How to write a winning Influencer Marketing creative brief
Working with Influencers is a no brainer for any brand trying to connect and sell their products in today’s digital economy, especially when the product is targeted at a younger audience. But once you’ve found the perfect group of Influencers to work with - whether on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter - there can often be friction between what you want to talk about as a brand (creatively) vs what the influencers suggest you should do and more importantly, what they know is right for their audience.
Let’s take a step back here. The reason you want to work with 'Influencer X' is that they have tens of thousands of highly engaged fans or followers, that fit perfectly with your target demographic. The reason that these fans are ‘engaged' is that they can relate to 'Influencer X' and they love the content she creates and shares. So the most important thing you want as a brand is an authentic piece of content, that connects and resonates with her audience and doesn’t make them feel like she has sold out for some quick cash.
So how as a brand can you get your message across, while letting go of creative control? The answer is simple - by writing a well crafted and thought provoking creative brief. Sounds obvious I know, but spending time to clearly outline your objectives, your audience, your desired outcomes and what you’d like to see in the content and what you don’t want to see, will provide a framework to help you collaborate with Influencers and most importantly, produce great content together. Once discussed and agreed this brief will give the Influencer freedom to create content that their audience will want to watch and engage with - but that also delivers against your primary business objectives.
Sounds easy, but it takes time and practise to write a good brief. To help you on this journey we’ve created a simple Influencer Marketing Creative Brief Template, that's free to download and free to use.
To help get you started we’ve outlined a quick summary of the key elements of the brief below.
1. What / When / How much?
Let’s cut to the chase - this is what’s going to get you past stage 1 when first engaging with an Influencer. What do you want them to do (e.g. x2 YouTube videos, x1 Instagram Post and x1 Snapchat video), when do you want it done by and what’s the budget. Assuming the influencer is happy with your proposal, then it’s time to move onto the next stage.
2. The brief
This is the most important section, where you talk through your company, product, strategy, objectives and target audience. Why do you need this project? What are your goals? What do you want the audience to Think, Feel, Do? Is there a problem you’re trying to solve? How will you measure success?
Whenever possible, try to make your goals and objectives SMART (Specific, Measurable, Agreed upon, Realistic, Time-based) and make sure you discuss and agree these with the Influencers that you are working with - face-to-face or on the phone. Understanding your objectives is critical to the success of the content creation process and they can easily get lost in translation.
3. Creative requirements
The danger here is to start sharing your creative ideas for this piece of content - but as discussed above, the ideation of the video or post should be left to the Influencer to lead. Of course, if it’s part of a broader campaign then share away, but leave flexibility so the Influencer can put their own spin and creativity into the idea. What you need to outline are any key elements that either 'must appear' in the content (logos, products, hashtags, @mentions, clothes, links, offers etc.) and those elements that 'must not' appear (competitor names or products for example).
Remember that Influencers are in demand and crazy busy. Their time is split between many projects, both personal (for their own channels) and business related (led by agencies and brands) - so giving them a clear set of dates to hit is critical. Be clear and explicit about shoot dates / first draft dates / final cut dates / approval dates / live dates etc. and send reminders.
This is a bit of a catch-all, but here’s a quick checklist of other things to consider including in the brief:
Video rights & usage
Music rights clearance
Image rights clearance
Meta data to be included (tags, descriptions, links, hashtags, @mentions)
Reporting requirements (linking social accounts, what data is required and how often)
Final asset formats for videos and images