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When you’re ready to roll with your influencer marketing campaign, it’s tempting to simply give the influencer a few guidelines and a green light. But it’s worth the effort to write an influencer campaign brief, which outlines your goals and the project details and keeps everyone on the same page. After all, you can’t hit a target if you don’t know what you’re aiming for.

Learning how to write the perfect campaign brief for your influencer is a time investment — but a worthy one. If you’ve already built a solid campaign strategy, then putting together a brief shouldn’t be too difficult; you’ve done most of the legwork. All you have to do is repurpose the information into a document that has everything the influencer needs to know in order to be successful.

What Is an Influencer Campaign Brief?

An influencer campaign brief outlines the campaign objectives and overall expectations for the influencer and for your company. Think of it as your go-to reference manual for the project — a touchstone — that contains everything from goals and deliverables to KPIs and legal terms.

Depending on how your marketing department operates, you can use the brief for other purposes. For example, you can include it — or a modified version of it — in your pitch to prospective influencers. That way, they can immediately see what they’re signing up for if they agree to a partnership.

Why Should You Brief Your Influencer?

As with any partnership, communication is key. Having a written brief helps everyone get on the same page and stay there. It makes it easier on everyone involved to have all the campaign information located in one place for easy reference. Knowing where you want to go, how you expect to get there and how you’ll evaluate success is a recipe for a smooth partnership. In addition to your influencer’s contract, the brief helps hold all parties accountable.

What Should You Include in the Brief?

An influencer campaign brief really should contain these eight basic elements. Organize them in whatever way makes the most sense. As long as you hit on these areas, you’ll be in good shape.

1. Campaign overview and messaging

Use broad strokes to describe your vision for the campaign as a whole and what part you want the influencer to play. Provide all necessary context; for example, are you going for general brand awareness, or are you launching a product with a giveaway? Will the campaign take place entirely online, or will there be an in-person component?

Include the creative style you’re going for — outdoorsy, formal, whimsical or something else. This helps the influencer align their ideas with your brand’s personality. Just like the rest of us, influencers respond to visuals. Include images, a mood board or videos that help convey what you’re looking for.

2. Key Metrics

Clearly state your specific, measurable campaign goals. Inform the influencer how you plan to gauge success. Influencers should know the desired outcome so they can help you get there.

3. Deliverables

This is where you outline what you want the influencer to do on their side of the partnership. This includes the kind of content, such as posts, videos, images and tweets. If you want the influencer to have significant creative input, then discuss that prior to writing the brief. Make sure the deliverables reflect what the influencer has brought to the table. Sample deliverables may resemble the following:

  • One Instagram post with a product mention, required tags and hashtags
  • One dedicated unboxing or review video, including specific messaging points
  • One 500-word-minimum blog post with a product mention and required keywords

This is the place for details, so include what platforms you want the influencer to use. List the specific tags, hashtags, URLs or promo codes that you require.

4. Timeline and Dates

Spotlight the important dates and deadlines so influencers can plan their schedules. Do you need to see the influencer’s content before it publishes to the world? Explain any approvals that need to happen before the content goes live, and include contact information for all the individuals involved.

5. Mandatory Elements

It’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. Make sure the influencer knows what they absolutely must include in their content, whether it’s a campaign slogan or targeted keywords. These elements are non-negotiable.

Provide a dos and don’ts list to keep track of small details. For example, this could mean using an ampersand rather than spelling out “and” in your brand name. You may want the influencer to photograph your product so the logo is visible or only use certain colors in a flatlay. Tell them what to avoid, too, such as mentioning competitors or anything that doesn’t align with your brand.

6. The Approved CTA

Your objective in partnering with the influencer is to inspire their audience to take a specific action. Determine this call to action ahead of time, and tell your influencer exactly how you want it to appear to their audience. You may want consumers to click a campaign URL, enter a contest, subscribe to an email list or visit a retail location. Whatever it is, make sure it’s crystal clear.

7. Disclosure Guidelines

Verify that your influencers know FTC guidelines and understand how to disclose sponsored content. Supply the influencer with the required language to use in their content. You don’t want to wind up on the wrong side of the law or on the wrong side of your influencer’s audience.

8. Legal Terms and Payment

You’ll provide terms in the contract agreement that your influencer signs, but you may want to also include these in the brief. Hammer out ownership rights. For example, will your company have permission to repurpose the influencer’s content or get access to the original media files? Spell out anything that will result in a breach of contract.

Disclose how and when the influencer will be compensated for their work. Provide them any instructions or contacts required for payment.

What Shouldn’t Be in an Influencer Brief?

Don’t saddle your influencer with too many messaging points. Keep it simple. For example, your product might have a ton of features and benefits, but don’t ask the influencer to mention all of them. Let the influencer decide which one or two will most resonate with their audience. You’ll be sending a much clearer and more targeted message.

You’re partnering with the influencer because you want them to be an authentic ambassador for your brand. If your brief mandates too many scripted elements, it could come off as salesy. Audiences can sniff out anything disingenuous about an ad, so leave room for your influencers to be themselves.

Writing an influencer campaign brief doesn’t have to be tough or time-consuming. It’s an important piece of your overall campaign. It can help ensure that your influencers have a great experience working with you — and vice versa.