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Each of us should be aware of the energy we are putting out into the world. Are we a positive influence or a negative one?
Laurence Overmire

Introduction

Many B2C businesses rely on influencers as a means of achieving broader customer reach. Lately, there has been some fatigue around influencer marketing due to their perceived lack of authenticity. Despite this, it continues to be a powerful tool for marketers because, ultimately, people will pay more attention to a brand when they see a positive review from someone they are following on social media.

By engaging an influencer, you could be putting your brand in the hands of someone else, potentially giving them control over the perception of your business. For this reason, whether you’re dealing with someone who is a part time influencer looking for a side income or a person who has made a name and created a brand of themselves from being an influencer, it’s important that they are engaged formally with written contracts containing the necessary protections for you.

If you are looking to engage an influencer to help your business, here are 5 top tips for your contract:

  • Clarity of scope

    Be clear in your contract about the services and deliverables which you are contracting for. For example, specify whether you want image or video posts as well as the number and length of the posts. If you are expecting exclusivity so they aren’t posting about competitor products at the same time, make this explicit. If you want the right to approve their content, your contracts should say so. Be clear if you have any content requirements that they need to follow, such as setting out compulsory elements for their posts, being clear that any reposting or regramming would not be accepted and stating the minimum period that a post must remain on their feed.

    Business

  • IP and usage rights

    Ensure that the contract is clear on the rights to the content created – would you own the content or simply obtain a licence? If it’s a licence, specify the appropriate duration and scope required, for example, whether you can repost their content to your own socials or use it on any other media. Clarify whether you can grant sub-licences to allow use by affiliates or partners. Make sure that consent for the use of their name and images are obtained if they will be featured in content created by you or others on your behalf, such as from events they are required to participate in.

  • Compliance

    Breaches of marketing laws by influencers are well publicised and the sponsoring company can be implicated. To avoid such problems, include compliance obligations for applicable laws and regulations and specify any necessary post requirements such as use of #AD in a prominent position. Privacy considerations are also key – permissions would be required from any other people featured in their posts, especially if they are children.

  • Tracking and stats

    As with any marketing strategy, you want to make sure that you’re getting the ROI. Make sure your contract sets out any tracking requirements that you need, such use of hashtags, tracked links, URLS or promotional codes. It’s also a good idea to include reporting obligations so that they are required to share their analytics data with you. To avoid any inflation of statistics, consider including an undertaking that the influencer will not engage in any practices which artificially increase the perceived engagement with their posts.

  • Behaviour and Reputation

    You should always do your due diligence on an influencer before engaging them. But, even having done that, always ensure your contract includes good behaviour obligations and the ability for you to exit if the influencer becomes involved in anything which could negatively impact your brand. Damage to reputation can be subjective, so make sure that it is clear that the call on whether there has been any damage to your reputation is solely yours. To make sure any disassociation is complete, your post-termination obligations should include a right for you to require that they remove any content featuring your brand from their feed.

Natasha Aziz - My Inhouse Lawyer
Written Natasha Aziz
Principal at My Inhouse Lawyer

One of our values (Growth) is, in many ways, all about cultivating a growth mindset. We are passionate about learning, improving and evolving. We learn from each other, use the best know-how tools in the market and constantly look for ways to simplify. Lawskool is our way of sharing with you. It isn’t intended to be legal advice, rather to enlighten you to make smart business decisions day to day with the benefit of some of our insight. We hope you enjoy the experience. There are some really good ideas and tips coming from some of the best inhouse lawyers. Easy to read and practical. If there’s something you’d like us to write about or some feedback you wish to share, feel free to drop us a note. Equally, if it’s legal advice you’re after, then just give us a call on 0207 939 3959.

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