A student looks amazed on learning how to brief an influencer

How To Brief An Influencer

Briefing an Influencer accurately is so important as there has never been a higher demand for influencer campaigns.

A successful content creator with even a moderate audience can get countless requests from marketing teams and brand owners who want to do a collaboration with them.

When you successfully secure a commitment from an influencer to enter into a partnership, you have successfully achieved step one.

However, this is just one of many parts of a process. You need to create a proper, comprehensive, and accurate brief for the influencer to follow.

How to effectively Brief an Influencer Campaign

The following steps are to be considered when briefing an influencer:

  1. Brand Overview or Situational Analysis.
  2. The Brand Objectives.
  3. Brand Tonality.
  4. Brand Key Features and Consumer Benefits.
  5. Consumer Target & Demographic
  6. The right Social Media Channels.
  7. Influencer Deliverables
  8. Time Line
  9. Budget
  10. Legal & Transparency

A brief of this nature is vital for guaranteeing a successful collaboration with a content creator and avoiding any major pitfalls in the process.

You might be under some degree of pressure to deliver an influencer campaign in a short timeframe but trust us when we say that taking the time to sit down and do it right make all the difference.

The right influencer brief needs to clearly outline the expectations of your brand and inspire the creator to be innovative. When both parties are collaborating on the brief and are mutually aligned on the end goal, the best results can occur.

The list above can differ slightly depending on the situation, but these are generally considered to be a good way to cover all your bases.

The Influencer Brief needs a Brand Overview

The first thing you need to do is make sure that you give your influencer a brief history lesson on the brand or product.

Of course, you’ve probably done some research to select an influencer, but you should reinforce that the pair of you are a good fit for each other, with a Situational Analysis.

Offering up information such as market share, shipments YTD, forecast for the year, and consumer brand affinity is a good way to make sure that the campaign is given to the influencer with some context.

They’ll be able to understand the motivation behind the collaboration, and if you want to encourage creativity and reinforce what you expect, you should show them a recent campaign you’ve done.

Provide the Influencer with a Situational Analysis in the brief

What’s the big picture behind the brand?  Tell some of these supporting facts:

  • Your brand strengths and weaknesses.
  • Competitive positioning, where does your brand fit in?
  • An overview of the other elements of your marketing communications mix.
  • Brand Objectives such as annual sales turnover, units sold, or market share growth.

Brief the Influencer on Brand Tonality

Brand Tonality is how your want your customer to perceive your product or service, expressed in a creative sense.  

Your mind’s eye can express your vision in words that help the Influencer picture the personality of the brand.

This gives the Influencer boundaries to stay within but also gives them a creative realm to express.

As an example, if you were to describe the brand tonality of your new drink product in words, i.e innocence, energising, zest, performance,  

These are words that provide a picture for anyone that can be applied to video photography or blog style.  

You may also want set negative words, so you don’t give the wrong opinion to the influencer.

For example, if your drink is not a sports drink, then list words such as performance, energetic.

Briefing the Influencer on key product features

As part of any product brief, which we created for TV Production projects initially, are Key Product Features and Emotional Benefits.  This is your key selling proposition.

Key Product Features

Imagine the camera or what the customer is going to watch- are they going to see everything the product has to offer?  

Make sure you brief the influencer with every product feature such as sound, lights, surprise function, colour variations, and articulation.  

Every clever function should be communicated.

Emotional Benefits

As yourself how does each key feature help the customer and what is in it for them? What emotional benefits do they offer?

For example, a “lightweight and breathable” feature of a sports top, means you get the benefit of not getting sweaty or hot.  

Or, dropping this new dissolving pouch of Lavender in your bath, will help you drop off quicker for bedtime. 

By briefing the influencer with the consumer benefits of all features, they will make sure the pleasure or reward is expressed in the same way on screen.

Influencer Content brief must include Key Messages

Key messages for the brief should be clearly outlined, put in bold, and then underlined.

You need to make sure that there is absolutely zero chance of the key message being misunderstood and misinterpreted.

As part of this, you need to make sure that confirm calls to action, tag lines for the campaign, hyperlinks, your social media handles and relevant hashtags.

Make sure the messages are given to the influencer in order of importance so you ultimately bypass the limited character counts of websites like Twitter.

Something you should also try and do is to make sure you keep them to a minimum where you can.

