Micro-Influencer Marketing

How to Write a Better Influencer Brief (Template & Tips)

Influencer briefs are make-or-break for brands that want authentic content. Here’s how to write an influencer brief (and a free template to help you draft yours).

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Knowing how to write an influencer brief matters when you're working with creators.

Because communication is crucial for a successful campaign.

Sure, influencers can craft viral posts and content that translates into high-performing ads.

That doesn't mean they're mind-readers, though.

Influencers need direction. But not too much direction that hinders their creative freedom.

This balancing act is why influencer creative briefs require so much attention. Campaigns are more likely to meet their goals with clear expectations. Oh, and your influencers will thank you!

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.

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.

Chances are already have instructions for creators but maybe they're not formatted as a brief.  

But note that how you craft your influencer brief has a direct impact on campaign performance. 

How so? For starters...

  • The instructions in a brief encourage you to really reflect on your goals. Likewise, every line of your brief should reflect those goals. You need to be specific about expectations.

  • Expectations create a sense of accountability for the creators you work with.

  • Creators will actually absorb your instructions and nail their content the first time around. A concise, well-formatted brief emphasizes key details and doesn't overwhelm your creators.

Simply put, briefs are a blueprint for posts that delight brands and creators alike. Brands that cram their instructions into an email or DM don't exactly reflect effort or attention to detail.

What Details Are Included in an Influencer Creative Brief?

Cluing creators in on your content requirements means prioritizing the right pointers.

Below is a breakdown of what should be included in any given influencer brief:

Campaign Goals

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.

Target Audience

An influencer brief should be specific about who creators are speaking to, including:

  • Demographics (think: age, gender, location)
  • Interests
  • Wants, needs and pain points
  • Other brands they like and follow

You probably chose to work with specific influencers 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)
  • Mission
  • Values
  • Unique selling proposition

Driving these points home will help your sponsored content stand out.

Post Deliverables

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

Post Requirements

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.

Publishing Timeline

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 completed content.

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 all of this stuff 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. We've seen firsthand how even the most put-together brands fail to convey instructions to creators. 

Again, attention to detail matters here. Briefs are a big part of that.

Below we’ve broken down the benefits of writing thoughtful influencer briefs:

  • 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.

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Source: Twitter

4 Must-Know Tips for Writing Better Influencer Briefs

Now that you know what briefs entail, it’s time to put pen to paper.

Whether you’re starting from scratch or working with a template, consider the following tips based on our experience working with thousands of creators firsthand.

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:

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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! 

But 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.

That said, one page has proven effective for our skilled network of creators.

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:

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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 at any time online.

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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 bog down creators with extra information. We can’t emphasize this enough! Needless details distract your creators and keep 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

Here's the influencer brief sample you came for!

Below is a variation of our own creative brief template that’s been behind the thousands of successful creator campaigns we've run. 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!

influencer brief preview

How to Streamline the Process of Writing Influencer Briefs

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.

This is especially true if you want to work with influencers at scale. Fine-tuning and tweaking every brief and instruction can be next to impossible even with a template.

And if you ever suffer from writer's block, your campaigns suffer as a result.

That’s where Statusphere's platform, vetted creator community and campaign experts can help.

Our software streamlines the process of getting authentic content from influencers from A to Z. This includes matchmaking, briefing and getting products into their hands with our fulfillment technology.

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By partnering with our vetted creators and expert team who've already generated 75,000+ posts for consumer brands, your promotions are set up to send the right message from the jump.

Want to learn more about how the process works? Get in touch with our team of experts to see how we can scale your influencer marketing efforts in a fraction of the time.

This article was first published in July 2022. It was last updated June 16, 2023.

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