A thorough influencer brief is the start of a successful campaign. Learn what elements to include and download our free influencer guidelines template.
Any successful influencer marketing campaign is built on the back of a strong influencer brief. Thoughtful and well-executed briefs set the foundation for thoughtful and well-executed campaigns, leading to better results and better relationships with influencers.
The purpose of an influencer brief is to align both parties on how the campaign should proceed:
- It helps brands organize their objectives and ideas, and define their logistic processes.
- It informs influencers of the brand’s goals and guides them in content creation.
Both marketers and content creators sometimes get overwhelmed by the amount of multi-tasking they have to do. So when in doubt, either party can refer back to the influencer brief to remember the specifics of that campaign.
This post will walk through the different sections of an influencer brief, what you should include in each, and why it’s important to include this information.
Here are 10 elements to include in an influencer brief:
Brand and campaign overview
- Brand name, summary, and values
- Campaign name, summary and objectives
- Campaign channels, hashtags, and message
- Content guidelines
- Moodboard/content examples
- Contact info
- Content review process
- Payment process
Brand and campaign overview
The first section of your brief walks through who your brand is and what your campaign is all about.
Brand name, summary, and values
Ideally, the influencers you work with are already brand fans, but that’s not always the case. So take a few minutes to introduce yourself.
Many influencers have strong personal brands and only want to collaborate with commercial brands that align with their own. So your brief should explain who your brand is and what it stands for. This helps influencers decide if a partnership with you is a good fit for them.
Start with a summary of your brand. Consider including the following details:
- The brand’s origin story
- Your leading products/services
- Your social media accounts and handles
Next, lay out your brand values. Discuss why your values are important to you and why influencers with similar values would want to partner with your brand. What would their audience gain from learning about your brand?
Campaign name, summary, and objectives
Next, your influencer brief should zoom in on this specific campaign. Explaining the purpose of your campaign helps influencers get a better understanding of how they potentially fit into it. It also helps them keep your objectives in mind when they decide to collaborate with you.
First, summarize the ideas you have for this campaign and highlight your key objective(s). For example, you might want to promote a new product launch or upcoming event, increase your engagement on social media, drive awareness of your brand in a new location, or generate content to reuse in other marketing initiatives.
Here you should also include the KPIs you plan to measure in order to check if you achieve your objective or not. A few common examples of KPIs in influencer marketing campaigns are impressions, website traffic, social media followers or reactions, sales, or pieces of content created.
Campaign channels, hashtags, and message
Continue fleshing out your campaign by outlining a few more key details.
First, what channels are relevant to this campaign? Let the influencer know if you expect actions on Instagram, TikTok, Twitch, etc.
Second, include any hashtags you want the influencer to use in this campaign. You can include here branded hashtags, hashtags created for this specific campaign, or industry-related hashtags. Hashtags can create more awareness for the influencer campaign, so let your influencers know which ones they’re required to use.
Finally, include some pointers about how to communicate about your brand and products. What do you want to highlight about your brand through this campaign? This helps influencers understand what to focus on when creating content for your campaign, and they don’t have to make assumptions about how to communicate.
Messaging points can relate to brand values or key product features and benefits you want influencers to mention in their videos and/or captions. For example, maybe you want to highlight that your cosmetics are all cruelty-free. Or maybe you want to drive home that your product is so much easier to use than competitors' versions.
After you’ve briefed influencers about your brand and campaign, it’s time to discuss the content you want the influencer to create.
Here specify what the deliverables for the campaign are:
- How many pieces of content they have to create
- What content formats these should be (photo, video, live stream, etc.)
- Where they need to post this content (i.e. to both Instagram Reels and TikTok)
For example, maybe you want an influencer to create 1 Reel and 2 Stories, all for posting on Instagram.
This section of your influencer brief helps you guide influencers in creating their content. Providing a few guidelines helps influencers know where to start and set off on the right foot.
