This is the second part of a two-part series about marketing and online platforms
Influencer marketing is a very powerful tool for businesses. Because it allows brands to tap into different individuals’ following, it is a very efficient way to give exposure to your products or services. Many elements should be kept in mind when planning on working with an influencer. Here are some guidelines for discussing a potential collaboration. This post is of course meant to be general information, not legal advice. You should contact an attorney to help you draft an agreement.
Under what format would you like the posts to be? There are many ways an influencer can promote your product or service: Instagram pictures, Facebook or Twitter posts, blog posts, giveaways, YouTube videos, etc. Many established influencers already offer marketing packages, but it does not mean you should settle for them. Think about the best way to highlight what your business has to offer and work with the influencer to build a plan around that.
How many posts would you like the influencer to make? Figure out the number of posts you would like to see on every platform. How many posts a day do you want? Is this collaboration ongoing or is it a one-time post? Do you want the posts to be made at a particular time of the day? Remember that your social media accounts’ peak time might not be the same as the influencer’s. Most influencers, especially if they have been doing this for a long time, are fully aware of their social media analytics, so make sure to ask them when they get the most traffic and to post at those particular times of the day. If you want them to share the posts you will be making on your own accounts, mention that too.
How much creative freedom will you be giving the influencer? If you want the posts to look a certain way, particularly on Instagram, mention it. Make sure your product is highlighted by the post and not a mere prop. Think about captions, hashtags, links and coupon codes, if necessary. If you want to make sure you are satisfied with the provided content, set a deadline a few days before the picture or tweet should be posted and ask for a preview of the post. This will ensure you do not end up with content you are not pleased with.
Who will own the copyright over the created content? As a content creator, the influencer might want to keep the rights over every single post. However, it is important for you as a business owner to be able to make the most out of this collaboration and to therefore be able to reuse that content on your different platforms, be it your website or your different social media accounts. You therefore might want to include in your agreement a clause that will allow you to reproduce the created content.
Do you want the exclusivity? Influencers tend to deal with multiple brands at a time. Do you mind if your product is showcased alongside some other company’s? If so, ask for exclusive posts. If not, make sure to check before the post goes live that the other products do not enter in direct competition with yours.
How will you be paying the influencer? How does the person you are collaborating with usually work? Did you opt for a pre-made social media marketing package? Will you be paying per post? If you plan on building a campaign with this person for a considerable amount of time, you might want to think about setting a one-time fee for the entire duration of your contract. Will you be sending them free products too? Those are all things you have to discuss. Make sure to also talk about when the payments should be made. Will you be paying them after every post? If you are thinking about collaborating with this influencer for more than a few days, you might want to give them a fraction of their compensation at the beginning of the contract and leave the rest for later. Sit down with the influencer and come up with payment terms that will be beneficial for the both of you.
FTC Disclosure Federal Trade Commission guidelines are absolutely essential and must be part of every single influencer agreement you plan on drafting. The influencer you are working with has to fully disclose that they were paid (even if only sent free products) every single time a post is being made. Disclosures must be “clear and conspicuous.” On social media, hashtags such as #ad or #sponsored are recommended (as opposed to #sp or #partnership). Those hashtags should not be hidden in between others or placed at the very end. A blog post should also include a disclosure at the beginning stating very clearly that the influencer is being compensated (mentioning a “collaboration” is not deemed enough by the FTC). Transparency is the key here. Readers must know whether or not the content they are looking at is being paid for or if free products were being exchanged in return for some online exposure.
As with all Law on the Runway posts, please use this as general information, not as legal advice. Make sure to contact an attorney. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org