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Successfully Negotiating Terms With Influencer Marketers
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Influencer marketing campaigns are a great way to help your brand boost sales and awareness. Partnering with influencers has been shown to be a great way to market your brand on social media. Social influencers are people on social media that have large followings and a broad reach.

Many brands are partnering with these people in order to promote their brands and products because recent research has shown that consumers trust the opinions of influencers almost as much as those of family and friends. When considering an influencer marketing campaign, here are some things to keep in mind as you negotiate a contract with them.

Find the right influencer

Not all influencers are created equal. There are the really big names such as Kendall Jenner or Lily Singh, but don’t discount the smaller influencers as well. Several things to consider when looking for the right influencers are budget, compatibility, and reach.

Budget – Different influencers are going to charge different prices depending on their experience and the particular campaign you’re looking to do. Have a budget in mind before you approach an influencer.

Compatibility – Do some research into the past campaigns the influencer has done. What is their style and brand? Does it match with what your brand values? Is there overlap in their audience and yours? You want to make sure that what you spend on your influencer marketing campaign will actually reach the right people.

Reach – There are several different levels of influencers and how many followers they have. A micro influencer typically has less than 10,000 followers (though you’ll want to get as close to 10,000 as possible unless they’re a niche influencer), mid influencer has 10,000 – 100,000 followers, and a macro influencer has more than 100,000 followers. Additional categories of influencers include super-macro influencers and niche influencers. Super-macro influencers have over 100,000 followers in addition to some element of celebrity status – think movie stars, professional sports players, etc.

A niche influencer can have as few as 500 followers, but they are typically going to be experts in their field. They may not have as broad of a reach as some others, but their opinions tend to be trusted more due to their relevant expertise in a particular field. One thing to bear in mind when you’re looking at influencers is making sure they actually have the reach they claim they do. Learn how to spot influencer fraud and make sure an influencer is going to be worth your while. Once you’ve found the right influencer to partner with, it’s time to take a look at how to negotiate the contract.

Craft the right terms

Before you even begin negotiating, think about if this is something that you’re comfortable with handling in-house. Make sure you’ve done your homework. Research typical influencer campaign contracts. Most influencers have a media packet that you can request that will give you a run-down of past successful campaigns a particular influencer has done. If they don’t have this information, feel free to request a report featuring the Google analytics for their past campaigns. A good influencer should be proud to show you their success. Here are some additional things to make sure are in your contract:

Exclusivity – Make sure you include exclusivity in your contract. You don’t want the influencer to be promoting direct competitors while in contract with you. That will both negatively affect your reputation and the reputation of the influencer.

NDA – Make sure you get an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) in there about anything that you don’t want going public. For example, you probably don’t want to your influencer to use your negotiations to get a higher paycheck from someone else.

Clear Exit Strategy – The campaign with an influencer will end. And though we hope it’ll never happen, sometimes circumstances arise that make a campaign with a particular influencer no longer viable. When creating your agreement, make sure that you have very clear, specific ends to your contract. Make sure to also include a clause allowing you to cancel the agreement and how any potential conflicts may be handled.

FTC guidelines – The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has guidelines that govern influencer marketing on social media. Some of these include making sure that all posts that are paid for are tagged that way. While you hope that the influencer will be aware of this, it’s important to make sure they’re in your contract. Make sure your influencer will disclose your patronage to followers, either by hashtags such as #ad or by mentioning the fact that they are being paid to promote your brand in another way in their content.

When creating your agreement, make sure that you’ve covered all your bases. Be as specific as possible and try to prepare for any contingencies that may arise. If you’re unsure about your agreement, it’s a good idea to have the contract looked over or conducted by an outside agency (or if your company has a legal department) in order to make sure that the terms laid out in your influencer marketing contract will protect your brand and the influencer.

Be specific about content

One thing to include in your contract is specific actions or content that you expect of your influencer. Include guidelines for information such as how frequently you expect the influencer to post, what kind of information you want to the influencer to share, etc. This is information that can often be covered and negotiated with your influencer before you draw up a contract. How influencers handle paid sponsorships by brands varies person to person, but generally influencers want to be involved in the process and know about what your goals are for each particular campaign, especially since they are attaching their name, brand, and reputation to your product.

You should have a good idea of what you want your campaign to look like before you reach out to the influencer. Do some research on their past campaigns for other, similar brands to get ideas and have a solid goal in mind before you even begin negotiations. Know how frequently you want the influencer to post, what kinds of posts you want them to do, and how you want them to portray your brand. Here are some questions you can ask yourself before beginning negotiations:

  • Are they promoting your brand in general?
  • Are they going to be demonstrating how a new product works?
  • Are they going to be also pushing a sale or special promotion?
  • Do I want a particular hashtag to be associated with this promotion?

The creative decisions can be the place where you have fun. Be creative with the influencer, set up some brainstorming sessions, and come up with a unique campaign that only your brand and that influencer could have created. Influencer marketing is effective and can be fun. Following these guidelines and keeping the above information in mind will help you expertly navigate negotiating terms with your influencer that will protect you and the influencer and – most importantly – effectively market your brand to the world.

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