A great influencer brief can make or break a creator’s experience with your brand. Since a brief is one of the first ways an influencer interacts with your brand and your team, it can really set the tone for the partnership (and even determine whether you’ll work together again).
That being said, writing a good influencer brief can be easier said than done. Here are some key aspects to keep in mind so you can start your influencer partnerships off on the right foot!
“When it’s clear what you’re trying to achieve from both the talent and brand side, it makes the whole process easier.” - Alice Hampton, Founder of ACP Management
Similar to writing a pitch to reporters, or an email to a colleague – more doesn’t equal better. The shorter you keep your influencer brief, the better. That being said, there are a few types of information that are must-haves in your influencer brief. For example your brief should include important logistical information such as:
Your influencer brief should also provide context on your campaign! Remember, influencers are marketers in their own right. So giving them the parameters of your campaign may help them make better content. Some details you could include:
This may all sound like a lot, but there are ways to make it easier to read through. Try to make the brief more scannable by avoiding big text blocks, utilizing bolding and bullet points, and including visual aids.
Pro tip: To make the brief more personalized, include your favorite content pieces that the influencer has already created! Seeing themselves in the examples signifies that you truly want to work with them and chose them for a reason.
"Be specific in your influencer brief. Laying out clear details about your timeline, deliverables, and usage rights will avoid confusion in the future and make the whole process that much smoother." — Stephanie Buecheler, Marketing Manager of Brand and Community at Traackr
Transparency is key for building trust and long lasting relationships with your influencer partners. In addition to providing logistical information and campaign context, your brief should clearly highlight elements that are important to your influencer partners. Some of these include:
It’s critical to be as open and transparent as possible here. Best case scenario, your partner will be on the same page and feel comfortable with what you’ve communicated. Worst case scenario, your partner comes back with concerns and you can have an open conversation about how to compromise.
“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
Your influencer brief should not read like a script. The last thing you want to include in your influencer brief is something that requires influencers to say specific things at specific moments in their content. Influencer marketing is all about authenticity, and creators’ content won’t come across as authentic if they have to run through 20 bullet points.
Being overly prescriptive also puts the creator’s experience at risk. If you want to actually build a relationship with this creator (hint: you should, because creator retention is a major contributor to success), you need to make sure that you are giving them an experience that is exciting, organized, and most of all, pleasant.
Instead, stick to stating facts on things such as background information about your brand and its values, product information (like ingredients) or specific messaging that you care about (like sustainability). Including a general list of do’s and don’ts is also beneficial since it can reduce confusion and the back-and-forth with influencers on specifics within their content. For example, in a recent influencer brief, Bite Toothpaste Bits asked creators to avoid sharing posts featuring their deodorant in the bathroom. The reason? One of the key selling points about their deodorant is that it’s small and perfect for on the go!
“In the influencer marketing community there’s a lot of talk about how to balance creative freedom with brand messaging in campaign briefs. We want influencers to do their thing and be authentic! But we also want to make sure our products are presented in a way that aligns with our brand. Our solution to this was an influencer toolkit.” — Eva Dunn, Associate Marketing Manager at Bite Toothpaste Bits
Influencer briefs can often feel overwhelming — trying to find the right balance of detail vs brevity can be really hard, and it feels like there’s a lot riding on getting it right. However, you can also think about your creative brief as a tool for getting influencers excited about your campaign!
Consider infusing some creativity and visual aids in your influencer brief. For example, Bite Toothpaste bits created an “influencer toolkit”, which was a mood board-esque take on an influencer brief. The toolkit was a beautifully designed, highly branded, and detail-filled pdf that influencers can use as a guide for their creative process.
Bite Toothpaste Bits’ influencer brief/toolkit successfully communicated all the important details of the campaign, while also providing inspiration for creativity. Even more importantly, it yielded a 67% increase in influencer responses, and an increase in influencer loyalty (with multiple influencer posting more than once).
Read more about the influencer brief (aka “influencer toolkit”) that Bite Toothpaste Bits created!