25 Influencer Marketing Terms Every Influencer Needs to Know

Influencer Tips

October 22, 2019

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As an influencer partnering with brands it’s important that you’re familiar with specific influencer marketing terms so you can feel confident speaking with brands, negotiating with their teams and signing contracts! While some terms like Media Kit or case study may be easy to understand, others like CTR, CTA, deliverables or ROI may be unfamiliar to emerging influencers. Don’t stress, we’ve got you covered!

Influencer Brand Collabs

High Spend & Expectations 

With influencer marketing on track to be a $15 billion dollar industry  by 2022, and brands currently spending nearly $8 billion/year on sponsored content, budgets are getting serious and brand expectations for influencers are soaring. 

Regardless of industry, the influencer who is well-versed in “marketing language” will be at an advantage over those who aren’t, not to mention much more likely to be taken seriously (and paid fairly) so it’s essential you know these influencer marketing terms!

Keep reading or learn about these influencer marketing terms on YouTube!

Be Professional 

If there’s one thing we can’t stress enough, it’s that the influencers who treat brand partnerships professionally are the ones the brands turn to again and again! Since most influencers will agree that long-term partnerships are the way to go, the more professional you are, the better the chance you’ll have at impressing (and landing) partnerships with your dream brands!

Media Kits, Branding, Case Studies (& More)

Gone are the days when an attractive Media Kit, impressive case studies and professional branding stand out to brands. Now, influencers need to do a heck of a lot more to get on a brand’s radar. Brands consistently report that the influencers who are respectful, polite and speak the brand’s “language” are the ones who are making positive first impressions and, as you may expect, are standing out from all the other influencers in their niche.

Influencer Brand Deals

To help you navigate all the terms you may hear brands reference in conversation, negotiations and contracts, we’ve put together a list of 25 “must-know” influencer marketing terms.

Ad Campaign

Let’s start with the most obvious, shall we?! Otherwise known as “campaigns” these are marketing projects (so to speak) each with a very specific end goal. Brands often partner with athletes, celebrities, and influencers on marketing “ad campaigns” to create brand awareness, sentiment, to promote up-coming product launches, and drive sales. 

Approval Process

More often than not, brands will want to approve of the influencers content prior to publication! Make sure everyone agrees whether (or not) you need their approval prior to posting. 

Brand Collaborations

Brand Advocate

Brand advocates are known to spread brand awareness, but typically are not formally recognized by the brand nor have any official relationship with them.

Brand Ambassador

Brand ambassadors, on the other hand, are formally recognized by a brand as a representative, and helps spread the brand’s message. Occasionally brands will ask influencers to partner with them as ambassadors. This role can be somewhat ambiguous but typically means they want you to represent the brand long-term to increase the brand’s marketing goals. 

If a brand suggests this type of partnership make sure to be clear on your role, what’s expected of you, and how you’ll be compensated. With that said, compensation for this type of partnership is often significantly higher since you’ll be effectively entering an exclusive partnership with the brand meaning you’ll may be signing “non compete” contracts and unable to work with similar brands (their competitors) in your niche going forward for some time. Given a partnership like this can easily cause an influencer lost earnings, make sure the compensation is on point before signing any contracts. 

Takeaway: There’s a reason why celebrities and influencers have agents and managers to help them navigate brand partnerships! Naturally, wise influencers often are unwilling to enter into ambassador partnerships since they simply aren’t interested in taking a  3-12 month break from aligning with other brands. 

When unclear on a brand’s expectations, make sure to review the contract with a lawyer so you can be 100% certain what you’re agreeing to.

Call To Action (CTA)

In marketing, a CTA is a defined action an influencer “suggests” their audience take and can be directly measured by the brand. For example: “Follow XXX on Instagram!” or “Use code XXX at checkout to take 10% off!” Both of these examples qualify as CTA’s and can be used to easily measure the success of a campaign. 

Most brands will partner with influencers to drive brand awareness or sales via CTA’s. If you can prove to the brand that you can drive significant results they’ll likely want to work with you more than once!

