How to Write an Influencer Collaboration Contract [+Free Templates]

July 4, 2024
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Ines Bertani
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How to Write an Influencer Collaboration Contract

After you’ve effectively negotiated a brand collaboration with an influencer and agreed on the terms and conditions through email, it's time to formalize these through an official contract or agreement. This will be essential to keep both sides aligned on expectations and responsibilities, guaranteeing a successful collaboration and also safeguarding your brand legally.

How do you write a comprehensive influencer contract to cover everything you need, and what should be included in it? If you’ve never done it before, writing a contract may seem overwhelming. However, we are here to make it easier for you! Download our free influencer contract templates and personalize them to your campaign specifics, or follow the tips we’ll describe in this article to make sure you’re not missing anything when preparing an influencer contract!

What is an Influencer Contract?

An influencer contract is a written and official agreement between an influencer or content creator and a brand regarding a mutual collaboration. It outlines the terms and conditions of the influencer’s participation on the campaign, including the responsibilities of both parties and important aspects such as the timeline, deliverables, compensation, and cancellation or termination clauses.

Benefits of influencer contracts

Sharing a contract with an influencer and having it signed by both parties brings several benefits, such as:

  • It aligns expectations, responsibilities, rights, and scope of work.
  • It serves as a guideline for the influencer on what is requested from them during the campaign. A contract is an additional resource in this sense, complementing the influencer brief.
  • It ensures that the influencer will keep their word and accomplish the campaign’s objectives.
  • It serves as a legal protection for both the influencer and the brand.
  • It avoids any possible confusion or misunderstanding throughout the campaign’s execution.
  • It leads to a mutually successful collaboration in terms of transparency, timeline, and fulfillment.

When to write an influencer contract?

Is it always essential to write a contract for an influencer collaboration, or can we sometimes avoid it? There are different types of influencer collaborations, varying in content demanded and compensation incurred, making some more complex while others more simple. This affects the need or convenience of a contract, and if so, the type of contract needed.

Contracts for Gifting and Affiliate Campaigns

In gifting and affiliate campaigns where a brand offers a free product in exchange for a social media post, and sometimes a commission percentage on sales made through the influencer’s content, a contract may not be strictly necessary.

In these types of collaborations, which don’t involve fixed payments, contracts or formal agreements can even sometimes harm the relationship or cause friction. As influencers are not getting paid, they may have accepted the collaboration with the idea of making a quick and easy trial post. Therefore, if they receive a long formal agreement with many demands, such as posting guidelines and deadlines, it may cause them to abandon the partnership before it really takes off!

We have worked with hundreds of influencers for gifting and affiliate partnerships and consider it safe to work without contracts in these scenarios. This will help you increase your onboarding rate. However, in this case, there’s a risk, as there is usually a rate of influencers (around 10%) who end up not posting after receiving the product. Therefore, we understand if, as a brand, you wish to always work with influencers under a contract. In that case, you can use our short version contract template, which establishes the most important terms of the collaboration briefly to avoid influencers from dropping the deal.

Influencer Agreement Brief version- ideal for affiliate partnerships!

Contracts for Fixed Payments

For more complex or in-depth collaborations, which require a fixed compensation or influencer fee, you may use our full version contract template. When making payments in exchange for the post, you are in a stronger position to demand specific content, thus allowing for more detailed content guidelines. The influencer will likely perceive this positively and be more open to the requirements, since they are being compensated for the collaboration.

Both  templates can be easily adjusted according to your campaign’s needs and expectations!

How to write a contract? Some useful tips!

Regarding the format, a contract can be written in a Word document or PDF, like any legal agreement. You can then send it to the influencer attached to sign via email or through electronic signature tools such as DocuSign.

What key elements should you include in your influencer collaboration contract?

1. Details of both parties involved: Include the legal names of both parties—the corporate registered name of the company or agency representing it, and the influencer’s name and social media handle—as well as their respective addresses and email contacts.

2. Scope of Work and Deliverables: Outline what is expected from the influencer during the campaign in terms of the quantity and type of content they need to produce and post, and on which social media channels. For example, specify a Reel post on Instagram, a full YouTube review of 8-10 minutes, a 15-second TikTok video, etc. 

Here is a checklist of elements to include regarding this point:

  • Number of posts
  • Content Format and duration (if applicable)
  • Social media channels

3. Content guidelines: This is the ideal moment to outline any messaging points or  posting requirements for the influencer’s posts. This can include calls to actions such as hashtags, links, mentions or tags, and specific promotional details and brand’s values like tone. 

If you haven't finalized these requirements yet, include a clause allowing you to provide the posting requirements before the campaign begins. Ensure that the influencer commits to adhering to these requirements later. This approach will align the influencer’s content with your campaign goals and enable you to request edits, either before they submit their first draft (if content review before posting is required) or after they post, if any information is missing.

