When it comes to marketing products, you have two main types of people: influencers and non-influencers. This doesn’t mean one group is more trustworthy than the other — it just means some people are more likely to promote brands productively than others.
Influence can be defined as “the ability to motivate someone to take action by sharing your beliefs and opinions.” As such, successful influencers get paid or are provided products/services to advertise brands. This in turn has an influence over
As marketers, our goal is to tap into this kind of person, create content designed to appeal to their sensibilities, and convince them to work for us (or at least contribute to our business). That’s why it’s important to know what makes an effective influencer marketer.
What is an influencer marketing brief? A short description focused on the benefits of doing business with a given organization. It should hook potential customers by explaining how the company works and highlighting its strengths.
The key thing about writing an influencer marketing brief is making sure you include the appropriate amount of content. You do not need to detail every step of your campaign, but you should at least give a short summary of what you are planning to do and how you will promote it.
Influencers look for two things when accepting engagement invitations – firstly, whether or not they get invited along to a party or event, and secondly, whether or not their followers believe that what they have to offer is worth it. If you make promises that go unfulfilled, people may lose confidence in them, which could hurt their brand perception.
With that being said, here are mandatory elements to include in your next influencer marketing brief.
There’s a reason that there is no official influencer marketing brief format. It’s because most people who try to follow one end up leaving something out! Not only that, but channels, content and social media in general is ever changing. What can work today for TikTok for example could be outdated tomorrow.
You should include enough information for your potential influencers to be able to take action, but you don’t necessarily have to say everything.
More often than not, there are not enough details when it comes to:
Adding these types of elements will ensure your influencers feel safe in trusting your company (if it’s your first collaboration and/or you’re a new brand). They’ll also feel like it is a true collaboration and usually put more time and attention into creating the content you’ve requested, as they’ll understand you’re in this for the long run. And more collaboration can come their way if they deliver everything on time and you, as the brand, are happy with the results.
The influencer marketing brief is typically a one- or two-page document that contains the details of the campaign.
Your brief should be a concise, persuasive argument for why people should care about your offering and company. It should also clearly outline what action regular users (influencers’ followers) can take by engaging with the content – whether it’s going through additional pages on your site or taking further steps towards buying a product or subscribing to a service.
You need to have your information easy to digest, using simple to understand language. This breaks down barriers and eliminates potential questions around product usage, terms of service, etc.
The way you imagine content is different than the influencer’s. So make an effort to provide a mood board or a set of images of past content campaigns (preferably with links) so they can better understand what you’re looking to achieve together.
There are 5 main elements influencers look for within a brief – structure these neatly to get a running start on your campaign and avoid misunderstandings:
Who is the company? Who is your target audience? What is your goal for this collaboration? Why are you running this campaign now? What information should the influencer keep in mind?
This information will allow influencers you start working with understand how they can better prepare for the content they need to create. It also provides them with a general outlook on the campaign, to be able to provide great images and videos that fit the overall collaboration.
What is the product/service? What are its features? What are its (unique) benefits?
Outlining key features and benefits is essential to helping influencers understand your “Why?”. When there is increased competition, influencers need reasons to latch on to, to craft a compelling and unique story for you – and their followers.
What do you need the influencer to create? How many pieces of content are required? What format and tone should the content be?
When everything is clearly presented, there won’t be any disappointed parties. Explain your expectations upfront and tailor your budget accordingly. No one wants to feel overworked or overwhelmed, through a not so fitting allocated budget.
When should the influencer post the content? If there is a content approval campaign – when should the influencer first deliver the content for feedback? Is there a hard deadline – for example is it a Christmas Campaign or are there flexible deadlines?
While we would like to think creativity can be mass produced, easily measured and quickly deployable, the truth is a bit more unclear. Give influencers enough time after they’ve used your product or service to provide their experience, in a way that resonates with their community.
Is it product sampling? Is it discounts? Is it a bank payment? What is the timeline for the payment, immediately after the campaign, 90 days after posting?
Making this clearer helps influencers decide if they want to work with you in the first place. It also sets them at ease that there is a plan for payments and they won’t have to contact you to remind you about them.
Lucky for you, the Flaminjoy platform helps you get rid of any documents that you need to send back and forth. We’ve made it so that the entire process is smooth and effective, with standardized fields to help you provide the brief information in an organized manner.
As with any piece of content, an influencer marketing brief is as much as you put in as what you leave out. Remember that influencers are your collaborators, not hired contractors or employees you’re in a long contract with. Most influencer marketing collaborations are short (2 weeks – 1 month) and can repeat if the results are satisfactory.
