A Champion’s Guide to Crafting an Effective Influencer Brief (+ Free Templates!)

Ioana Cozma
May 21, 2024
March 29, 2023

At inBeat, the first stage in our influencer campaigns is researching the company, the market, and the audience. We use these insights to build a creative strategy that outlines our clients’ unique selling points.

We call this moon-boarding.

Only after having this creative strategy do we find the right people to implement it – aka influencers. We call this moon-matching.

Then, we summarize all this info into one page: the influencer brief.

This brief is your battle plan. It’s what will help your influencer marketing ROI zoom past the average $5.20 for each $1 spent.

Cut the marketing talk; how does our micro-influencer agency usually build an influencer brief?

Here’s an exclusive template you can grab:

1. Brand and Campaign Overview

• Company bio

• Campaign goals

• Target audience

• Messaging

2. Influencer Selection Criteria

• Brand alignment

• Demographics

• Number of followers

• Engagement rate

• Location

• Type of content they regularly produce

3. Deliverables

• The social media channel

• The type of influencer content

• Format

• Content style

• Technical requirements for digital assets

• Timeline (include draft deadline and campaign deadline)

4. Guidelines with Dos and Don’ts

• Tone of voice

• Hook

• Keywords, hashtags, and calls to action to include

• Video length

• Type of video

• Subjects and words to avoid

5. Compensation

• Types of payment

• Payment installments and dates

• Additional perks

We’ll teach you the step-by-step process below, following a company we just made up for this guide. We’ll also reveal juicy insider tricks and examples along the way.

But first:

What is an Influencer Brief?

Imagine having to play Monopoly for the first time in your life.

You open the game, and you find the directions. But your dad also slips you a cheat sheet with all the do’s and don’ts, the type of property you can buy, and a general mindset.

These directions + cheat sheet is the equivalent of an influencer brief.

A successful influencer marketing campaign is like this game of Monopoly. You can’t rely simply on your gut instinct and game rules. You also need very specific indications on picking relevant creators using an applicant tracking system and creating the perfect type of content.

That’s what we’ll teach you in this guide:

Key Elements of an Influencer Brief

Starting with influencers and trying to make the entire strategy fit them is an ineffective approach that will waste your time and resources.

It takes just a few hours to create a well-written brief and ensure a successful collaboration. Besides, this brief will help you with future campaigns as well.

1. Brand and Campaign Overview

inBeat is a very data-driven company, and we value research much more than any gut instinct or creative impulse.

This research will help you find insights that bring the results you’re looking for in terms of ROI, awareness, and engagement.

Creativity devoid of strategy may impress your target audience, but it won’t be convincing.

That’s why you need to:

  • Conduct market research.
  • Include that research into your influencer marketing brief to ensure your chosen creators fit this profile.

Remember: Include this information for all influencer partnerships across social media channels, not just influencer ads.

This section should include:

  • Brand description
  • Campaign objectives
  • Target audience
  • Messaging

Practical Example Time: Climbrz

Let’s say we’re a company that sells climbing shoes for children called Climbrz. Climbing shoes are tighter than normal shoes, and kids usually dislike this feeling. This company’s unique selling point is that their shoes feel comfortable even for highly sensorial kids, thanks to their new patented technology.

  • Company bio: Climbrz focuses on children’s climbing shoes. These shoes feature a unique technology that provides a comfortable fit even for highly sensorial kids, making it easier for them to join outdoor adventures without tightness or discomfort.
  • Campaign objectives
    • Make the product known to 100, 000 parents by July 2023.
    • Get 10, 000 newsletter subscribers by June 2023.
  • Target audience: Parents of highly sensorial children aged 5-16 involved in rock climbing and mountaineering.
  • Messaging: Influencer posts should emphasize Climbrz’s commitment to providing a safe and comfortable product for kids to fully enjoy their adventures. The messaging should start with a hook – “here’s a climbing shoe hack for kids.”

2. Influencer Selection Criteria

Picking kick-ass influencers plays a pivotal role in campaign strategy and is key to getting the right type of content.

Our process to secure lucrative influencer partnerships is:

  • Choose the most convincing niche(s) for the product we want to advertise.
  • Agree on the right creator type. A product launch may require visibility, so mid-tier influencers may be better. Nano-influencers can be more relevant for selling niche items.
  • Vet profiles based on engagement levels, fake followers, views, and comment quality. Make sure you’re not using any flaky influencers.
  • Consider factors like location and gender if that’s important for your business.
  • Shortlist preferred influencers based on the type of content they can produce regularly.

