promotion schedule that ramps up in the days immediately before the webinar, followed by a few posts promoting the archive availability, which is only available after a specific date.
  10. Metrics. How will you define success for this partnership? Is it number of leads generated? Number of social shares? Getting a social share by a specific influencer you haven’t previously engaged with? Be transparent about what results you are looking for, and that will result in continuing your collaboration.
  11. Legal Obligations: Requirements for sponsored posts are strict. Seasoned influencers are well aware of how they must present their content to their followers, but those who are new to brand partnerships may require some guidance in this area. Brands should cover their bases to ensure all influencer partners know how to represent sponsored content.
  12. Payment Terms: Clearly outlining the amount and method of payment can prevent any misunderstandings or disputes down the line. Influencers often work with multiple brands simultaneously and need assurances they’re being paid fairly and on time. Delayed payments may not only damage the influencer-brand relationship but also impact their willingness to work together again.
9 Elements Successful Influencer Marketing Agreements Contain2

Ideas for Influencer Content Collaboration

Influencers have numerous ways they can help share your story, depending upon their strengths and their audience interests. Here are a few ideas of how to leverage influencers to help fill out your scope of work:

  • Guest on your podcast.
  • Co-host a webinar with your brand.
  • Write a post on your blog or theirs.
  • Speak at your customer conference.
  • Attend your VIP industry conference event.
  • Live-tweet/Facebook livestream/live-blog from your event.
  • Share your content on their social channels.
  • Participate in an influencer round-up e-book or SlideShare.
  • Create original visual content inspired by or featuring your brand.
  • Share your content with their mailing list.
  • Test out your product and write a review.
  • Host an Instagram/Twitter/Facebook “takeover” of your brand channels.
  • Promote their collaboration with your brand on their website and in their social channels.
  • Talk to the media about your product as a brand advocate.
  • Host a focus group.
  • Giveaway product to their audience.
  • Co-host a social media contest.

There you have it! Get started off on the right foot with your influencer partnerships by using Meltwater Influencer Marketing to find and connect with the right influencer for your brand. Fill out the form below to schedule a demo.