Overloading an influencer not only ties their hands for content, but also means that something may get left off.

Obviously, make sure that you also include things like phrases or words that should be avoided to stop your image from being damaged, i.e. boundaries.

How to Brief the Influencer on creative boundaries

Brand owners need to set boundaries within the brief, in order to protect brand image.

This can be spelt out even by suggesting the avoidance of certain clothing, but mainly its words used to describe how viewers should interpret your brand through playfulness, trust, and aggressiveness.

The above is what’s called your tone of voice

Detail all these concerns in an executional guideline section.  This can normally sit at the base of the influencer brief as a list or paragraph.

How To Brief Influencers on Key Deliverables

The next part of the influencer content brief is arguably the most important.

You need to let the influencer know what is expected of them.

The influencer should know about their expectations from the first moment you connect with them.

It should also be reiterated after the initial briefing and before any legal agreements are drafted.

After all, your influencer will understand best of all what their audience resonates with and how to best appeal to them within the frame of the collaboration.

You can start this process by brainstorming basic requirements regarding what activity needs to take place.

Then outline the form that these deliverables should take. Some of your top considerations will be the following:

  • What number of social posts are you expecting?
  • Which social platform i.e., Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok or Snap Chat, fits your target market?
  • What views can they master for you, and can they direct people back to your website landing page?
  • Can the influencer attend a company event for publicity?
  • Can your influencer develop a long-term relationship with you as a brand ambassador?
  • How many samples do they need to perform all product-revealing steps?

This part of the process is important for deciding on your KPIs and then assigning them with corresponding deadlines to each part of the activity.

Make sure that there are clear rules for what your influencer can and can not do in their content.

How to Brief Influencers on the right Social Media Platforms

Each influencer will operate on different social media channels and it is important to work out what type of audience you’ll get as a result.

In fact, before you have approached the creator, you should have worked out whether they are popular on the right social media platform for your brand. 

Each platform performs against different age demographics, i.e. Facebook has the strongest campaign engagement with 40+ Females with families. 

Whilst Instagram demographics perform better with 25 – 35-year-olds users

Within the influencer brief, make sure that you specify which platforms you want to use. If your influencer is to populate all of their channels with content that represents you, you need to give them advance warning to adjust their content schedules.

This process should definitely include your influencer giving their input – their guidance and knowledge of their target audience are vital.

How to Brief an Influencer with Timelines

You may have a major brand and have an end cap in 300 Tesco stores, or a limited online promotion and even a seasonal product which must move in a given month.

This tent pole initiative needs the influencer campaign to act as a call to action at the exact moment.

The timeline section of the influencer brief should include a specific date or term of the activity that you want your campaign to take.

This means things like social media posts, key events and campaign mile markers need to be outlined.  Huge increases in website traffic may appear and you must be ready.

A proper timeline gives both sides some structure to work with and helps you to make sure that your influencer generates the best impact.

If you need to safeguard your company from the risk of harm, then you need to mark key dates in writing to make sure that there is no chance of missing a deadline or making a mistake.

Briefing the Influencer on the Legal Print

Your brief needs to make sure that it also affords you a degree of legal protection.

You should finish off by giving your influencer a reminder of the federal and legal guidelines and transparency with followers

Taking the time to reiterate the rulings and laws from regulatory and governing bodies is important for making sure that all parties are operating in a legal way.

Have a read of this helpful link on being transparent on social media product endorsements.

Don’t expect your influencer to know about these regulations – you need to educate them.

Influencer Briefing Take Aways

When it comes to preparing an influencer via a written brief, it is important to make sure that the document you give them is detailed and suitable.

The purpose of your brief is to provide an influencer with the tools and information needed to deliver content that promotes your brand in a way you’re comfortable with.

While a lot of collaborations are about accepting your influencer has a content style and way of resonating with fans, it is still your responsibility to give them the instructions they need to be able to accomplish this.

The best thing you can do is take the time to get the collaboration right – it makes such a difference to the finished product.

An influencer campaign can be flexible with timing, but a bad collab which damages your reputation is much harder to fix!

Picture of Michelle Goodisson
Michelle Goodisson

Professional and dedicated all-round digital marketeer with 20 years experience in b2b and b2c marketing. Covering retail buying, product development, brand management, digital marketing, licensing, event management, PR & sponsorship.

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