Influencer product gifting can help brands build awareness and encourage sales. Here’s how to send products to influencers step-by-step.
How to Write a Better Influencer Brief (Template & Tips)
Influencer briefs are make-or-break for creator campaigns. Here’s how to write an influencer brief step-by-step (and our free template to help you draft yours).
If you want to work with creators, you need to learn how to write an influencer brief.
Because communication is crucial for a successful campaign.
Influencers can work wonders when it comes to social content. They aren’t mind-readers, though. They need direction.
But not too much direction that hinders their creative freedom.
That’s why your creative brief is make-or-break. The clearer your expectations, the more likely your campaigns are to meet their goals. Your creators with thank you, too.
In this post, you’ll learn:
- What an influencer brief is, why they matter and what to include in your own
- Best practices (and common pitfalls) of writing creative briefs for influencers
- How to write an influencer brief from scratch with our free template
Pssst! Click here to jump right to our downloadable influencer brief template.
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What is an Influencer Brief, Anyway?
An influencer brief is an outline of instructions and expectations for creators prior to a social media campaign.
These guidelines include everything from high-level creative direction to post-specific requirements.
An influencer brief should sum up what a creator needs to create the best post possible. The briefing process has a direct impact on campaign performance.
How so? For starters, the instructions in a brief encourage brands to reflect on what they want out of a campaign. Expectations also create a sense of accountability for the creators you work with. A well-written brief results in meaningful content.
Simply put, briefs are a blueprint for posts that delight brands and creators alike.
What Details Are Included in an Influencer Creative Brief?
Cluing creators in on your content requirements means prioritizing the right details.
Below is a breakdown of what should be included in any given influencer brief:
You can’t provide direction to creators without defining what you want their content to achieve. For example:
- Do you want to promote a product launch?
- Are you trying to increase brand awareness?
- Do you want to tie your influencer campaign to sales? Traffic? Engagement?
Be clear about your campaign objectives. Doing so will impact the creative direction your influencer takes.
An influencer brief should be specific about who creators are speaking to, including:
- Demographics (think: age, gender, location)
- Wants, needs and pain points
- Other brands they like and follow
Chances are you chose to work with an influencer because their audience reflects yours, right?
Still, you should remind creators of your target demographic. The messaging of your campaign’s content should be unique to your audience. Skilled influencers will know exactly what to say to get their followers talking.
Brand Voice, Mission and Values
Provide a quick recap of who you are and what your brand is all about, including:
- Tone of voice (think: playful, professional, sarcastic, humorous)
- Unique selling proposition
Driving these points home will help your sponsored content stand out.
Be straightforward about what you want influencers to deliver in terms of content. For example, specify the following:
- The format of their posts (think: Instagram Stories, TikTok video)
- The length of the posts (think: three Stories frames, 30+ second Reels)
- How many posts they’ll be publishing as part of your campaign
We’re all about giving influencers as much creative control as possible.
That said, your brand might have some non-negotiables that creators should stick to.
That’s a-okay! Just be upfront about them. Your posting requirements might include:
- The use of specific #hashtags or @mentions
- Whether creators are allowed to mention other brands
- Specific calls-to-action, words or phrases to sprinkle into their content
Tip: Try to condense your requirements into as few instructions as possible to avoid overwhelming your creators.
Key Talking Points
Providing some big-picture talking points can help creators zero in on the best message for their post(s). Brainstorm product details that set your brand apart from competitors.
For example, a skincare brand might emphasize that they’re vegan and eco-friendly.
Or maybe you have a fascinating founder story that can provide a humanizing element to your post. Perhaps you just want your creator to say something they love about your product.
Either way, these talking points should be front-and-center in your influencer brief.
Tip: Keep your talking points broad, if possible. Doing so will provide that much-needed creative freedom we keep talking about.
Deadlines are critical for any given influencer marketing campaign. This is especially true if you want to tie your posts to a specific promotion or product launch. Be explicit about when your creators’ content needs to be submitted for approval.
Campaign Budget (Optional)
Details such as preferred payment methods should ideally be hashed out in your influencer contract. That said, you can also review campaign compensation in your brief.
Content Approval Process
The final piece of your brief should explain how creators should submit their content when it’s completed.
For example, will their posts undergo review by your team? Do they need to submit a draft for approval? Clarifying your approval process clears up confusion and ensures that campaigns finish faster.
Why Do Influencer Briefs Matter So Much?
If you’ve never written an influencer brief, you may doubt if it’s worth the extra effort.
Fair question! After all, isn’t that why you’re hiring a creator in the first place? Shouldn’t an influencer know this information since you agreed to partner up?
Well, not necessarily.
Food for thought: 43% of marketers say they struggle when communicating with influencers. 33% also say that they have challenges with their creative strategy.
Your brief goes hand in hand with streamlining communication and partnerships. Below we’ve broken down the benefits of putting together a top-tier influencer brief:
- Clear directions = better content. No surprises here. Being upfront about your expectations encourages an on-brand final product from your creators.
- Meet your campaign KPIs. The directions in your influencer brief should align with your priority campaign metrics. Hitting those goals translates into a glowing campaign report and satisfied stakeholders.
- Keep your campaigns organized. Influencer campaigns obviously shouldn’t be a free-for-all where “anything goes.”. Outlining your goals, requirements and deliverables means that you have a clear vision for your content. The clearer the vision, the easier it is for creators to bring it to life.
- Minimize needless back-and-forth with creators. Think you’re busy? Chances are your creators feel the same way about their own schedules. Detailed influencer briefs can reduce needless questions, emails and DMs. This means saving time and reducing stress for both parties.
