How to Negotiate the Best Contracts with Social Media Influencers

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Teaming up with influencers has become vital for connecting brands with consumers. According to Mediakix, brands are likely to spend up to $25 billion on influencer marketing by 2022. To tap into the benefits of influencer marketing, brands need to adopt effective negotiation tactics.

A well-designed contract is key to a positive collaboration with influencers. As a brand manager, you can sign up for a contract negotiation course to improve your contract creation skills. Read on to discover some of the best ways to negotiate great contracts with social media influencers.

Find the Right Fit

Love her or hate her, Kim Kardashian is one of the biggest social media influencers. With over 187 million followers on Instagram, at the time of writing this post, Kim charges at least $720,000 per sponsored Instagram post.

Kim’s broad reach is attractive to brands. However, for smaller brands, the fees she and other large influencers command are out of reach. Also, remember that the size of an influencer’s audience isn’t everything. If the influencer’s audience doesn’t align with yours, you risk wasting money on an ineffective marketing campaign.

Collaborating with smaller influencers can be a more effective solution. Choosing smaller influencers that fit within your brand’s niche is a great option for brand–audience alignment. If the fit is right, niche influencers may drive higher engagement rates, with the bonus of appearing more authentic and costing less money.

To find the right influencer:

  •   Consider relevance: Is the influencer relevant to your brand, industry, and campaign?
  •   Analyze quality: Is the influencer creative in how they present their posts?
  •   Assess audience: Are the influencer’s followers part of your target audience?

When you find the right influencer, it’s time to reach out and discuss collaboration. Start by connecting with the influencer’s social media profiles. Strike up a conversation and engage with their posts.  

Establish Communication Lines

Influencers may have a management team or work with an agency. With the potential for more decision makers to be involved, it’s essential to work out who you need to speak to in order to start negotiating a contract.

Business courses emphasize creating effective lines of communication, so there is openness without confusion. Keep an open dialogue with the influencer’s team and encourage questions. Answer any questions honestly and keep the influencer’s team informed.


Co-develop a Campaign Strategy

Brands have the benefit of working with social media influencers in a variety of ways. For instance, the influencer can promote your brand’s contests, review your products, or drive brand awareness campaigns. Work together with your chosen influencer to draw up a contract that leverages the influencer’s skills.

For influencers to run an effective promotion, it’s important for them to be heavily involved. Engage the influencer throughout the content creation process. Use the influencer’s feedback to improve and focus the campaign on your desired goals.

Your chosen influencer strategy should also reflect the campaign’s goals. For example, sponsored posts tend to work best in driving awareness, while product reviews influence customer acquisitions.

An example of a highly successful strategy was when Motorola launched its Moto Z family of smartphones. Motorola partnered with 13 influencers, and each created different videos. The posts generated 38.1 million social impressions, with 80,000 views from first-time visitors.

Motorola’s campaign worked because the content creators were each allowed to showcase their unique talents. While the product remained the same, each influencer had a different type of video that appealed to their unique audience.

Negotiate Deliverables

Negotiation courses usually teach how setting deliverables is necessary for defining an effective contract. A contract needs to spell out all the requirements of the influencer campaign. It’s advisable to include a campaign brief outlining the actions your brand expects and the key performance indicators (KPIs).

Influencer deliverables set the tone for the partnership and the success of the campaign. The campaign brief outlines the types of content and details the influencer’s level of creativity. Here are some key deliverables you might need to detail in your campaign brief/contract:

  •   Scope of work: Examples are the length of the video, number of posts, or the type of call-to-action.
  •   Review and approval process: Will your team pre-approve and edit posts before publication?
  •   Deadlines: Prepare a content calendar with clear timelines.
  •   Post descriptions: Define the key messages, captions, tags, and hashtags to use.
  •   Campaign duration: How long will the campaign run?
  •   Performance metrics: How will you measure conversions, referral traffic, audience growth, and engagement?

Agree On Content Rights

Imagine seeing your face plastered on a billboard because you once mentioned a product. It would at least take you by surprise, if not annoy or distress you, right? When an influencer finds their name or face attached to repurposed content they didn’t agree to, it can cause the same effect.

For a positive relationship, negotiation courses recommend putting agreements down in writing. In this case, include in the contract who can post what during and after the campaign.

Are you asking for full rights to the content or just the first publication? Spell out whether you expect the brand to be able to republish the content on other channels. Likewise, specify whether the influencer can reuse the content elsewhere after the campaign is over.

Does the brand plan on repurposing the content? For example, can the brand use a section of the influencer’s video to create a TV ad? Can the brand translate the content into other languages? Agree on specifics to avoid future conflicts.

Owning and maintaining content usage rights can provide lasting benefits for your brand. While outright buying of the content may prove expensive, there are a few usage variables you can negotiate. Examples include:

  •   Post-promotion usage: The brand may negotiate to freely use the content for a certain length after the promotion. For example, using the content annually for the next three years.
  •   Repurpose platform: Organic sharing may not attract extra fees, but paid ads may cost more.
  •   Third-party rights: Who else lays claim to usage rights? Negotiate usage with photographers and videographers who may stake a claim.
  •   Licensing fees: How much should the brand pay for extended usage of the content?
  •   Accreditation: Should the brand name the copyright holder?

Determine Compensation

How much should you pay an influencer? There is a massive price range depending on the influencer’s industry clout, the campaign’s impact, the brand’s budget, and many other factors.

There is no standard pay for influencer contracts, and it all depends on negotiation outcomes. Also, most brands and influencers rarely reveal the cost of past partnerships. However, some professional influencers provide a rate card to guide discussions.

An analysis of rate cards shows the following average rates for different platforms:

  •   Blog             $50 per 1,000 page views
  •   Facebook $20 per 1,000 followers
  •   Instagram $10 per 1,000 followers
  •   Twitter       $2 per 1,000 followers
  •   YouTube  $25 per 1,000 followers
  •   TikTok       $10 per 1,000 followers
  •   Snapchat  $10 per 1,000 followers

So an Instagrammer with 100,000 followers may quote a rate of $1,000 per post. Most influencers will charge extra for content creation.

For example, a YouTube influencer may charge extra to cover video production costs. A brand ambassador may charge travel costs to attend a live event.

Consider Offering Perks

Influencers are the new celebrities. They are the faces we like to see and the voices we want to hear regularly. As such, influencers enjoy many of the perks also enjoyed by celebrities.

Even though money is still an essential factor, perks can sway negotiations and sweeten the deal. The perks and benefits vary depending on what you’re promoting, the expected impact of the campaign, and personal tastes.

Some perks you can offer in your contract include:

  •   Exposure and recognition: This only works if you have a major brand, as content creators generally don’t take kindly to free work requests.
  •   Free products: Many influencers are happy to provide an honest review if you offer the products for free.
  •   Travel and adventure: The chance to travel to exotic destinations may increase enthusiasm for your brand’s campaign.
  •   Hospitality: Great food and a chance to be pampered may strengthen brand–influencer relationships. 

Final Word

Working with influencers offers many benefits for your brand, such as increased sales and awareness. A positive collaboration will likely depend on how you negotiate the terms of engagement. Negotiation courses upgrade your skills and maximize the value of your influencer marketing contracts.

It’s essential to partner with influencers who align with your brand’s values. Talk with the right person, whether it’s the influencer or their management team. Keep communication lines open to deliver full value and avoid miscommunication.

As you co-develop the marketing strategy, agree on content rights and how you will measure deliverables. While money is essential, perks may lead to higher satisfaction and success rates.

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