Case Study

Experienced influencers are now highlighting the results they’ve driven for other brands through, you guessed it, case studies. Case studies are essentially a breakdown of a previous campaign that proves effectiveness and ROI (return on investment). In it you can highlight things like overall campaign reach, impressions, CTR etc. to prove how valuable your influence is when negotiating with brands you’ve never worked with before!

Note: Many brands are now requesting influencers provide case studies to them so they can be confident in choosing the best influencer for their upcoming campaigns.


influencer marketing terms

Influencer Brand Partnerships

Click Through Rate (CTR)

Click through rate is a term that quantifies an action. For example, the number of times an influencer’s audience entered his/her promo code at checkout or the number of new followers the brand gained on their email list when partnering with an influencer on an awareness campaign, or the number of times the influencers audience “swiped up” from a story.


Before you begin any partnership with a brand it is essential that both parties sign a contract to protect themselves. Contracts are often written by lawyers and such, should be reviewed by lawyers. If you have any doubt at all what you’re signing, please review it with a lawyer before going forward with the campaign. If the brand does not mention a contract, by all means hire a lawyer to prepare one before moving forward.


Brands often refer to conversions when discussing their marketing goals and are willing to pay a lot of money for influencers who can successfully drive conversions. Typical conversions brands tract include:

  • Clicking affiliate links
  • Entering promo code
  • Joining an email newsletter

As you can imagine, each of which can clearly define whether or not the partnership was successful.

Brand Deals for Influencers

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

Occasionally referred to as cost per action, this term describes the true cost of a specific conversion. Essentially, what it costs the brand to acquire a new audience, make X sales, promote their new product launch etc. For example, if a brand pays an influencer $1k to promote their new product and they in turn generated 100 sales, their CPA would be $10 ($1,000/100 = $10). 

As one may expect, brands strive for a low CPA! In fact, their CPA can reveal whether (or not) they spent their budget wisely or if they should find less expensive ways to get the same results in the future. Overall, CPA is a direct indicator of ROI, which you’ll learn about shortly!

Cost Per Click (CPC)

In terms of advertising dollars, the CPC equals the dollar amount it costs a brand to drive someone to “click” their ad. Meaning, if they run an ad for $1,000 on Instagram and generated 5,000 clicks on the ad, their CPC would equal $0.20 ($1,000/5,000 = $0.20).

Note: Running ad’s can become pricey very quickly depending on the pricing model the brand chooses. This is why it’s often MUCH more valuable for brands to pay an influencer a flat fee to promote their product or drive awareness. Not to mention, it’s been proven that “brand-created” ad’s tend to do far worse than “influencer-created” sponsored content. 

Keep that in mind when pricing your rates as an influencer!

Cost Per Lead (CPL)

Cost per lead equals the cost of each new lead (customer). This is a popular pricing model in which a brand pays for the leads that are generated by an advertisement.

Cost Per Mille (CPM)

Cost per mille equals the dollar amount a brand pays per thousand impressions.

The Best Brand Deals

Cost Per Engagement (CPE)

Cost per engagement equals the dollar amount that results from a potential lead engaging with an ad. Meaning, the brand pays for active engagement (likes, comments, shares etc) generated by the ad. 


When negotiating contracts brands will often refer to things like the number of posts, types of posts, and publish dates as deliverables.

Note: The timeline that the deliverables are due is a critical piece of the partnership and must be clarified on both sides.

Engagement Rate

This includes any “action” taken on your posts! For example, likes, comments, shares, saves, swipes or views. Whereas years ago, reach (audience) was considered key, now your engagement rate is valued much higher than reach! 

Note: This must be highlighted in your media kit and is often the determining factor when brands are choosing influencers to align with as it is very closely linked to their immediate ROI.


This acronym stands for “End of Day” and is used by brands to refer to the end of the business day (their timezone, not yours). Always remember to factor in time zone differences when communicating with brands and sending over any deliverables etc.

Brand Negotiation Tips


As mentioned previously, influencers who sign exclusivity contracts are agreeing not to partner with the brands competitors (or all brands in a specific category) for a specified time-frame. While this can pay significantly well, other brands may not choose to work with influencers who’ve agreed to exclusive contracts in the past since their face (brand) is now associated with the previous brand whom likely is their competitor. 

