If you are a social media influencer, or are a brand looking to engage an influencer, you may need to enter into an influencer agreement. Here are five key things that should be in the contract between the influencer and the brand:
- Content ownership
- Publicity rights
- Endorsement guidelines compliance
Obligations under the influencer agreement.
The main thing that a brand wants from an influencer is for the influencer to say certain things about the brand’s products, in a certain way, and at certain times. What kind of content? Photos? Video? Which platforms? What hashtags? When? How many posts? The agreement should spell all these things out.
Influencers are compensated in a number of ways. In addition to getting free products, they may be paid a flat fee upfront or from time to time. And it’s also common too see a revenue share arrangement. That is, the influencer will get a certain percentage based on sales of the products she is endorsing. These may be tracked by a promo code. The contract should identify all these amounts and percentages, and the timing for payment.
So what about content ownership?
The main work of an influencer is to generate content. This could be pictures posted to Instagram, tweets, or video posted to her story. All that content is covered by copyright. Unless the contract says otherwise, the influencer will own the copyright. If the brand wants to do more with that content outside of social media, that needs to be addressed in the influencer agreement.
And then there are rights of publicity.
Individuals have the right to determine how their image and name are used for commercial purposes. If the brand is going to feature the influencer on the brand’s own platform, then there needs to be language that specifies the limits on that use. That’s key to an influencer who wants to control her personal brand and reputation.
Finally, endorsement guidelines and the influencer agreement.
The federal government wants to make sure the consuming public gets clear information about products. So there are guidelines that influencers have to follow. You have to know what these guidelines are to stay out of trouble. And the contract should address what happens if these guidelines aren’t followed.
About the author: Evan Brown is an attorney helping individuals and businesses with a wide variety of agreements involving social media, intellectual property and technology. Call him at (630) 362-7237 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.