Updated: Apr 10
Social media has changed the marketing game in the past decade for even the most dominant brands and corporations across every industry. Because of that, influencer marketing has started to take over as the next best avenue for brands' marketing budgets and efforts. Although these shifts seem new on the surface level- business is still business. And with business comes paperwork. You’re probably thinking legal contracts and invoices [yes, those count as "paperwork" too]. But there’s one other important component that could cost you problems and dozens of repeated questions down the line if you skip out on it. We’ve mapped out how you can avoid wasting money, time, energy, and patience by including an influencer brief in all of your future collaborations.
What Exactly is an Influencer Brief?
The influencer brief (also known as a creative brief) is basically a hybrid between a summary of the contract and a mood board. The overall purpose is to serve as an inspirational and informative starting point to give the influencer some clarity in the direction of the collaboration or project. Of course, the details are a little more complex than that. We’ve broken them down a little more in-depth to help you out, as well as provided a free example of one we created for a fake client.
What Should be Included in a Brief?
Some brands may not be familiar with influencer briefs or how to efficiently structure them. Here are a few key factors we think should be included:
Brand Introduction- Give a quick yet thorough explanation of your brand and its mission, message, positioning and products.
Campaign Goals/Objectives- Here’s where you explain the overall goal and vision of the campaign. This is good for giving the influencer an idea of how exactly they fit into the project. It will also tie into the success measurement details. Be specific with goal figures (ex. increasing the email list by X amount of subscribers).
Deliverables/ Expectations- Let the influencer know how many of what they are supposed to deliver (ex. X amount of branded videos). Also, be sure to include the timing you’d prefer across all platforms. This is also where you clearly address all “DOs” and “DONTs” you want the influencers to follow.
Creative Guidelines- This part includes a few different things. You definitely need to include the type of content form you’re requesting (videos, photography, etc.). The other essential part is about aesthetics. Give the influencer examples of what you expect, image references, competitor similarities and/or a mood board. You need to effectively highlight how you'd like them to portray your brand using mostly visuals and some further descriptions.
Deadlines- This part is pretty straightforward. Include all due dates for the campaign and specifics for smaller tasks if they have different deadlines.
Success Measurements- How would you like to determine the success of the specific content after it’s posted? Whether it be the number of likes, impressions, reach, new followers, etc. Let the influencer know what KPI's you’ll be using to determine this.
Why Do Brands Need One?
When marketing and content managers come up with grandiose campaigns to put their brands on the map, they typically have a specific vision. Now, just because an influencer already has a certain aesthetic or audience doesn’t mean they’ll execute the task ideally. Also, anyone working in the world of advertising knows there are unforeseen mishaps all the time. Your collaborative partner should absolutely know what to do and what’s expected of them in the event of any setbacks.
A creative brief helps to bring together brand expectations with the creativity and execution of the influencer to get the best possible results for the campaign. And you should always have some form of a legally binding agreement (separate from this brief) to refer back to if anything during or after the project goes astray.
Brands can save a lot of time and money by giving creative direction as soon as possible. Influencer briefs take the pressure off of both partners in knowing how the campaign should come out as a finished product.
Curious to see a real influencer brief we created and actually use to show as an example to clients? It may be for a made-up company (Siren Sunscreen), but it's the *exact* same composition and setup we use internally. Use it as inspiration for your current and future collaborations; and yes, feel free to copy our exact formatting. We won't be mad 😉
About The Author:
Katherine Pereda is the Founder and CEO of The Influencer Grapevine, a boutique Influencer Marketing agency based in South Florida. Her clientele list ranges from luxury houses such as Gucci, Roberto Coin, Acqua di Parma, Vacheron Constantin, Jitrois Paris, Cartier LatAm, and Jimmy Choo to beauty, home design, fashion, lifestyle, and wellness companies like Maisons Du Monde, Tampax + Always PURE, Home Made Simple by Procter & Gamble, Target, MintedLeaf CBD, and Agnes & Dora. Katherine has also worked extensively in experiential marketing for WantedDesign, New York Fashion Week, DesignMiami/, Glossier, Create & Cultivate, Miami Swim Week, Funksion Fashion Week, and Art Basel Miami. Now specializing in talent management, and brand campaigns, she helps influencers and businesses from all over the world gain exposure, connections, and collaborations to build lifelong relationships.