- Encourage long-term partnerships with influencers. Spoiler alert: influencers want to work with brands that support them. A brilliant brief is how you score repeat partnerships with your best creators. The easier you are to work with, the more likely creators are to overdeliver.
4 Must-Know Tips for Writing Better Influencer Briefs
Now that you know what briefs are all about, it’s time to put pen to paper.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or working with a template, the following tips will make your briefs more effective:
1. Include Visual Inspiration and Examples to Empower Your Creators
Fun fact: two-thirds of people describe themselves as “visual learners.”
Written creative direction is necessary but not always the best way to communicate the type of content you want. Sometimes it’s best to show and tell.
Surprisingly, many influencer marketing brief examples we’ve come across don’t contain photos.
Bummer! Because text-only briefs don’t do your creators any favors. Visuals can really help cut down on questions and provides valuable direction.
Whether in the form of a mood board, slideshow or external links, consider including:
- Examples of your posts that capture your aesthetic
- Examples of influencer posts from other creators you’d like to emulate
- Examples of successful competing content
Below is an influencer brief sample from Statusphere that includes visuals:
You don’t need to go overboard when it comes to photos, either. Three or four examples are enough to give creators the inspiration they need.
2. Make Sure Your Brief Conveys Your Voice and Values
Remember what we said earlier about communicating your brand’s personality?
Well, your creative brief should ideally be a reflection of that voice and vibe. Rather than provide a laundry list of instructions, inject some personality into your brief.
Slang. Snappy sentences. Emojis.
The list goes on in terms of how to write an influencer brief that feels personal and on-brand.
Also, keep in mind that your creator might be working with multiple brands at once. Reinforcing your identity can help get them in the right headspace to nail your aesthetic and messaging.
3. Keep Your Brief, Well, Brief
You want to include as many details as possible so your creator nails their content.
Hey, we get it!
The problem? The more you write, the more likely your creators are to get overwhelmed or miss key details.
There’s a reason why most of the influencer brief examples we’ve seen are short and sweet. Overloading creators with requirements is also a recipe for creating identical influencer content.
And nobody wants that, right?
How long should an influencer brief be? It depends! Here at Statusphere, we send out one-pagers (front and back) with everything our creators need to crush it. We sometimes supplement our briefs with additional info in special cases, but one page has proven effective for our members.
Tip: Stick to a format that’s scannable and easy to read. For example, using checklists and bolding can highlight your key points at a glance. Here’s an example from Statusphere:
4. Mind How You Present Your Brief to Creators
Once you’ve figured out how to write an influencer brief, you need to think about how you get it into your creators’ hands.
But emails are easy for creators to miss. DMs can be a formatting nightmare.
The best options for delivering a creative brief?
- A short slideshow (think: two or three slides, not a full-blown PowerPoint presentation) featuring bullet points, images and instructions
- A collaborative doc that can be easily accessed in a creator’s social inbox
- If time permits, a physical copy of your influencer brief makes your instructions more tangible and meaningful
At Statusphere, we prefer to print out a physical copy of our briefs and include them in our packaging when shipping products to creators. This makes the instructions impossible to miss. Our briefs are always scheduled to arrive when projects are already on the minds of our members. Besides, our creators have instant access to their offer instructions anytime online.
What Mistakes Are Most Common in Influencer Marketing Briefs?
When writing influencer briefs, it’s important to know what not to do.
Before we dive into our template, here are some quick pitfalls to avoid when drafting your creative instructions:
- Don’t overwhelm creators with info. We can’t emphasize this enough! Extra information distracts your creators and keeps them from getting to the “meat” of your message. Cramming dozens of requirements on your post is a lose-lose situation for you and your creators. Be aggressive about self-editing your influencer briefs so they’re succinct.
- Don’t be overbearing! Content creators know what they’re doing. Influencers are able to build their own organic audiences because they know what makes people tick. Micromanaging them not only leads to burnout but also limits their ability to create.
- Don’t leave your influencers asking questions. Writing an influencer brief is a balancing act when it comes to details. Remember: you’re providing a launchpad for influencers so their content can take off. Think of your instructions as more of a prompt versus a set of “hard” rules. Anticipate potential questions that creators might have before writing.
Download the Influencer Brief Template We Use to Manage Thousands of Creators
If you want to work with creators at scale, this influencer brief sample can help!
Below is a variation of our own creative brief template that’s been behind more successful creator campaigns than we can count. This brief sticks to all of the best practices outlined above.
All you need to do is plug in your brand’s details and you’re good to go. When you’re done, simply download your creative brief as a presentation, PDF or document.
Click here to access the Creative Brief Template!
Writing Influencers Briefs Doesn’t Have to Be Overwhelming
Listen: a well-written influencer brief can take a campaign from “so-so” to “must-see.”
We’ll admit that writing out those docs can be a lot of work, though.
Let’s say you’re already juggling the tasks of running an influencer campaign in-house. Even using an influencer brief template can be time-consuming.
Oh, and sometimes you don’t even really know what you want from creators until you sit down to write that brief.
That’s where Statusphere comes in, though. We handle all the legwork of running creator campaigns on social media.
After a short conversation with our team, we’ll take care of the rest. That includes getting products into their hands, tracking your campaigns and writing those ever-so-important influencer briefs.
Want to see how we can get creators posting about your brand ASAP? Pick a time to chat with one of our consumer-to-consumer marketing experts to understand how the process works.