One big caveat here: Do not limit influencers’ creative freedom or micromanage their content creation. Doing this will strip away the authenticity from their content.
With this in mind, the dos and don’ts that you include in this section should be specific creative requirements that are very important to your brand. A few examples of dos and don’t to include here could be:
- Show product logo
- Don’t show other brands’ logos
- Influencer must use the product on-screen
- Influencer’s face should appear
Mention any specific creative requirements, like “the logo must be visible” or “the influencer must actively use the product on camera.” Consider including a mood board to give influencers an idea of what you want the campaign to look like. You can easily make one on Pinterest or even if you’re giving your influencers creative freedom over what they post, provide an example or two for them. Examples show them exactly what type of content is acceptable, and as content creators, they can use those as a foundation for their own creativity.
Mood board/content examples
Now that you’ve given your specific dos and don’ts for this campaign’s content, share a mood board or a few examples to give influencers a feel for what type of content you like. The purpose here is to use visuals to show the vibe you’re going for, which is often difficult to explain in words.
You can create a mood board on Canva, Pinterest, Google Slides, or even using Instagram’s collaborative collection feature. Or, just link a few examples of content you’d like to emulate in this campaign.
As I said earlier, you don’t want to limit influencers’ creative freedom. In the end, you want them to be authentic to their creative voice so that their content truly resonates with their audience. But providing a few examples can help inspire influencers and avoid that they feel lost when they sit down to create content for your brand.
Finally, it’s important to include logistical information about your campaign.
Your influencer brief should include a deadline so both parties know when to expect. Include deadlines for when each deliverable should be posted, and if these are different, make sure to specify each one.
If you plan to review the influencer’s content before they post, include a deadline for that too. This will help both parties keep on track and avoid snags in your campaign later on.
Include contact information for the brand. Who is the contact person, and what’s their email, IG handle, phone, etc?
This makes sure that if the influencer has any questions or needs to get in touch with you, they know who to contact and how to reach out. Ensure that the team member designated as your contact person has your brief and the influencer’s contact info, too.
Content review process
Most brands have a content review process—a process where you check the influencer’s content before it goes public to make sure it adheres to your brand and the guidelines outlined in the influencer brief.
For many brands, this is a critical step in making sure influencer content is brand safe and can’t damage the brand’s reputation.
If you have a content review process, explain how it works. This helps influencers factor it into their own content processes. You should answer questions like:
- How long does it take your team to review influencer content?
- What are they looking at when they review content?
- What type of feedback might the influencer expect to receive?
- If content can’t be approved, what are the next steps?
- How far ahead of the posting deadline should content be submitted for approval?
Answering these questions in a transparent and upfront way in your influencer brief helps influencers understand what to expect from working with your brand from the very beginning.
Influencers don’t work for free, and they expect to get paid on time for their services. But, “on time” can mean different things for different brands. By including details about your payment process in the influencer brief, you manage expectations from the get-go.
Be clear and upfront about payments so that influencers know exactly what to expect. Your influencer brief should outline:
- Whether the influencer needs to provide an invoice or not.
- How you’ll pay (direct deposit, PayPal, Venmo, etc.).
- The timeframe for payments (i.e. paid within 30 days of posting)
Some brands might want to include the payment amount here. But since the influencer brief is often sent out before or during negotiations, many brands also prefer to detail the specific payment amount in an influencer contract that collects the terms agreed to during negotiations.
A free influencer guidelines template to help you create the perfect brief
Download our influencer guidelines template to get off on the right foot for your next influencer marketing campaign. The template incorporates all the components mentioned above so you don’t forget anything.
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Bonus: how to create your influencer brief on Heepsy
Did you know that you can also create your influencer brief on Heepsy?
When you create your brief in Heepsy’s campaign marketplace, you can receive applications from interested influencers at the same time as you recruit influencers on your end too.
Creating a campaign on Heepsy is easy and takes under 2 minutes. Check out the video below to see exactly how to do it.