Influencer briefs can be powerful tools. A well crafted influencer brief can help you land the partnerships you want, avoid frustrations or miscommunications, and get the most out of every partnership in your influencer marketing campaigns. That being said, it’s no easy task to craft a good influencer brief — there’s definitely an art to it! In the article below, we break down the basics of what should go into an influencer brief so it’ll be smooth sailing for you and your influencer partners from the start.
After you’ve read through this article, you can also download our influencer brief template to use as a starting point!
3 Elements for a Good Influencer Brief
Influencer Brief Element #1: Clear and concise influencer marketing campaign details
An influencer brief should be as short and succinct as possible. Remember, your influencer partners are not just full time content creators – they’re also small business owners. Their time is valuable, so the more efficient you can be with your communications, the better!
In your influencer brief, make sure you clearly lay out the details of the influencer marketing campaign that you want this partner to take part in. Details should include detailed logistics such as:
- Campaign timing – include the timeline of the influencer marketing campaign with details on when drafts should be submitted, final approvals, and when content should go live.
- Type of campaign – clarify whether the influencer marketing campaign is organic or paid. If it’s paid, include the details about compensation.
- Where to post – name the platforms you would like influencers to share their content.
- Components for posts – if there are any influencer marketing campaign hashtags, links, or social tags that should be included in posts, make it known!
Make sure that you are abundantly clear on usage rights in your influencer marketing brief. If you plan to reshare any creator content from an influencer marketing campaign on your brand’s social channels, incorporate influencer content in traditional ads, or repurpose content on your brand’s website, you must let creators know and state your intentions in the influencer brief.
Influencer Brief Element #2: Include important legal language that is relevant to your market
The influencer marketing industry is going through a glow up — turning from a “nice to have” to an essential part of the marketing mix that is heavily professionalized. One of the side effects from this transition is that both brands and influencers are under higher scrutiny regarding their advertising tactics.
This is a good thing! It protects everyone involved (consumers, brands, influencers, etc). However, it means that you do need to include language in your influencer briefs that ensure proper steps are taken to follow relevant regulations. To avoid any potential hot water make sure your influencer brief contains guidance on what can/can’t or should/shouldn’t be said. A few examples include:
- Phrases influencers should steer clear of in your product category, i.e. “avoid direct claims to results such as this got rid of my dark circles and instead use the appearance of dark circles has been decreased”.
- Information surrounding relevant restricted categories in your market, such as prescription medicine guidelines, alcohol consumption regulations, gambling restrictions etc.
- Responsible portrayal of your product, for example, hair extensions should not be worn in content that promotes hair growth/thickening products.
- Appropriate labeling of sponsored and organic content. The rules for these things changed, depending on what market you are operating in but the general best practice is to ask all influencers to disclose to their audiences when a product is gifted or a post is sponsored.
Influencer Brief Element #3: Include inspirational elements but avoid creative control
By now you probably know that your influencer brief should not read as a script. It can be tempting to try and share your in-depth vision for the content that you want to see with your influencer partners. But, ultimately influencers often see this kind of oversharing as an infringement on creativity.
“When I sense that there is restricted creative freedom, I immediately pull back because I don’t want to do just an ad. I want to do something that is funny, relatable, and promotes the company in my own voice.” – Kat Stickler, Influencer & Comedian
Scripts don’t just stifle influencer creativity, they can also negatively impact the performance of content. Content simply won’t come across as authentic if influencers have to read through a storyboard. Your influencer partners know their audience best — trust them to create the content they know will land!
Instead of including scripts and storyboards in your influencer brief, consider:
- Including concise information about the product and a general list of do’s and don’ts to minimize confusion on specifics and ensure proper brand representation.
- Get creative and infuse some fun and inspirational visual aids in your influencer brief. This could be a mash up of inspirational content that you’ve seen, or can even be some of your favorite content pieces that your influencer partner created in the past!
- Craft a mood board to help communicate some of your vision, without getting too prescriptive. For example, Bite Toothpaste Bits created an “influencer toolkit”, which was a mood board-esque take on an influencer brief that successfully communicated all the important details of the campaign, while also providing inspiration for creativity.
At the end of the day, an influencer brief is just a jumping off point for you and your influencer partners. It needs to communicate some important details so they can get started in their process, but it doesn’t need to be the end-all-be-all document of truth. Think of your influencer brief as a way to get the creative process going — you will (and should) have at least a few conversations with your influencer partners between sending your brief and seeing content go live!
Now go forth and brief! (And remember you can also download our influencer brief template for free.)