Photo credit: Kaledico
As more brands move away from traditional marketing, we’ve noticed a massive influx of companies trying out influencer marketing for the first time. While we’re sure that this move is the best decision for most brands, we’re finding that many companies are having difficulties adjusting to the new process of creating content, from requesting specifics to approving final products.
To ensure brands and influencers make the most out of their collaborations, we’ve created a guide on how you can improve your content approval process. By providing clear instructions at the briefing stage and improving communications throughout production, you can guarantee that your chosen collaborators deliver unique content that meets your needs on time.
Each brand will approach the briefing stage differently. Some brands might not have a clear indication of the content they want upfront and let the influencer drive creative decision making, while other brands will have a clear strategy and vision. In either case, it’s essential to define expectations upfront.
At the briefing stage, we suggest aligning with other stakeholders who will be using the creatives. For example, if you’re producing content for the Social Media team, discuss expectations and image specs with the relevant Social Media manager. If you’re creating images for a campaign, align with the campaign team and art director to ensure business and creative requests are filtered into the brief.
Here are some other points to consider at the briefing stage:
• Does the influencer need to be wearing a full-branded look? Or are they able to mix-and-match with non-branded pieces?
• What are the relevant image specs? Should the influencer shoot in vertical or horizontal or both?
• Should the influencer shoot inside or outside or both?
• How do you want the influencer to be posing?
• Do you want the product/s to be the central focus on the image?
• Is there anything you don’t want to see in the final image? For example, should the influencer avoid using other brands’ logos, alcohol, or cigarettes?
A comprehensive brief and alignment early on are crucial for a streamlined content approval process. While some brands might be cautious of stifling creativity with rigid Dos and Don’ts, it’s been our experience that having boundaries and clear expectations actually improves creativity. Not only does it provide a creative framework, but it also avoids having last-minute reshoots. So, always align with your team and influencers before starting the campaign production.
When it comes to dos and don’ts: Take the time to brainstorm any potential errors that could happen through miscommunication or lack of clarification before you brief. We suggest creating a dos and don’ts template for your company that you can routinely send to influencers when you brief them. You can always add points to as time goes on. Here are some you could include, for instance:
• Ensure you feature all the items you received and style them with basics.
• High quality pictures need to be delivered in high-resolution on deadline.
• Please provide a selection of horizontals / verticals.
• Background and environment should be pleasant.
• The additional non-branded items used to style your outfit should be basic and simple.
• The images should be creative and should showcase a typical situation in which you personally wear our product.
• Be natural, authentic, spontaneous.
• Shoot inside/outside, depending on lighting conditions.
• Do not wear accessories, certain colors, etc.
• Do not display other big logos or recognizable items of competitors.
• Do not tag additional fashion brands in your posts.
• No display of alcohol and cigarettes or references to illegal substances.
• Do not shoot at night/ midday/ in the sun etc.
• Do not choose a distracting background.
By ensuring that your briefs are specific, you reduce the risk of wasting time going back and forth. Keep in mind that influencers will almost always deliver exactly what was requested. However, if you would want re-shoots, this could also cause additional fees. Not having clear content guidelines and objectives can be expensive and time-consuming, so take your time to understand what you want and include a buffer in the campaign budget.
The campaign production process, like the briefing, will change from brand to brand. Whether brands relinquish creative control to influencers or have strict guidelines, we do have some universal production tips to help streamline the process.
Firstly, allow for feedback rounds when mapping out your production timeline. Even the best briefs can still lead to incorrect final creatives. Ensure there is enough time (and budget) for reshoots if necessary.
Secondly, we suggest creating a clear line of communication through the Collabary messaging platform so that influencers can quickly reach out and ask questions while producing content. By following these two simple tips we guarantee a smoother production process and a positive overall experience.
Choosing who should approve images is the natural first step of the approval process. Similar to the briefing stage, this will depend on the team’s hierarchy and who the relevant stakeholders are. For instance, if you are building an onsite campaign, we suggest involving the art director and campaign team. The art director will be able to select an image based on the creative strategy, while the campaigns team will likely use a data-based approach. Involving these two stakeholders at the approval stage will ensure both the creative and business interests to be vested.
If you’ve followed our advice, you will have ensured that you had received what you wanted when you wanted it. Not only will this be satisfying to you, but it will prove to your collaborator that you’re a professional brand to work with.
As we’ve discovered, more brands are looking to long-lasting relationships with influencers, so be bold and direct in your vision while praising creativity that aligns with your needs will make these deep and lasting connections.
Now more than ever, brands and influencers need to be able to collaborate as efficiently as possible. Collabary’s Campaign Manager provides a number of valuable tools that can help you save time at every point of your campaign’s execution, allowing everyone to focus on the things that are most important.
If you are interested in how you can use the Campaign Manager to make the most out of your time, please get in touch with us at email@example.com. We have a whole team of influencer marketing experts ready to answer all of your questions.
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