Influencer Marketing Strategy

What Needs to be in Your Influencer Agreement? [Checklist]

The more that brands partner with influencers, the more formal contracts are becoming the norm. This post explains what to include in an influencer agreement.

influencer agreement cover photo

“Do we really need an influencer agreement? 

You’d rather focus on getting authentic content over paperwork, right? We hear you!

As brands increase their budgets and run more creator campaigns, contracts are becoming more common. When working with multiple creators, the fine print of your influencer agreements is crucial.

With a contract template, you can hash out the details of your working relationship with creators minus as much back-and-forth. Granted your agreement covers all the right bases.

(Trust us: content rights can be messy. That's why rights management is built into our platform!)

Below we break down the basics of influencer agreements and what details should be in yours.

This might seem elementary but hey, you'd be surprised at how many brands work with creators without a contract! 

An influencer agreement is a contract between brands and creators. These agreements outline expectations and requirements influencers must follow during campaigns. Influencer contracts also serve as a way for brands to cover their legal bases.

If your company already works with contractors, most details in your agreement will be familiar.

In short, a creator contract covers details of your influencer relationships including:

  • Scope of work and services
  • Deliverables and compensation
  • Content usage rights and exclusivity
  • Brand specific-guidelines
  • Terms of termination

Note that most but not all campaigns require an influencer agreement. For example, sending products to influencers via gifting campaigns is a contract-free process. That’s because you’re sending gifts. With that also comes the risk of getting ghosted.

👩‍🏫 Important: an influencer agreement is not the same as a creative brief! Contracts cover business duties and responsibilities. Creative briefs convey the requirements of your creators' social posts. Working with influencers often involves one contract but multiple briefs.

Why Influencer Agreements Matter for Brands and Creators

Creators shouldn’t be asked to sign contracts “just because.”

Let’s quickly look at why formal agreements are a win-win for brands and creators alike.

Agreements Make Your Business Relationship Official 

Whether full-time or as a side hustle, influencers are business owners. 

And so brands should approach influencers like they would any other contractor. 

Experienced influencers will expect a contract. They might bring their own terms to the table, too.

Food for thought: 79% of creators believe they can be more valuable to brands by working with them long-term. Making your partnership “official” with a contract signals both sides’ commitment. 

A formal influencer agreement means you're less likely to get ghosted by creators. On the flip side, handshake agreements offer no recourse for brands if a creator doesn’t post.

Note: this all illustrates the value of an influencer platform (like Statusphere!) that guarantees content with rights management by default.

Contracts Clarify Expectations (and Encourage Better Content)

Communicating expectations is a big challenge among brands and creators. 

Deadlines. Tone of voice. Content formatting. The list goes on and on.

The clearer your expectations are from the word “go,” the better for both parties. Your influencer agreement serves as a document that states what’s expected of creators in plain English. 

If you want to demand more of your creators, your contract should reflect that. Do you have a detailed content approval process? Want to require check-ins? Do you expect influencers to report analytics to you?

Cool! Just make sure your agreement spells out all of the above. 

Contracts Keep Your Legal Bases Covered

Most companies run influencer marketing campaigns without ever running into legal issues.

Still, keep in mind what the FTC says about influencers and product endorsements:

“Your company is ultimately responsible for what others do on your behalf.” 

For brands, a binding agreement offers peace of mind. Contracts can likewise deter potential influencer fraud and protect you in case something does go wrong.

Instagram Influencer Campaign Manager Spreadsheet

Influencer Contract Checklist: What Brands Should Include 

“Okay, so I need to draft a contract. Now what?”

Onto the good stuff! Writing an influencer contract from scratch can feel like a balancing act. You want to cover all your bases but you don’t want to overwhelm creators with details.

But even if you’re using an existing contract template, note that influencer promotions aren’t one-size-fits-all. This is especially true as platforms and industries evolve. 

