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Creating An Effective Influencer Brief: The 11 Must-Include Items & 4 Common Mistakes To Avoid
In the simplest sense, an influencer brief is a document that a brand or agency provides an influencer after he/she has contractually agreed to participate in an influencer marketing campaign. Typically a one-page long document, an influencer brief is a resource meant to assist an influencer when he/she creates sponsored content for a given campaign. The document offers an overview of the campaign’s purpose and spells out what is expected of the influencer.
An effective influencer brief is one that an influencer can clearly understand and follow, and leads to measurable campaign results. Conversely, both an arduous influencer brief or one lacking sufficient detail can lead to a poor performing campaign.
The best influencer briefs lay the foundation for successful campaigns and productive ongoing relationships with influencers. Here we’ll outline 11 essentials every influencer brief should include and examine 4 specific influencer brief mistake marketers should avoid.
The 11 Essentials Of Every Influencer Brief
1. Name of the advertiser/brand
Although self-explanatory, an influencer brief should start by stating the name of the advertiser or brand running the campaign. The inclusion of this crucial information lessens the chances that an influencer may confuse an influencer brief with another document related or unrelated to the campaign.
2. Social media account or accounts the influencer should use to publish sponsored content
Beyond stating each platform that sponsored content should be published on, an influencer brief should include the exact social media accounts an influencer should use to publish content.
Many influencers maintain more than one account on the same platform and therefore specific account handles should be stated to avoid any confusion.
3. Description of the sponsored content an influencer has agreed to publish (and corresponding dates)
In conjunction with stating the social media account(s) an influencer should use to publish sponsored content, an influencer brief should explicitly outline the sponsored content an influencer has agreed to make and when each piece of content must be published.
For instance, for an Instagram exclusive campaign, a brief should include the number of Instagram posts and Stories an influencer has agreed to create, as well as the date and time each piece of content must be published. Any other deliverables like tagging the brand’s official Instagram account or using a specific branded hashtag should also be included.
4. A synopsis of the campaign goals
Like the saying, “Without a goal you can’t score,” an influencer brief should clearly and concisely provide an influencer with a campaign’s purpose and goals. Whether a brand wants to advertise the launch of a new product, raise brand awareness overall, or both, an influencer should be clearly informed of a campaign’s goals so he/she can structure content accordingly.
Without clear direction regarding what sponsored content should convey to followers, an influencer is ill-equipped to properly serve a brand’s needs. The failure to state clear campaign goals can result in sponsored content that’s either ineffective or unrelated to a brand.
5. A list of messaging points that an influencer should include
Critical to an influencer brief is the inclusion of specific talking points an influencer should follow when discussing a brand and its products. By providing an influencer with clear messaging points a brand prepares him/her to deliver on the campaign goals. Specific messaging points like, “The cookies are organic,” serve to fulfill larger goals like providing audiences with useful product information.
One trap of messaging points is offering too many, which can result in the deterioration of any given point’s impact.
To avoid sponsored content that is overly branded or annoying to audiences, marketers should limit the number of messaging points influencers must include in sponsored content. For YouTube or blogger content, messaging points should be limited to up to five. On Instagram, only one or two messaging points should be provided.
6. A list of messaging points that an influencer shouldn’t include
Just as important as including messaging points that an influencer should highlight is the omission of talking points detrimental to a brand’s image or campaign goals.
In an influencer brief, marketers should provide any specific messaging points that an influencer must not state verbally or in written form. This could include discussing a specific product the brand doesn’t wish to advertise in the present campaign or any reference to competitors.
7. The specific CTA an influencer should use
Whether the verbal and written inclusion of a discount code or a statement asking followers to check out the brand, a specific CTA should be included in every influencer marketing brief.
Similar to providing a list of messaging points, the inclusion of a CTA ensures that an influencer delivers on a brand’s specific goals.
8. Any contest or giveaway rules
In the event that an influencer’s sponsored content takes the form of a giveaway or contest, an influencer brief should clearly include necessary rules and guidelines so influencers aren’t left to explain contest rules in a way that could be inconsistent with the brand’s intentions.
Additionally, contests and giveaways typically need to follow legal as well as platform guidelines. It’s important that the influencer brief and/or brand does not get flagged for running a contest improperly.
9. The tracking link and/or landing page that an influencer should use
Almost all influencer campaigns include tracking links that document user actions related to campaign ROI, such as product purchases, downloads, or sign-ups. To ensure that an influencer includes the correct tracking link within sponsored content, any necessary tracking links should be provided in the brief.
10. A reminder of the FTC guidelines influencers (and brands) must meet
Within the past year, the FTC has become increasingly active in enforcing proper disclosure of sponsored content. To ensure that an influencer’s sponsored content meets FTC guidelines, an influencer brief should include both an FTC guideline reminder and the specific language the influencer should use for disclosure (e.g. paid partnership with).
11. Any brand assets an influencer should include
Brand assets such as a logo or slogan that an influencer should include in sponsored content should be stated in an influencer brief.
Marketers should also indicate when, where, and for how long a brand asset should appear in sponsored content. For example, if the brand wants its logo to appear within the first minute of a YouTube, this requirement should be outlined in advance.
The Most Common Influencer Marketing Brief Mistakes
1. Failure to provide an optimized and highly compelling CTA
Crucial to every influencer marketing campaign is the inclusion of a compelling CTA that social media users should perform after consuming sponsored content. The failure to include a clear CTA, or the inclusion of CTA that’s confusing, can result in a low-performing campaign.
If an influencer’s followers either aren’t offered a next step or are given instructions too cumbersome to follow they’re likely to disengage. A focused CTA should, therefore, be included in every influencer brief.
2. Providing an influencer too many messaging points
Although it’s important to provide an influencer with clear talking points, requiring an influencer to mention a long list of points can result in sponsored content that bores or confuses his/her audience.
Arguably, the inclusion of two essential messaging points in sponsored content is more powerful than including three. The inclusion of several points lessens the impact of any given point and can result in sponsored content that feels inorganic or forced.
3. Creating an influencer brief that doesn’t allow for creative freedom
An influencer brief is a crucial part of clearly communicating and in turn fulfilling campaign goals. However, brands should remember that influencers are often better equipped to connect with their audiences than a brand. Therefore, in the interests of a high performing campaign brands should give influencers creative freedom by providing only one to two essential talking points and a succinct list of campaign goals to meet.
4. Presenting FTC guidelines as optional
In the interests of a brand and the influencer it’s working with, an influencer brief should always present proper FTC disclosure as an expectation an influencer must follow, not an optional recommendation.
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