Outlining Posting requirements is crucial to achieve the brand’s expectations

4. Legal and Advertising Regulations Compliance: You should also make sure to adhere to legal local guidelines for posting sponsored content, depending on where the influencer is based, such as the ones set by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) if you are working with US influencers . For example, you should ask them to include #ad or “sponsored, or the ‘sponsored content’ tag on their Feed posts, showing the post as a paid partnership with the brand, for full transparency. Be sure to review advertising regulations applicable to the country where the influencer is based or where the campaign is running, as regulations may vary.

5. Campaign Timeline and publication dates: This will ensure that the content is posted within your desired schedule, especially if you are running a specific sale or campaign. You may also include clauses regarding penalties for late posting. Highlight the timeframes for content submission, if required, and posting as well.

If you are still planning the campaign and need flexibility, state that you reserve the right to update these dates throughout the campaign if needed. Clarifying this is essential to keep the partnership aligned with your marketing efforts.

6. Content Review: Specify whether you wish to review the content before it is posted, and if so, indicate the timeline for influencers to submit it for approval in advance.

7. Influencer compensation and payment terms: It is crucial to outline the total monetary compensation that the influencer will receive in exchange for the collaboration, including any other forms of compensation such as affiliate percentages or gifted products. Additionally, specify the payment terms: when will payment be made and through which method?

8. Usage rights: Are you planning to use the content generated by the influencer for marketing purposes, such as paid social? It is important to specify the extent of the content usage the brand will have and the duration for which these rights will be granted.

Influencers may have an additional rate for providing usage rights, so this should be discussed prior to the collaboration to avoid misunderstanding and unexpected additional expenses.

*Tip for affiliate campaigns!: In affiliate partnerships and when working with a large number of influencers for a campaign, consider avoiding discussions about usage rights during negotiation. Instead, request these rights after the post has been made.

This approach can increase the likelihood that the influencer agrees to grant you usage rights at no additional cost. It also allows you to select only the influencers who have produced high-quality content that you wish to use for paid ads—typically not all content generated. This approach can therefore significantly reduce your costs!

9. Exclusivity: If you want the influencer to promote only your products during the duration of your campaign and exclude any other sponsored collaboration or at least any one from a direct competitor or companies in the same category,  you should outline this clearly in the contract along with the specified period of time.

For example, if you are a shoe brand, you may request that the influencer refrain from collaborating with any other clothing brand for a certain period, such as 3 months if your campaign runs for one month. Alternatively, you might specify exclusivity to shoe-focused brands, allowing collaborations with companies like a bags company.

10. Confidentiality: During a collaboration, a brand may need to share confidential and sensitive information with the influencer. Including a confidentiality clause helps to protect this private information and provides legal recourse in the event of a leak or breach. It is crucial to clearly define what constitutes confidential information and what does not for the influencer. This clause should only be included if you plan to share such information and wish to safeguard it.

11. Performance tracking:  Explain how you’ll measure the success of your campaign, including your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and specify which metrics the influencer should share with the brand at the end of the collaboration to help you do this. It's crucial that the influencer knows in advance what they will need to share with the brand so they can prepare accordingly.

For example, if you are encouraging influencers to share a discount code with the followers who only engage with their post by saying something like “Comment CODE on the post if you wish to receive a discount through DM” or “respond to the story” and then you need to track the number of responses, you can clarify this so the influencer can take screenshots of responses accordingly, as they receive lots of messages and if they are not aware of this previous to the campaign, these may be missed.

12. Cancellation and Termination Clauses: Setting the ground for termination of the contract under defined scenarios provides legal protection for both the brand and the influencer. It allows flexibility for either party to end partnerships at any moment if circumstances change or performance expectations are not met.This also includes ”Force majeure” events.

Additionally, it reduces risk by enabling termination of the contract in cases of unethical behavior or potential reputational damage. This clause should also specify any penalties or obligations in the event of early contract termination. 

13. Signatures: Both parties should sign and include the signing date to officially validate the agreement. Ensure that the person signing has the authority to enter into the contract on behalf of their respective party.

Using Influencer Hero’s Free Influencer Collaboration Contract Template

Please be aware that the influencer collaboration contract template shared in this article by Influencer Hero is meant for informational and guiding purposes only, and therefore should not be considered as legal advice. We are not responsible for any legal consequences or disputes that may arise from the use of this template.

As with any legal matter within your business, we highly recommend consulting with your internal legal department or a professional marketing attorney to customize the contract to your specific needs and ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

Conclusion

Writing an influencer marketing contract effectively is crucial for a successful collaboration. It helps align expectations and responsibilities by outlining key aspects such as scope of work, deliverables, compensation, schedule, and legal compliance. Contracts, along with influencer briefs, establish the foundation of the collaboration to ensure both parties are aligned toward the campaign’s goals.

By following the tips in this article or adjusting our free influencer contract templates, you can create and share a contract that sets the ground for a mutually beneficial partnership!

FAQs
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