Influencer marketing, a relatively new frontier in advertising, has become an essential tool for reaching and engaging with audiences in today's digital landscape. Unlike traditional advertising channels, influencer marketing presents unique challenges, not just creatively but also legally. Many marketers and business leaders have delved into the art of influencer collaboration, but there's less discussion surrounding the legal intricacies that govern these partnerships.
While there's a wealth of information available on crafting compelling influencer campaigns, the legal aspects often take a back seat, even though they're equally vital. This gap exists because there's less standardization in influencer marketing regarding content creation, compensation, and other finer details.
In this article, we aim to illuminate one of the critical legal components of influencer marketing: the influencer contract. We'll explore what it entails, why it's indispensable, and provide guidance on constructing one. It's important to note that this guide is informative and should not replace consultation with a legal professional.
An influencer marketing contract is a legal agreement between a brand and an influencer. It's the roadmap for their collaboration, outlining all the important details. This includes what content will be created, how much the influencer will be paid, and what legal protections are in place for everyone involved.
Since influencer marketing usually happens on social media, the contract often focuses on activities on those platforms. Having a contract with all the influencers in your marketing program is vital in order to protect your brand and ensure that the influencer is being treated fairly.
You might think that influencer marketing is informal and personal, so why not keep everything casual? The truth is, working without a contract can lead to serious problems. Here's why:
When money is part of the deal, a legal contract is a must. It ensures that both sides do what they promised, so no one ends up feeling cheated. A proper contract will also outline content usage rights so that the influencer is aware what their content will be used for and you have explicit, legal permission.
Contracts aren't just about legality; they're a way to communicate expectations for the collaborations too. A good contract will key pieces of information for the influencers including information such as branding, content guidelines, deadlines, payment methods and much more. Miscommunications and misunderstandings can ruin collaborations, but a contract that both parties can refer to will help avoid many issues. A well-written influencer contract will also guide the influencer on where to ask for help if needed.
While it may be tempting to proceed with an influencer without a contract, it is important to have one ready for each influencer that you plan to work with that includes all of the essential sections that you should include. Here are the essential sections you should include:
Usage rights outline who owns the content once it's created, how it can be used, and for how long. This is a critical part of an influencer contract as it clearly defines the boundaries of content usage and can prevent potential legal disputes. Here are some examples of usage rights clauses that you might include:
Exclusive Rights: The brand has the exclusive right to use the content in any way they choose. For example, the brand can use a video created by the influencer in its advertising campaigns across various platforms, including social media, website, and television.
Non-Exclusive Rights: The influencer retains some rights over the content and can use it for their purposes, but the brand can also use it. For instance, an influencer can continue to share a blog post on their website, while the brand can also use it in their newsletters.
Time-Limited Rights: The brand can use the content for a specific period, after which the rights revert to the influencer. For example, the brand can use an Instagram photo for one year in its online advertising but must cease using it after that time.
Platform-Specific Rights: The usage rights are restricted to specific platforms. For example, a brand might have the rights to use a YouTube video only on its website and YouTube channel but not on its Instagram or Facebook page.
Restrictions on Alterations: This defines whether the brand can modify the content. For example, the contract may state that the brand can resize or crop images but cannot change the colour scheme or add filters.
Including a detailed section on usage rights ensures that both the brand and the influencer are clear on what can and cannot be done with the content. It helps protect both parties and builds a foundation of trust for the collaboration.
The "Content Created" section of an influencer contract details the specific type of content that will be produced as part of the collaboration. It sets clear expectations and standards for both parties, ensuring alignment with the campaign's goals. Here's what you might include in this section:
Content Type and Amount: Specify the format of the content, such as videos, photos, blog posts, social media posts, etc. For example, the contract may require the influencer to create three YouTube videos and five Instagram posts.
Platform: Specify the platforms that the content created will be posted on.
Content Style and Tone: Outline the desired style, tone, or theme of the content. Is it casual and fun or more formal and professional? If the campaign is targeting a youthful audience, the tone may be light and playful.
Content Guidelines and Restrictions: Include any specific guidelines or restrictions related to the content. For example, the brand may require that the content be family-friendly or adhere to certain ethical standards.
Content Approval Process: If the brand requires the right to review and approve the content before publication, detail the process, timelines, and any guidelines for revisions.
Deliverables and Deadlines: Clearly state the expected deliverables (e.g., number of posts, videos, etc.) and the deadlines for submission.
Ownership and Intellectual Property: Reiterate the ownership rights of the content, aligning with the usage rights section of the contract.
Compliance with Laws and Regulations: Ensure that the content adheres to all relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards, including advertising and consumer protection laws.
Examples or Templates: Optionally, you may provide examples or templates to guide the influencer in aligning with your brand's vision.
Compensation Details: Outline the amount that the influencer will be paid for this collaboration (lump sum, performance-based, etc.), when the influencer will be compensated, and the amount that they will be compensated.
By detailing the content creation process, both parties can work in harmony toward a common goal, with clear guidelines and expectations set from the outset. This can greatly enhance the effectiveness of the influencer collaboration and reduce the risk of misunderstandings or disputes.
Is the idea of creating an influencer marketing contract in addition to all the complexity of running an influencer marketing campaign daunting? You're not alone! This is a common challenge faced by brands of all sizes. But here's some good news: there's a solution tailored just for you – Embold.
Embold is on a mission to make influencer marketing easy and accessible for all brands and influencers in Canada. With its user-friendly interface and robust features, Embold can be a game-changer in your influencer marketing strategy.
Automatically Create Contracts
Find the Right Influencers
Manage Campaigns Efficiently
Track Performance and ROI
Support and Compliance
Embold's comprehensive platform takes the complexity out of influencer marketing, allowing you to focus on building authentic connections with your audience. From automatically creating contracts to finding the perfect influencers, managing campaigns, and tracking performance, Embold is designed to provide an all-in-one solution for brands seeking to leverage the power of influencer marketing in Canada.