So you’ve found the perfect YouTube influencers for your campaign, discussed all the details and negotiated a fair price. You’re now ready to create an effective influencer marketing contract to seal the deal.
One of the most important aspects of a well-executed YouTube campaign is the influencer marketing contract. Contracts are a great way of making sure both the brand and the influencer are completely aligned about the expectations and requirements of the YouTube campaign. Getting things written down on paper, or digitally as is more likely the case, will really help to solidify the final details, giving you a much clearer picture of how the campaign is likely to pan out.
In the event that there is a conflict, disagreement, or something happens that the influencer can no longer participate, this influencer marketing contract also becomes an invaluable document to help guide you on what needs to be happen next.
However an influencer marketing contract doesn’t have to be overly complicated, or full of legal jargon either. But there are a few key elements that should always be included in a negotiation with YouTube influencers.
So, what are the absolute essentials in an influencer marketing contract?
It’s always a good idea to highlight the goal/s of the campaign in the influencer marketing contract, even if you’ve already sent them to the influencer in the creative brief. It’s useful and practical to highlight the goal/s again in the contract, to reiterate the purpose of the marketing campaign and help solidify the idea for the influencer.
Use this space to outline the specifics of the sponsored video, such as the sponsorship type (dedicated video, non-dedicated, brand mention etc.). Within those parameters, there is still room to negotiate on things such as when the brand should be mentioned (in the first 30 seconds, at the midpoint of the video, at the end etc.), how long the mention should be (10-30 seconds, 2 minutes maximum etc.), and other stipulations, such as not showing or mentioning competing brands or products in the video.
You can also include any agreements made for sharing on social media in this section.
Talking Points & Links
Make sure to include the brands essential talking points that you would like the influencer to touch upon in his or her video. This is not an opportunity to tell them what to say, but a chance to guide them on what features/benefits you would like highlighted, or to advise on certain words to use and avoid. If you want the YouTuber to link to your brand website in their video description using a tracking link, be sure to include it here. Same goes for any personalised discount code or coupons provided to the influencer for their audience.
How much creative control will the influencer have? Will the brand have a say on how the video is shot, edited or titled? All of these are very important details to establish in advance to avoid any unnecessary conflicts with the influencer when the content has already been created and edited. We recommend giving most of the creative control to the influencer; after all they are experts at creating content that resonates with your target audience. Be very specific here about what the brand can and cannot do in regards to the creative inout.
Content Usage Rights
What has been agreed regards ownership and usage of the produced content? Will the brand have rights to use the video/s on their website and social media? For how long and under what conditions?
Deadlines and Schedule
When should the video go live on YouTube, and when should it be sent to the client for review and approval? When does the campaign officially end? Make sure to define the campaign schedule in advance so the influencer can leave some free spots on their content calendar. It’s also a good practise to have a back-up plan of secondary dates available, even if that means ‘ASAP’ for your client, in case of any unforeseen delays or missed deadlines.
If you’re managing a campaign for a big brand, you’ll definitely want to preview the video content to ensure there are no major errors or slip-ups before it goes live on YouTube. The brand may also want to view the content and give their feedback, so allow enough time for this chain of approvals and feedback to take place. Take into consideration what happens when a video needs to be re-shot or re-edited, and how long an influencer has to submit a video for approval.
You can help minimize future questions and confusion by providing details on how a YouTuber can submit their video for approval, e.g: “The influencer should upload the video to YouTube as ‘unlisted’, including final video title and texts, brand links and tags. This link must be sent for approval 3 days in advance of scheduled publish date.”
The payment terms of your campaign will be defined in part by your company’s internal cashflow and the payment structures you have in place. Generally speaking, the more parties involved, (e.g: brand, media agency, & influencer marketing agency) the longer it can be until the influencer gets paid. Make sure to state these payment terms clearly and note when the timeline for payment begins (upon upload of the final campaign video, or on a certain date).
Also think about what happens if the influencer fails to meet any of the terms of the campaign, or his or her video does not meet the brands standards for quality. Will they be provided with an opportunity to re-film? How long can payment be held for?
There are a lot of things to consider in the payment terms of an influencer marketing contract, and it’s one of the areas you need to be most thorough with. However once you’ve all of the details written down, you’ll feel a lot more confident about moving forward with the campaign.
All of these elements are a vital part of any YouTube influencer marketing contract. Once in place, they will help to secure that your campaign runs efficiently and smoothly, even if there are some small bumps along the way. More than that, they will give peace of mind to you, the brand and the influencer, so that you can all concentrate on producing great quality content, knowing that the other details have been taken care of.
As the final step in the process before filming begins on the influencers’ videos, make sure both parties sign on the dotted line, and you’ll be all set up!
Stay tuned for our next post in the series about Influencer Content Approval and Feedback.
Are you planning an influencer marketing campaign on YouTube?