Influencer Marketing

A 7-Point Guide to Writing an Effective Influencer Brief

It’s no secret that influencer marketing, when done right, is powerful in boosting brand awareness, conversion, community engagement, and more. Still, many businesses are only just opening themselves up to the possibility of influencer marketing. The positive results it can yield are a real eye-opener.

Some people remain doubtful regarding the marketing power that this group holds. Yet, the statistics do not back up this skepticism. 

Research indicates that 63% of people trust the messaging from influencers more than they trust brand messaging. Furthermore, 76% of marketers consider influencer engagement effective in garnering customer loyalty.

These statistics show that people significantly value influencer expertise. Accordingly, it only makes sense that businesses take advantage of this trust for an improved digital CX.

To start taking advantage of the ecommerce and community-building benefits influencer partnerships can provide your brand with, you’re going to need a solid influencer brief. 

What Is an Influencer Brief?

An influencer brief is a document that spells out all the requirements and expectations for the influencer. Generally speaking, the brief should include everything from campaign goals and deliverables to legal terms and brand information. 

The nature of an influencer brief will vary depending on the arrangement that you have with the influencer in question. If you’re delivering gifts or complimentary services in exchange for promotion, you’re limited in regards to requests. In contrast to this, paid influencer marketing gives you greater control. 

Why Is an Influencer Brief Important?

You’re going to be collaborating with an individual rather than an organization, so it might feel like a more informal arrangement than you’re used to. As a consequence of this, many businesses do not create effective influencer briefs.

Naturally, this leads to disappointing results. 

To avoid such pitfalls, a comprehensive influencer brief is essential. This document will (indirectly) give your influencer the information they need to create compelling content on your behalf. Ultimately, this article will help influencers encourage customers to choose your brand’s product over competitors’.

Remember, it’s possible for an influencer to create good content that still isn’t right for your marketing strategy. It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to promote robotic process automation software or working with a beauty influencer. You’ll need a defined lens through which consumers can view your products. An influencer brief can help the influencer create content with that perspective in mind.

Challenges Associated With Influencer Briefs

One issue that may arise during this process is finding the balance between instruction and creativity. You’ll undoubtedly want certain results from this campaign – you’ll be keeping a close eye on user engagement metrics, for one – but you still need the influencer’s content to be authentic.

Influencer marketing is only effective because users identify with the influencer. They trust their opinion. If the content they produce begins to seem inauthentic, if it starts to mutate into advertising, raising red flags.

This not only renders the content a waste of time but also damages the influencer’s brand. In some situations, the backlash can even lead to negative customer reviews. Giving your influencer more freedom — but still a rock-solid understanding of the outcome you’re looking for — is the ideal way to move forward.

7 Tips to Write Better Influencer Briefs

If you’ve struggled to craft successful influencer briefs previously, you’re far from alone. Many businesses grapple with these documents on a consistent basis. Follow this seven-point guide and you’re guaranteed to have a far easier time moving forward.

1. Define Your Campaign or Program KPIs

This is an easy one. 

When you create an influencer brief, you need to ensure that they have a thorough understanding of what you’re looking for from the arrangement. 

Be clear about the user engagement and influencer marketing KPIs that matter most to you. Of course, to do this effectively, you need to know what you’re looking for before you approach an influencer. 

Understanding these metrics can even help you identify an influencer who is better suited to helping you with your campaign in the first place. 

Whether you’re focused on improving engagement, reach, or conversion, providing clear instruction makes it easier for the influencer to create content that fits with your brand narrative. This is where using an influencer marketing CRM platform like Pixlee’s comes in handy; not only can you compare metrics between influencers during the influencer discovery process, but you can also analyze campaign success for each of your partnerships once they’re already in progress.

Inside Pixlee’s influencer campaign management platform.

2. Secure Permission

If you’re going to harness the true power of an influencer, you’ll want to repurpose their authentic content on your brand’s own channels, like social profiles or email marketing.

It’s probable you’ll want to repost or promote their posts on your social media accounts. You might even want a physical reproduction for local markets – think billboards, flyers, or posters. Yet, you won’t be able to do this without making an agreement with your influencer.

More often than not, it’s mutually beneficial when a copyright agreement can be reached. You get trustworthy, engaging content that boosts your brand. The influencer gets elevated credibility and even greater outreach.