First, too many specifics around the content.
One of the most common errors that brands make in early campaigns is to try to control the content. They’ve been accustomed to paying for designers and providing detailed instructions. So influencers should work the same way, in their minds. This is wrong and unrealistic.
Why this is important: The power of influencers comes not just from their relationship with their audience, but also from their creativity and unique outlook on the world. Often strict guidelines inhibit this creativity and the content feels forced and unnatural. Thus losing that sense of connection between influencers and their followers.
Exception: If the end results need to be a carousel or an image made out of multiple pieces of content, it’s perfectly fine to explain the format needed. This will guarantee the large campaign is successful and turns out how you imagined it.
Second, KPIs the influencer needs to hit.
Influencer marketing drives results. When you work with nano- and micro-influencers, your expectations shouldn’t be hundreds and thousands of sales in your ecommerce store. It’s unrealistic, especially if this is your first collaboration.
Why this is important: Influencers create trustworthy content first. It’s your job as a brand to repurpose and reshare that content for your benefit. These types of collaborations are not performance-first, but the images and videos generated are usually more engaging that regular brand owned content. It’s strongly advised you reuse them in social media, in your website and within ads, to improve overall campaign results.
Exception: If besides the standard campaign you are also providing promo codes and/or affiliate links, it’s acceptable to mention that certain bonuses will be awarded at certain levels of success. For example: 100 sales through the affiliate link generates and an additional $100 payment. Or 50 email subscribers brought using the special influencer link guarantees a follow-up campaign. This will incentive the influencer to put more attention into the content – but don’t force this exception, if the influencer is not comfortable creating more pieces than what was already agreed upon.
Third, making specific product/service claims that are unsubstantiated.
This is especially troublesome when you’re providing a beauty product or anything in the FMCG industry. You need hard stats and independent testing and research to let creators (and consumers) know that your products are GMO-free, not tested on animals or lactose-free (for example).
Why this is important: You could lose consumers’ trust in a second if what you claim isn’t backed by data and is potentially harmful to people’s health. Lawsuits could also be on the horizon, if things get especially dangerous.
Exception: No exception here.
Another thing to consider is avoiding specific language the influencer should use.
While you as a brand have dedicated terms and in-house copywriters, influencers have their own style and relationship with their followers. This is what makes them trustworthy. Take that away from them and their audience will immediately spot something’s wrong.
Why this is important: The moment you decide to be very strict with your language is the moment the influencer starts to pull away from you and lowers its creativity. If you force a certain phrase or simply provide a prepared paragraph, their audience understands it’s not a natural integration, it’s just an ad. And the influencer loses a bit of credibility, which forms a strong bond with each and every one of the people following him/her.
Exception: Specific hashtags and mentions are perfectly fine, as they’re part of the campaign details. They also help with content and analytics tracking, so pay attention to those, making them mandatory items to be included in every piece of content.
Finally, asking for too many pieces of content or too many actions to take is a bad idea.
It does seem tempting to work with influencers the way you do with your employees or contractors – pay a certain amount and ask for specific actions over a specific time period, like a day or week. But the influencers that make a difference do want to tell the story that highlights you, your products and services. But they won’t be able to successfully do so if they feel the campaign feels more like a chore than a collaboration.
Why this is important: Great influencers don’t have a moment to spare. From building their own brand to interacting with their followers to managing campaigns and creating content…it can get overwhelming fast. If you’re just starting out an influencer collaboration, take your time. Request a post and a story, avoid going overboard the first time. Build that relationship and increase the content pieces (and budget) over your next interactions.
Exception: If the budget fits the number of content pieces and the influencer has agreed, then that is acceptable. But do not try to push them into accepting just because you’re looking to save money or are on a limited budget. You risk damaging your reputation and the relationship.
It might seem strange to provide more info on what NOT to include in an influencer marketing brief. That’s because the most widely found information is in the opposite direction. Over time, it becomes painfully clear how to communicate with influencers, at a base level.
But what’s often overlooked is the minutiae of information that can restrict an influencer or lead him/her on the wrong path. Keep these elements in mind when working on your next/first brief.
By now you will know the DOs and DONTs of a brief. But to save you some time, we’ve created a template you can fill out and use for your campaigns.
As you can see, writing an effective influencer marketing brief is more than just being concise. It requires incorporating your strengths, understanding how to connect with others, and keeping it natural.
A shortcut is to use a platform such as Flaminjoy that has delivered over 250 campaigns in 2022 and has ever-evolving influencer marketing capabilities. Let’s connect over a short introductory call.
Next time Influencer Marketing makes a move, you'll be the first to know!