How to write a great influencer brief (and why it really makes a difference)

The value of a good brief

Whether you’re creating a big-budget TV ad or writing a new blog for the company website, everyone knows how important a good brief can be.
Working with social media influencers is no different. These people are, after all, the creative experts you have carefully picked to speak on behalf of your brand. And, like all the creative professionals you work with, you want to make sure they have everything they need to do an amazing job.

Make them an expert

The influencer you’re working with has probably been chosen because they share a lot of the same values as your brand. If you’re really lucky, they may already be a brand advocate anyway.
But you still need to get them engaged with this particular campaign. That’s not to say you need to take them through 100s of slides of customer insights and marketing stats. But, in this part of the brief, you need to get them as excited as you are about the product or service you’re promoting.
This is also where, to help your influencer feel like they’re a part of your creative team, you should give them all the knowledge they need to speak like an expert about your product.

Get specific

Next you need to talk about the details. You’ll want to establish some KPIs or goals for the campaign, and it may be a good idea to work with your influencer to set these – basing your performance targets on their knowledge of their typical engagement rates.
You’ll also need to make sure that they’re familiar with any local or industry regulations that apply to your brand or product – never assume that they’ll know the marketing rules of your industry as well as you do!
And finally, the all important deliverables, which is basically making sure your influencer knows exactly what they need to produce, and when they are going to share it.

Common mistakes

One of the biggest mistakes brands make when writing their influencer briefs is forgetting why they’re running a social media influencer campaign in the first place.
Your influencer has been chosen because they are an authentic, trusted voice in the kind of subjects that matter to your brand. And, as tempting as it is to insist they strictly follow your brand tone of voice, or list every product benefit in every post, remember that a successful influencer is someone that tells their own stories. And, as the Native Advertising blog says, brands who expect their products to be the sole centre of attention in an influencer campaign are badly missing the point.

Working together

That’s not to say your brand can’t have any control over your influencer’s content. You are, after all, paying someone to tell your brand’s story and you have every right to make sure you’re happy with how they do that.
That’s why creating a clear, comprehensive and engaging brief is always the best way to make sure your influencers produce ideas you’re happy with. And remember, if you feel they’ve not quite the hit the brief there’s nothing wrong with asking them to make edits and changes.