How To Increase ROI w/ Influencer Campaign Briefs

How to increase ROI with influencer campaign briefs
Learn how influencer campaign briefs can increase ROI and reduce time spent managing influencers.
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What is an influencer campaign brief and why is it important? Well, let me first begin with an analogy. If you were to hire a new babysitter for your kids, would you leave the sitter with a list of rules and guidelines? Or would you simply introduce them to your children, hand them $50 and take off? Sure, you want the sitter to have the autonomy to be creative and come up with neat ways to engage your children and keep them happy, but guidelines and boundaries are still necessary. Any good parent wouldn’t appreciate coming home at midnight to discover that your new babysitter has decided to challenge the kids to a candy scavenger hunt. Dozens of Jub Jubs, few handfuls of Skittles, and two packs of Reese’s Pieces certainly doesn’t make for an easy time putting the kids to sleep.

Influencer Campaigns Briefs

So where am I going with this? Well, as a marketer, your brand is your baby. When you hand your baby off to content creators like influencers and bloggers, you want to lay out some guidelines and expectations so that when you see what they’ve done, you’re not completely blindsided.

You see, you know your brand best. While influencers and content creators may be great at what they do, they don’t always know the best way to communicate to their followers (who’re ultimately your potential customers) what your brand is about and why they should consider making a purchase.

Influencer marketing campaign brief

Influencer marketing strategy tip

A recipe for success is when you have a brand that influencers would genuinely love and use, even if they weren’t being paid to. Then you assist them in creating content that their followers actually want to consume. This should be a partnership after all – you’re both in this together to achieve a common goal.

Now, there’s still a fine line between giving absolutely no creative direction and giving so much that they feel as though they’ll be fired if they step slightly out-of-line. Neither is good. You want to find the perfect blend between what creative and messaging works well for your brand and what will engage and resonate with an influencer’s followers. Think of it as a tightrope, too much weight on either side and you fall off. Finding the balance is an art and takes someone who knows and understands brand to influencer relationships. But with any campaign, you first want to ensure you find the most relevant influencers for your brand.

Creating your campaign brief based on your influencer marketing strategy

To ensure your brand’s babysitters create content that makes everyone happy (including your customers), we strongly recommend that you develop a concise influencer campaign brief. This is a document that you’ll send to influencers before they formally agree to partner with your brand. It won’t be a list of rules, regulations, and do’s and don’ts. It should outline what the campaign’s objectives are, how the product is used, and what sort of things they could do to successfully create engaging content.

Do not paint an exact picture. You can start with a few bullet points of what not to do, which could include things like not forgetting to include your @handle, not being in the photo/video, or taking dark and grainy images. Then focus on giving them light creative direction that helps them spark their own ideas.

Influencer Campaign Brief Breakdown

Let me break down everything you should (& shouldn’t) include in your influencer campaign brief.

  • A branded PDF template
    • Make it fun and exciting!
  • A short synopsis of your campaign, no more than 250 characters.
    • Optional: add bullet points regarding your campaign under your synopsis
  • Inspiration for influencer’s content, including:
    • The influencer’s objective
    • Campaign deliverables – what are they expected to do? Grid posts? Instagram Stories? Page takeovers? Lay it out for them.
    • Suggestions for visual and written influencer content – don’t be too specific, but certainly provide some advice and inspiration for their content
    • A breakdown of the strategy for each influencer post (if applicable)
    • General suggestions and guidelines – a short list of what you don’t suggest they do.
  • Do not include:
    • The compensation
    • Lengthy text or technical jargon
    • Unnecessary information – keep it concise

But, will Instagram influencers appreciate your campaign brief?

If I’m an influencer and I’ve been tasked with creating content around your brand that’ll be shared with my followers, I want your advice. I want examples of what your other brand partners have done, I want to know what I shouldn’t do and what you have found to be successful in other influencer activations. But, I want to have the autonomy to take all this back home where I can create my own masterpiece. I’ll already know what my followers respond well to, what their interests are, and what type of messaging could upset them.

On the other hand, if you’re only gifting product to influencers, rather than providing monetary compensation, you’re at their mercy. The amount of requirements you have and the deliverables you can expect have to drop. 

Influencer Marketing Strategy – don’t be “salesy”

People don’t enjoy being sold to, but they love to buy. You want to activate influencer campaigns in such a way that allows them to create content around your brand’s story and in a way that genuinely interests and engages their followers. Where things fall apart is when you want influencers to essentially pitch your product to their followers in a very feature and benefit driven manner. If a caption starts off with “I’m so obsessed with…”, cancel the date and call the babysitter – you’ve already lost.

No need for them to rattle off all the features of your product or what your current promotion is. You don’t need influencers to tell their followers that you offer two day shipping on orders over $100, or that you offer the only product in your industry that is vegan, gluten-free, and sugar free.

Don’t get me wrong, these messages have their time and place, but it shouldn’t be the basis of your campaign. Suppose you work with 20 influencers every month and they post all post three times each. You may have one of the three posts with more product and benefit driven messaging, while the other two are more about generating engagement and earning permission in the minds of consumers to market to them more.

If your first consumer touchpoint raises attention and ignites curiosity, you can expect an audience to be more receptive to hearing from you a second time. Then, if your next message provides value to them, you have a far greater chance of converting that consumer to a customer when they hear about you a third time. People rarely make a purchase the first time they hear about you. If you’re influencer campaigns are repetitive and only stress the product’s features and benefits, you’re not likely to strike a chord with your target customers.

Structure your influencer campaigns around this strategy and encapsulate it into your campaign brief. This will help improve the results of your influencer campaigns by ensuring sponsored content is structured and optimized, without being too narrowly defined that it’s repetitive. With higher quality content and less time spent directing influencers, you’ll be able to increase influencer marketing campaign ROI for your brand.

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