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Are You Briefing Influencers Correctly?

May 21, 2020

In this fast-paced digital industry, it is tempting to downplay the importance of a well-written influencer brief. Besides, isn’t it the influencers’ job to ideate and produce engaging content for your brand?

While this is technically correct, it is your responsibility as a brand to provide influencers with the tools they need to effectively align their content with your campaign message and goals. If your influencer brief fails to provide detailed information about the content to be created, the campaign could go in different directions and not get your message across.

Here are the three most important steps you should follow in creating an effective brief for your influencer marketing campaign:

Identify obstacles and come up with a strategy to address them

To generate meaningful consumer interest online, influencers must be able to create content that can address a specific issue about your brand--may it be a simple lack of brand awareness or a more targeted concern. As such, including a communication strategy in your influencer brief is the best way to make this happen.

In creating a strategy, it is important to identify the factors that prevent your target market from being more receptive to your brand, as well as how you plan to confront them in the campaign through influencer marketing. This way, your influencers can tailor their posts to zero in on a specific issue and potentially break a wall between you and your target market.

Some examples:

  • Is there a social stigma associated with your product? If yes, how would you like your influencers to reverse this stigma?
  • Are you trying to manage price perception to attract a younger market? Why not encourage your influencers to focus on value and utility instead of cost?
  • Is the brand threatened by new players entering the market? Maybe it’s time to reestablish your authority by producing informational content?

When done well, a communication strategy allows influencers to address certain challenges head-on in their posts.

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Establish clear goals and expected results when briefing influencers

It’s crucial that influencers know what outcome you expect from the campaign you’re making them a part of. When briefing influencers, share with them a list of key performance indicators (KPIs). These are clear outlines of measurable goals that you wish to achieve as a result of influencer engagement.

For influencer marketing, the most important KPIs include social engagement metrics (impressions, likes, comments, shares), referral traffic to your website/landing page, and actual sales conversions. Depending on your goals (which you should also share when briefing influencers), these KPIs can be as simple or as in-depth.

Bear in mind that no two influencers are the same, so build your KPIs around your influencers' unique reach, expertise, niche audiences, and so on. If unsure, take the time to consult with influencers themselves and work on an agreement. The more transparent you are with your expectations, the better chance you have of reaching your goals together.

By being clear about what your brand is trying to achieve when briefing influencers, not only are you helping them create hardworking content that resonates with their audiences—you are also ensuring the reliability of your future campaign assessments.

List down the required deliverables and describe each one in detail

Sometimes, brands fail to put great content ideas into their influencer brief, and are surprised when the campaign doesn't go exactly as planned. It’s not enough to simply instruct your influencers to create, say, “engaging content to promote on Facebook,” as vague instructions may stir confusion and prevent you from getting the results you want.

Ideally, you'd have aligned with influencers before putting together the final brief. Doing so opens up conversations on workability and timelines, and allows you to make adjustments based on each influencer’s capability to deliver . Again, transparency makes it possible for you and your influencer to arrive at the best possible setup.

To ensure that your expectations are clear and that your targets are met, the influencer brief must include a detailed scope of work with specific deliverables and deadlines. In this section, make a numbered list of deliverables with the following details:

  • Type of content (Photo? Video? Blog post?)
  • Media platform to be used (Facebook? Instagram?)
  • @tags and #hashtags to include
  • “Call To Action” requirements (refer to Step 1!)
  • Schedule/frequency of posting
  • Design pegs and style references

However, while it’s great to be very clear on the type of content you envision for your campaign, don’t forget to leave enough room for content creators and influencers to have fun and play around with their posts! You may be sponsoring the content they’ll be producing, but this does not mean that you have complete control over what they produce.

Keep in mind that the most influential content creators have built and nurtured their following because of the unique attributes of their content. Briefing influencers in such a way that limits their creative freedom defeats the whole point of influencer marketing: to work with experts whose content resonates with a community relevant to your brand.

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