Not sure what to say? Below is a snapshot of details to include in your agreement and questions to ask.

✅ Scope of Work / Summary

Here you’ll summarize the big-picture details of your influencer partnership, including:

  • What is the nature of the relationship between you and the creator?
  • What deliverables are the creator responsible for (think: TikTok videos, Instagram Reels)?
  • What is the purpose of your influencer agreement? (one sentence summary)

✅ Content Requirements

Here you’ll delve into the specifics of the content and deliverables produced by the creator:

  • How many pieces of content is the creator responsible for?
  • Adherence to your brand guidelines, approval process and creative briefs
  • Exclusions (terms and/or competitors that should not be mentioned in posts)
  • Whether you (the brand) reserve the right to edit the creator’s content
  • Acknowledgment that all content created is original
  • Acknowledgment of FTC disclosures and best practices for influencers

✅ Exclusivity, Usage Rights and Ownership

Repurposing influencer and user-generated content is a smart move for brands. That said, you need to be clear about influencer usage rights if you plan to do so. This section of your influencer agreement should cover:

  • Who owns the rights to content produced by the creator?
  • Do the rights to your influencer content transfer back to the creator?
    • If so, when? (30 days, 60 days, 90 days, etc.)
  • Can content be repurposed by the brand (via whitelisting or branded content ads)?

✅ Agreement Duration and Timeline

The length of an influencer campaign can range anywhere from a few weeks to ongoing, always-on promotions. You may plan to work for influencers indefinitely which is totally fine. Just make sure your contact covers:

  • The effective date of your agreement
  • How long your agreement is valid for
  • Deadlines for submission, approval and revisions (if necessary)

✅ Compensation

How (and how much) to pay content creators is a hot topic. No matter how you go about it, your contact should be clear about:

  • The creator’s rate for their services (think: are they invoicing $[x] per post or hourly)
  • How the creator is being paid (think: direct deposit, PayPal)
  • Payment scheduling (think: upon receipt, invoicing, 14-day or 30-day payment terms)

✅ Data Access

The importance of influencer reporting can’t be overstated. That said, creators aren’t obligated to share numbers unless specified in their influencer marketing agreement. Consider:

  • Which engagement metrics they’re expected to track 
  • How often they need to report their data (and over what period of time)
  • Tracking and formatting preferences (think: analytics screenshots versus reporting in a spreadsheet or email)

✅ Terms of Termination

For your protection and freedom to cut ties with creators when things aren’t working out, termination clauses are critical. This includes:

  • An at-will termination clause
  • A breach of contract clause
  • A notice of termination clause

With all of the details above ironed out, you can then build out your own influencer contract template using tools like:

influencer agreement and contract example

Source: Signaturely

What Else Should Brands Know About Influencer Contracts?

We get it: there’s a lot that goes into any given influencer agreement. 

But covering all of these bases is crucial for both your protection and ensuring that you and your creators are all on the same page.

If you don’t want to deal with contracts or digital handshakes, we’ve got you covered.

Statusphere's scalable micro-influencer marketing platform eliminates the need to draft influencer contracts or worry about content rights management. 

Our software only matches brands with influencers from our own vetted creator community using 250+ unique, first-party data points. Posts sourced from our influencers go directly into your brand portal with full content rights on your end.

Statusphere Platform Dashboard

Whether you want to run that content as ads, repost it or use it elsewhere it totally your call. We've already generated 75,000+ authentic pieces of content on behalf of 400+ consumer brands.

Want to learn more about how our software works? Get in touch with one of our experts to see how we can get your brand more rights-ready creator content in a fraction of the time. How to Calculate Your Influencer Marketing Budget Disclaimer: We're influencer marketing specialists, not lawyers ourselves! This content is not legal advice and you should definitely consult a legal professional based on your needs and questions. We do not make any guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of this information and take no liability or legal obligations for your use of this information.

This article was first published in November 2022. It was last updated June 14, 2023.

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