You’ve just scored a contract with your very first influencer. Hooray! Uh…now what? Lots of brands have lofty ideas of what influencers can do to raise brand awareness and drive sales, but they don’t have a clear roadmap of how to get their influencer on board with their brand. Luckily you do, right on this page. We’re going to talk about creating an Influencer Brief, and how you can prepare your influencer to work with your brand so everyone can enjoy greater success. Let’s dive in.
An influencer brief is a set of materials that introduces your influencer to your brand, from your origin story, to your style, your messaging, your target audience, to everything else you want your influencer to know before they start representing your brand and your products. This doesn’t need to be an overwhelming about of information, and it doesn’t need to disclose any sensitive brand information or financial data. But it should make your influencer feel like part of the team…and an inspired one, at that.
Having a prepared brief will make it so much faster and easier to onboard your influencer after you’ve decided to work together, and it’s a clear, professional set of guidelines that you both can refer back to as needed. For creators, it gives them guidelines, constraints, and a style to work with, and they will know who they are targeting with their posts. For brands, you can rest assured that you’ve given your influencers all the information they need for your campaign.
There are 6 key elements to include on your influencer brief, so let’s look at each one.
- Brand Overview
Who are you, and what does your brand stand for?
Discuss who created the brand and their motivation for starting it. Talk about the values and principals that drive product creation, and the various problems that your products solve for your customers. What does your brand hope to achieve? How are you changing the world? Tell the story of your brand.
- Campaign Overview
This section will discuss the specific products, services, or events that are being put forward to your audience. Include all applicable timelines, such as pre-sales or reservations, launch dates, and deadlines, both for your influencers and for your customers.
Describe the products or services you are launching or promoting with this specific campaign. Talk about the features and benefits, as well as the problems they solve for your customers. Imagine how your customers will feel when they buy and use your products.
Discuss the target audience so your influencer knows as much about who they are trying to reach as possible. Detail any other partnerships that are part of the campaign.
This section should have as much detail as possible since it will guide your influencer’s creative process and directly impact how smoothly your campaign runs. Include planning notes and your campaign roadmap so your influencer can see how all the pieces fit together, and their role in a successful launch.
- Style and Networks
This is the place to set the tone and the look of the posts your influencer will create, and which social media platforms they’ll post to.
You likely chose your influencer based on the platform they have the most effective reach on, but you can utilize their user-generated content in optimized formats on other platforms, for both organic and paid placement.
Create a color palette for your influencer to use in their posts for elements like graphics and text overlays, and discuss the feel of the posts, such as romantic, springtime, or gamer. Note the attitude you would like your influencer to display, such as upbeat and engaging, or serious and urgent. Specify how long you would like video content, or how often images should be posted. Remember, you’re not designing the posts. You’re just giving your influencer a framework in which they can express their own creativity and authenticity.
List any tags to add to posts on the appropriate platforms, and if there is specific wording or links you would like in the post’s descriptions, include those here.
- App and Device Requirements
Prepare your influencer with the minimum requirements for photo and video resolution, aspect ratios, and editing software capabilities.
Making videos on a phone that’s ten years old could work if your brand creates vintage products or gritty mystery novels, but won’t work for most other campaigns. Brush up on the minimum resolution and size that looks right for your brand, and ensure your influencer is using appropriate tech. Is phone video good enough, or do they need a more advanced camera? The same goes for software and apps. Make sure they’re using editors that can create content that you’re satisfied with, which includes graphics, animations, sound, and any other elements that are important to you, including their proficiency with these apps.
This is also the section to include any required elements in each piece of content, such as a logo, website link, product image, etc.
- Best Practices
In the Best Practices section, you’ll inform your influencer of the things you expect out of your work together, and what should be avoided.
Some brands like a lot of contact with their influencer in their creative process, others are more hands-off. Describe how you would like to interact with your influencer, and how quickly each of you should expect a reply. Are there any language use restrictions for your brand’s posts, such as swearing, technical lingo, or pop culture references? Is there a particular way you would like your product represented?
This is a great section to add screenshots, links, or other examples of Dos and Don’ts. Do you want your influencer to discuss other brands, any disadvantages of your products, or moderate (or even delete) unfavorable comments? If this is your first campaign with a social media influencer, you may learn a lot about your future best practices from the experience, so treat any speed bumps as lessons for your next campaign, and remember to add them to this section.
Here you’ll discuss the purpose of the campaign and the measurable metrics you are working to achieve.
Give your influencer enough information about the campaign to inspire them and guide them. You don’t need to detail exact sales goals (unless you want to!) but you do want to give them an idea of what you want to achieve. Are you aiming to increase sales 2x or 10x? Are you trying to gain 10,000 new followers or increase brand awareness? Are you trying to bring in a dollar amount for a charity or cause from the sales of your products? Be honest here. Misguiding your influencer about your objectives by either sharing a vague goal, or being outright deceptive about your aims, will not get you the results you’re after, and will waste the money you’re paying them to make content for you.
Your influencer brief will be a one-stop-shop for all your influencer’s questions so they can make content that is optimized for your brand’s requirements. You can make it a short bullet-pointed list or a lengthy and well-designed PDF. Making this document as complete as possible will save a lot of time and effort on both ends of your relationship, and will help to generate more effective campaigns for your brand, which translates to bigger profits for you and a more secure paycheck for your influencer.
You’ll need to change the Campaign Overview with each new campaign you create, and update the other sections as your brand and technology evolves. This means that your brief will be a document that changes periodically, and it would be a smart plan to have someone on your team assigned to review the brief at planned intervals to update it as needed. You can find your network of star influencers on Hubble through the FREE Chrome extension. You don’t need to have your brief complete to work with new influencers, and many brands write their guide through the interactions of their first few influencer contracts. The only way to learn is by doing, so jump in and get growing.