INFLUENCER MARKETING

How to Write an Influencer Brief

Alexandra Kazakova

By Alexandra Kazakova
7 min READ | Aug 22 2020

An influencer brief is key to a successful influencer marketing campaign. Once you found the right influencer, it can be tempting to rush and launch the campaign after discussing just a few basic guidelines.

But don’t expect the influencer to know what you want magically. Invest the time in writing an effective influencer brief. So if you want influencers to do an amazing job for you - give them proper tools.

A brief helps influencers understand how your brand aligns with their audience and how to develop engaging brand stories. As a result, makes influencers excited to work with you and inspires them to create fantastic content.

For your brand, a well-written brief will confirm that you have chosen the right influencer for the marketing campaign. Setting your expectations and defining goals will make your influencer collaboration a success. As a result, a properly written brief will help build a long-term relationship with the influencer.

What is an Influencer Marketing Brief?  

An influencer brief summarizes the campaign goals, outlines the details of the deliverables, and legal terms. It sets expectations for the influencer and explains what you want to achieve from this collaboration.

Writing An Influencer Marketing Brief

Think of it as an instruction manual for the project. A brief with explicit guidelines on privacy policy and legal terms will help you and the influencer avoid Molly-Mae Hague’s situation. She broke ASA guidelines on Instagram marketing. As a result, the negative press damaged her reputation and that of the brand.

Consumers value authenticity, transparency, and honesty. So a straightforward influencer marketing brief is a cornerstone of campaign success. By understanding your brand’s essential requirements, influencers can create content that feels authentic to their style.

Find a balance between control and creativity in the influencer marketing brief. Give the influencers the freedom to have genuine conversations with their audience while being in line with the brand’s expectations.

You can later use a shortened version of the brief when pitching influencers. That way, they will understand at once what your brand aims to achieve from the influencer marketing campaign.

Why is a Brief Important For Influencer Marketing Campaign?

Imagine your marketing campaign has started. The influencer submits the content and you find it far from what you wanted. For example, the backdrop is wrong; the colors are wrong; the clothes are wrong. You may have wanted a family picture in the farmhouse, yet the influencer gave you an urban chic.

You are furious and want to ask for a reshoot, but the influencer says that it will derail the campaign and cost you more. From the influencer’s side, he/she crafted the content plan for social media, getting ready for a shoot, and directing it. The influencer researched hashtags and prepared captivating copies for the posts.

Then you email the influencer asking for a reshoot because the content is “not what you expected.” I doubt that after this, the influencer will work with you on any future marketing campaigns. These failures happen when you have a vague influencer marketing brief, or the influencer have never received it.

Three reasons an effective influencer brief is vital for your marketing campaigns:

  1. It realigns your influencer marketing goals and KPIs with your team and management while you prepare the brief.
  2. It helps you save time and energy. So you can streamline your marketing efforts by creating a standard process for all your influencer marketing campaigns
  3. It fosters long-term relationships with influencers. When you set straightforward guidelines and manage expectations you eliminate misunderstandings. Both you and the influencer will have peace of mind that the content will be relevant to your brand vision.

What Should You Include in an Influencer Marketing Brief?

When writing an influencer brief, keep it short. Ideally, it should fit on one page. Influencers skim marketing briefs that are too long and may miss out on important information.

1. Overview of your brand. It includes what your brand stands for, your value proposition, and your unique selling points. Describing your brand values is one of the essential parts of the influencer marketing brief. This information will help the influencer understand how your brand message aligns with his/her target audience.

Describe Your Brand for an Influencer Marketing Brief

Here is an example from an influencer brief we wrote for one of our clients - Pethappy: “Our brand helps dogs with arthritis jump, run, and love life again. Our product is made in the USA with all-natural and organic certified ingredients. You can check out some reviews of pet owners talking about our product here: [link to any reviews you have].”

2. Campaign goals. When you write the influencer marketing brief, use 2-3 sentences to describe the goals of this marketing campaign:

  • Are you aiming to reach a new demographic through this influencer campaign? Or do you want to expand your existing target audience?
  • Is your goal to promote a product launch on a particular day? Or a specific offer/ sale?
  • Are you simply looking to get fresh content to increase engagement and drive up the number of followers?

3. The format of creative assets. When writing an influencer brief, give as many details as possible to explain how you want the creator to deliver the content. Are you looking for posts, stories, or videos?

How many creatives should the influencer produce? Include directions on the wardrobe, makeup, and scenery. Describe specific ways how the influencer should shoot your product.

Example: “Show a clear shot of the dog, and the product in a forward-facing position (we must see the brand name) We need 2 photos and 1 boomerang video. Feel free to be creative with all of these takes. We trust your outside-the-box thinking :)

4. The devil is in the details. When writing an influencer marketing brief, mention:

  • Hashtags the influencer needs to use
  • Clarify if the post needs to be pre-approved (and by whom) before going on social media.
  • Which page the influencer needs tag, and which Instagram handle to include in the caption?

5. Time for the mood board. Images speak louder than words. So use the mood board to convey the overall aesthetic of your brand to the influencer.

Mood Board Example For an Influencer Marketing Brief
  • Use images from your previous influencer campaigns
  • Pinterest features imagery of virtually everything. You can even include a Pinterest board in your influencer marketing brief.
  • Search for the imagery of competitors and their influencer marketing campaigns. Get inspiration to illustrate your ideas.
  • Use Facebook Ads Library to see the ads of your competitors. Successful ads are those that have been running for over 3 months:
Facebook Ad Library Mood Board For an Influencer-Brief
  • Follow social media channels of parallel industries, sign up for their promotional newsletters. You will discover content ideas and unconventional ideas if you step out of your industry’s best practices.

6. Privacy policy and legal guidelines. For US-based businesses, you can include FTC guidelines as a reminder. For companies in Canada, refer to Influencer Marketing Disclosure Guidelines.

What to Avoid When Creating an Influencer Marketing Brief?

Avoid these common mistakes when writing an effective influencer brief:

  • An influencer marketing brief that is over two pages long. Be straightforward and concise. Don’t bore the influencer with too many unnecessary details and long paragraphs of text. Use images and bullet points to make the brief easy to read.
  • Too many talking points that influencer has to use. Content that has several messaging points has less impact and feels forced or inorganic.
  • Rigorous restrictions on influencer’s creative freedom. Outline campaign goals and essential talking points. But give the influencer freedom to decide how to connect to their audiences.

Conclusion

Writing an effective influencer marketing brief will help you avoid pitfalls that can damage your brand’s reputation and diminish your marketing efforts.

Set your expectations from the influencer campaign straight from the beginning. Remember that influencers cannot read your mind. Be clear and concise, emphasize legal guidelines and privacy policy, and communicate your brand value proposition.

Invest time searching for content inspiration in Facebook Ad Library, Pinterest, and Instagram and borrow ideas from competition and other industries. The more detailed your mood board is, the easier it will be for the influencer to deliver creative content that meets your expectations.

Working with social media influencers is no different than working with other marketing mediums. It is easier to achieve the desired results when both parties work together throughout the process. So preparation and planning are 80% of success.


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