An influencer marketing platform can then help you streamline the publishing process of your influencer’s content to your most important channels. Plus, you can share the success metrics from this content with your influencer, bringing value to the partnership.

Zebra Pen shares artist and graphic design influencer Bonnie Wong’s creations within their marketing emails, showcasing how she uses the brand’s products authentically.

3. Determine Which Social Media Platforms Are Included

The majority of social media influencers will operate on more than one platform. It’s not always immediately clear which platforms would be included in an agreement. Even if you plan to repost the content on other channels, it’s crucial to align on the initial outset of the campaign.

While you might think that businesses would prefer that content is posted on every platform, that isn’t always so. Some platforms are less effective than others when it comes to influencer marketing. It’s also possible you might deem that some are not worth the price of admission; look at where your target audience is most active, and focus on those channels.

Many businesses use data-driven decisions to determine the platforms they use. Although Facebook remains the platform with the most active users, it could be that you’d prefer a platform that encourages users to engage with brands and influencers more readily – like Instagram or YouTube.

Pixlee’s Influencer Discovery feature allows you to compare engagement levels of each influencer you’re interested in, helping you narrow down which individuals and which channels you want to focus on for your campaign. 

Regardless of what you choose to press ahead with, you’re going to need total clarity before you get started.

4. Lock Down Specific Dates

Some businesses have had problems with getting influencers to commit to specific dates. Obviously, this can lead to issues on your end.

The influencer marketing that you employ is almost certainly only one aspect of your wider marketing strategy. If you’re unsure when your influencer is going to deliver, this can throw off other activities that you might have planned.

You need to define dates before the collaboration commences. 

It doesn’t hurt to be clear about how often and how quickly the influencer needs to respond to you during the campaign either.

5. Define Creative Expectations

You’ll have sought out the help of an influencer because you believe their content production fits well with your brand. But that doesn’t mean you have to pass all creative control over to them.

By giving them a good understanding of your brand – things like tone, brand voice, visuals – they can craft content that works for both parties. This approach supports the creator’s personal content process while maintaining brand values.

instagram post by nature's bakery sharing UGC from a customer of her children with the brand's products

It’s possible that you’ll have some non-negotiable expectations – some things that might have to be included or excluded. It could be that you want just as much focus placed on the post-purchase experience as the product itself, for example.

You’re looking for authentic content from your influencer – since this is what makes influencers effective – so finding a balance is key. If you let your expectations impact the quality of the content, you’re only going to cause harm to your own campaign. 

6. Confirm Content Volume and Formats 

There are many different ways for influencers to produce content on your behalf. These will vary considerably from one platform to the next and can be greatly influenced by the type of product or service they’re promoting. 

You first need to agree on the number of posts and content pieces that the influencer will produce. Beyond that, it’s possible that you might have expectations about how they deliver this content.

Cosmetics brands like Milani tap into influencers who are skilled at video makeup tutorials to show their audience exactly how each product can be used best.

If you’re looking to promote a software package, screen share software can be a wonderful asset to help showcase the product. For physical locations, like wedding venues or property, drone footage is a good choice.

Ideally, you’ll be collaborating with an influencer that has some experience with the formats you’re requesting. 

7. Specify Payment Delivery

While an influencer brief is largely there to help you get increasingly effective results for your influencer marketing campaign, it’s also useful for practical expectations. Influencers typically collaborate with your brand for monetary compensation (like through affiliate links), or other insider rewards like free samples or exclusive event invitations. 

The document needs to define how much you’re paying, how the money is delivered, and any other payment stipulations relating to the content. Needless to say, confusion and uncertainty is the last thing either party wants when it comes to money. 

Most agreements require the signing off of content before it’s posted, after which, payment is likely to follow. It’s also possible that you’ll have payment structures in place determined by the effectiveness of the produced content. 

Solved: Effective Influencer Briefs

With these seven tips to lean on, you have everything you need to create an effective influencer brief. 

Take note, top-quality influencer briefs will:

  • Create clear creative expectations for both parties
  • Confirm delivery and payment structures
  • Define both influencer and wider marketing campaign goals

Follow the aforementioned strategies and you can’t go wrong. 

Jessica Day is the Senior Director for Marketing Strategy at Dialpad, a modern business communications platform and VoIP phone system that takes every kind of conversation to the next level—turning conversations into opportunities. Jessica is an expert in collaborating with multifunctional teams to execute and optimize marketing efforts, for both company and client campaigns. Here is her LinkedIn.

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