When in doubt, consult with a lawyer before entering into any exclusivity contract.


The Federal Trade Commission is a government agency that regulates advertising in the U.S. Since influencers and influencer marketing falls into this category, individual influencers are legally responsible for disclosing their relationships with advertisers when sharing content and reviews on their platforms. Luckily, the endorsement disclosure guidelines are fairly straightforward. 

  • Prominence: Disclosures should be easily visible to consumers and written in a reasonably sized font that stands out from a site’s or image’s background.
  • Presentation: Disclosures must be easily understood by consumers — vague or subtle language is unacceptable.
  • Placement: Disclosures should be posted in places where consumers would typically read or view content. They should not be buried at the bottom of a page or a lengthy post that requires them to click to learn more.
  • Proximity: Disclosures should be listed alongside the products or services being promoted.

These guidelines are important because consumers should be able to easily distinguish between original social posts and paid advertisements! Otherwise, can be difficult for an influencer’s followers to determine when they’re being marketed to, and can result in stiff penalties.

Learn more here. FTC’S Endorsement Guidelines

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

Key performance indicators, often called “KPIs” are used to describe measurable actions that resulted from a brand campaign. For example, if the brand’s overall goal was to gain Instagram awareness (ie. followers) the KPI would be the number of new followers they gained as a result of partnering with the influencer. 

Note: This term is essential to bring up in discussions with brands prior to any contracts being signed so you can be clear on what (exactly) the brand is expecting from the partnership and how they’ll measure its success!

One Sheet

Often a brand will request to see your One Sheet, which is, as you may suspect, a one-page document highlighting all your essential information that they can quickly access to share with colleagues, in meetings and presentations. Make sure your One Sheet is clear, concise and easy to read.

Photo Waiver

Perhaps one of the most important terms an influencer needs to be aware of is the “photo waiver” as it releases any ownership you have over the content you create to the brand. It can also be referred to as a “photo release”. If you wish to retain ownership of your images, please consult with a lawyer before signing away your photo rights. 

Worst case scenario, a brand may use your image for marketing purposes in the future, and that can cause your brand a lot of money! When in doubt, have a lawyer review any photo waivers so you (and the brand) can be clear about what you own, what they own, and how they can use the images for promotional purposes in the future.

Press Trip

Any live, in-person event organized by a brand to promote their products, services or launches qualify as press trips! These are all-expense paid trips (events) that influencers are invited to attend in exchange for promotion on their platform.


Reach is a term often used to describe the number of people who viewed your post. It can also be used to describe the size of your audience, or the number of views your Stories get. Since it can be quite vague it’s important you ask the brand to clarify when they ask for your reach.

Influencer Case Study

Return on Investment (ROI)

This is a term you’ll hear a lot, since it describes exactly how successful the campaign was, in other words, what (exactly) the brand received in return after partnering with an influencer. For example, if a brand invests $10,000 in an influencer with a goal of gaining new email subscribers they can easily track the number of new subscribers once the campaign goes “live”. 

They can also easily track exactly how much each new subscriber cost once the campaign ends by dividing the spend ($10,000) by the number of subscribers (ie. 5,000). In this example, they can easily calculate that they spent $2/new subscriber. Given that each brand measures success differently, it’s important to ask what their goal is so all parties can be clear as to what they’re hoping to gain from the partnership.

Media Kit

An influencer’s Media Kit is a multi-page document, often designed by a graphic designer, that highlights things like the infleuncers reach, engagement rate, audience demographics, and contact info. It provides more in-depth information about the influencer or blogger than the One Sheet and includes not only an about section but any earned media as well. 

Tips for Influencers

A Note on Legal Teams

There’s a reason why brands hire lawyers, and for that same reason, influencers need them too! If you haven’t already, now is the time to find a lawyer you can trust to review your contracts to ensure you’re only signing contracts that have your best interest in mind.

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How to Work With Brands

Chances are, you may need to read this more than once! By all means, please save this to Pinterest for another day or share it with anyone you feel could use the info!

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