Consumers often trust recommendations from third parties more than from the brand itself. With consumers researching products before they buy, an influencer can be the perfect advocate for your brand. Influencers can grow your reach by introducing you to their audience and their audience’s networks.
However, matching with the wrong influencer can be disastrous to your brand. An influencer campaign with confusing messaging may lose you new and existing clients. To ensure a great relationship and smooth promotion, the best way to work with influencers is to design a campaign contract that aligns your goals and values.
Discuss Brand Alignment
For a successful influencer marketing campaign, partner with influencers whose online presence aligns with your brand. Work with influencers whose audience understands your brand and needs your products.
Also, work with influencers whose communication style matches your brand. How the influencer engages with their audience should match your brand’s values. For example, using slang or profanities may not work for some brands.
Ensure the communication comes off as natural, not forced. Work with the influencer to put across messages that don’t sound too pushy. While influencers have to declare ads, the style of delivery can still be authentic. Otherwise, the campaign risks losing credibility.
Brand managers can hone their skills through an online negotiation course to align campaigns with influencers.
During negotiations, ensure your chosen influencer understands the campaign goals. If the influencer isn’t familiar with your products, introduce them to the usage and benefits. Also, discuss whether the influencer will be promoting your product exclusively. You likely won’t want to work with an influencer who will be promoting your rivals at the same time.
Agree on Content Strategy
Before engaging an influencer, you should determine what kind of content your brand needs. Also, you need to determine the best online platform to post your content.
Your content strategy should outline whether the influencer will be promoting the brand or a specific product. Some more guidelines you need to agree on with the influencer include:
- The type of content (text only, video, blog post, etc.)
- Social media platform to post to, such as a blog, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, etc.
- The message to share in each post
- The regularity of posting and reposting
- What date and time to post
- Type and frequency of engagement with the audience for each post (Do you reply to comments? If so, do you only reply on the day of posting, up to a week after posting, or indefinitely?)
- Platform and profile to post on – for example, the brand’s LinkedIn profile or the influencer’s profile on Instagram
Decide Length of Promotion
Most successful influencer campaigns revolve around a specific timeframe. This is because most promotions focus on a time-sensitive drive, such as an event, discounts, seasonal sales, or a product launch. If you let the campaign run for too long, the online audience is likely to procrastinate on taking action – or the audience might forget altogether.
When negotiating the terms, define how long the partnership will run. An influencer partnering as a brand ambassador would work on the campaign for maybe a year. A syndication campaign could probably last only a few days. Whether it’s an ambassador program lasting a year or a syndication campaign lasting one week, the contract needs to set clear goals and state how long the promotion lasts.
Also, work with your influencer to determine timelines and milestones. For instance, if you’re working on a full year product campaign, you may break the year down to some crucial periods. Let’s say you’re promoting men’s colognes. Some high sales periods to focus your campaign may include just before Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, summer vacation, and wedding season.
Negotiate Usage and Ownership
Some of the most controversial clauses in influencer contracts factor around ownership and usage rights. Who owns the online content? How can the brand use the content? Can the influencer delete the content after the promotion? These are some of the questions your contract should address.
In the absence of standardized courses and best practice standards, usage rights vary by influencer and brand. Influencers often worry that losing content ownership may affect their future partnerships.
Also, as content creators, influencers worry about the effect of plagiarism and duplication, especially through content syndication, where marketers republish content in the hopes of reaching a wider audience. Influencers may worry about their image and content used in future promotions without fair compensation.
For the brand, the concern is that an influencer may withdraw content once paid. So, it’s vital to outline complete usage and ownership rights before engaging the influencer. Ensure transparency and protect the rights of the influencer to work with other brands, if appropriate. Otherwise, your brand may suffer reputational damage, and other influencers may shy from working with you.
Protect Your Brand
As with all contracts, your brand needs protection from contingencies that may arise. Envision all possible scenarios and make provisions to protect your brand from litigation or bad publicity. You may need to:
Add a Non-Disclosure Agreement
Agree in writing that your influencer may not reveal specific information that may be harmful to the brand’s image.
Add a Non-Compete Clause
Your campaign may be diluted if your influencer is promoting your direct competitors at the same time. Craft a win-win agreement by allowing limited exclusivity with flexibility for the influencer to earn from other brands.
Follow Legal Guidelines
In most countries, online marketing is guided by the same regulations that cover traditional advertising. So, influencers are required to alert the audience that the message is part of a promotion. The influencer also must reveal if they are receiving compensation. For instance, if you are a U.S. brand, ensure the influencer follows the Federal Trade Commission guidelines for sponsored content.
Include an Exit Strategy
The campaign may run its full course, or one side may have to cancel the partnership early. Negotiate and agree on how to solve potential disputes and how to end the campaign.
Crafting Agreements with the Best Influencers
Brands are increasingly relying on influencers to grow their audiences and promote their products. Yet, many brands can find it challenging to craft win-win contracts that benefit both the brand and the influencer relationship. With the tips outlined in this post, your brand can support influencer talent, gain from influencer relationships, and enhance your brand’s reputation.