In the world of entrepreneurship “partner” has been reserved for business partners before the explosion of influencer and affiliate marketing. 

In the past, we have chatted about the differences between collaborations and partnerships and suggested conversation starters for starting either with friends. However, #partner is a whole different conversation altogether. 

Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing, which involves endorsements and product placement from influencers who are deemed to have an aligned follower base with the brand. Often influencers are compensated in discounts, free products or services, or monetary compensation.

Affiliate marketing, on the other hand, is a form of performance-based marketing, where an affiliate is compensated for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. These marketing efforts can include social media marketing among others.

Regardless of the form of marketing, both influencers and affiliates must comply with applicable laws and guidelines, including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Endorsement Guidelines. While this may sound daunting at its heart if they abide by these 5 guiding principles compliance will be a breeze.

  1. Clearly disclose any material connection with a brand.
  2. Be honest about your experience, never misleading.
  3. Only make factual statements that can be substantiated.
  4. Respect third-party intellectual property rights.
  5. Do not post or publish any content that promotes discrimination.

Of course, your agreement should require their compliance and give them guidance to dot your i’s and cross your t’s.

Disclosure is by far the most lacking. They can either use the tools for branded content on the relevant platform by tagging business partners, using a disclosure, including #partner, #sponsor, or #ad.

A few other concepts to formalize include:

  • Ownership of the content that influencers or affiliates create.
  • Define the “content” including format, length, how they are expected to promote it, and any relevant brand guidelines. 
  • Honor intellectual property of the brand and all others.
  • Compensation should be a fair exchange of value.
  • Be clear on the exclusivity or limitations of their services for competing brands. 

If you have any questions, join us in Legally Aligned’s private Facebook group for our monthly Q&A sessions or leave us a comment in the group.