The relationship between brands and social media influencers can be a wonderfully fruitful and exciting thing. However, there can be times when the road to collaboration is not always a clear one.

To straighten things up, trade body ISBA has created a contract for brands to use when working with creators (bloggers/vloggers). The template contract has been drafted by ISBA with law company Lewis Silkin, and with input from agencies, creators and talent management companies.

To celebrate the launch of ISBA’s new contract we held an inspirational morning of all things ‘social talent’, introduced by Ogilvy & Mather Group UK’s Chief Marketing Officer, Nina Jasinski, and ISBA’s Director of Consultancy and Best Practice, Debbie Morrison.


A word from the creators

We live in a new era of influence where 92% of consumers turn to people they know for referral above any other source, and YouTube stars are seen as 90% more authentic and 17x more engaging compared to mainstream celebrities.

Chairing a panel of leading influencers Mark Lainas, Ogilvy & Mather London’s Chief Innovation Officer & Head of Ogilvy Change, lifted the lid on the good, the bad, and the ugly in the brand/creator relationship. Here are the key points from the influencers:

* A blank slate is best

When partnering with creators, brands should come with a truly open mind. Michael Zee of Symmetry Breakfast believes brands should not approach creators asking “can you do this?”. Brands should ask instead “what could we do together?”. 

* The most effective relationships are long-term

Influencers are looking for long term partnerships with brands, as these work better than one off projects.

* Authenticity is at the heart of being a good creator

Brands have to trust the influencer to create content that’s authentic and right for their audience. Influencer Ben Phillips believes “authenticity is being your audience’s friend, not trying to be a celebrity”.

* Influencers want brands too

Influencers want to work with brands to achieve more than they could alone. Jess Dante, writer of ‘Love and London’ spoke passionately about working with brands proclaiming “let’s create something beautiful together”.


Guidance to brands

So what can brands take away from ISBA's contract for the appointment of social talent? Jo Farmer, Partner at Lewis Silkin explained: "I can’t pretend the contract gives you the ultimate answer. It can help to determine how much control you have over what vloggers say and do."

Key areas covered by the contract are potential issues including: usage rights over content created with influencers, creators misbehaving, what happens if creators insult a partner brand’s product, and what happens if the influencer or brand terminates the contract. 

One area not covered in the contract is specific guidance on the correct labelling for brand-funded content. Jo believes this could be determined by brands and creators on a case-by-case basis, saying “there’s space to agree with talent which hashtag disclosures will be used to label content”.


Ogilvy’s Top Tips

Rounding off the morning’s discussion OgilvyOne UK’s Social Media Strategist, Karin Robinson, and Ogilvy PR London’s Senior Digital Strategist, Bizhan Givindji, shared their top tips for creating successful influencer marketing campaigns:

1. Set your objective

Decide what your brand is trying to achieve then convert intent within a category with high search volumes

2. Identify your creator

Clever social analysis can match the right creator with a brand. Find the creator, amplify their content and nurture the relationship.

3. Woo the creator

As the relationship with the creator is being built, watch and appreciate their content to spot their winning formats. It’s important to consider what values your brand can offer the creators other than money.