Insider story time: One of our leading success examples, Native, came to us with a fully-sketched influencer profile.

Native wanted successful influencers who produce highly edited, posh content on a regular basis. Native also wanted influencers from very diverse backgrounds to appeal to a large number of people.

We used our neat influencer platform to find creators ranging from fashion gurus to Taekwondo world champions.

Influencers Content for Native

Practical Example Time: Climbrz

  • Brand alignment: The influencers should promote similar values to Climbrz. They should be interested in testing innovative products for kids and should value inclusivity.
  • Demographics: The influencer age should be between 25 and 45 years old.
  • Number of followers: Focus on Instagram micro – influencers with a loyal audience size between 50, 000 and 100, 000 followers.
  • Engagement rate: Above 5%.
  • Location: US and Canada.
  • Type of influencer content they regularly produce: Parenting skits and advice; content related to climbing, mountaineering, or mountain biking.

Let’s try to find such influencers using the inBeat platform:

inBeat App Influencer Search Results

After setting the filters and keywords, the platform retrieves influencer profiles according to your needs with lightning speed.

Notice how easy it is to compare their stats.

Pro tips:

  • You can click on and check their profiles for more in-depth information.
  • Use inBeat’s free fake follower checker to vet these influencer profiles for your creator campaigns.

Let’s check @jwebxl:

Influencer Profile from inBeat

    The overall score is good, but they have too many inactive followers for a successful influencer partnership. That won’t fare too well with your awareness campaign. You could also use someone with more likes and comments on their posts.

    3. Deliverables

    The deliverables represent the pieces of content you need from these influencer collaborations. Agree on creation process details, such as:

    • The social media accounts
    • The type of content
    • Format of your digital assets
    • Content style
    • Technical requirements
    • Timeline (include approval dates, posting dates, and all campaign dates)

    Here’s how this briefing process should go:

    1. Choosing the social media channel is the first – and easiest – step. Think Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat advertising, or all of them.

    2. Now, you have to pick the right type of influencer posts for your audience, meaning the content they interact with the most or find most convincing. Examples of influencer creative content include TikTok posts, animated Instagram Stories, Instagram Reels, Facebook ads, etc.

    3. The format allows you to present this content convincingly. For example, there are different types of Facebook or TikTok ads to choose from. Your target audience may prefer Spark Ads because they feel more native. Other audiences may be more impressed by brand takeover ads.

    Pro tip: inBeat’s free mockup ad generators help you test every piece of content produced.

    4. Choose a content style for your influencer posts. This includes:

    • Challenges
    • Trendy sounds
    • Sponsored influencer posts
    • Testimonials
    • Unboxing videos
    • Shoutouts
    • Brand takeover

    Basically, choosing your content style means answering the question, “what’s the most convincing argument for your exact audience?”

    5. Agree on technical requirements to ensure your influencer posts and videos look appealing. Content is essential, but the form is equally important in the creation process. So, consider:

    • Resolution
    • Type of file
    • Sound
    • Color palette
    • Props
    • Text and captions

    6. Set the timeline: Your campaign messages must be convincing and memorable, so they must appear regularly. You can consider a burst campaign that disseminates all your messages in a short period of 24-72 hours. Or, your influencer marketing strategy can be to post 2-3 pieces of weekly content across influencers. Include the time of day in your creative guidelines as well as approval and posting dates.

      Practical Example Time: Climbrz

      • The social media channel: Instagram
      • The type of content: Instagram stories, posts, reels, and ads
      • Format:
        • Create a “Climbrz Safety Tips” series featuring different influencers discussing safety tips related to outdoor climbing. Discuss the importance of climbing shoes.
      • Content style
        • The content style should be “climbing hack” based.
      • Technical requirements
        • Resolution: Minimum 720 pixels; aspect ratio between 1.91:1 and 9:16; minimum frame rate of 30 fps
        • Type of file: Mp4
        • Sound: Influencers’ voices; limited background buzz
        • Props: Climbrz apparel or climbing equipment
        • Color palette: Colors associated with outdoor activities, such as blues, greens, and browns
        • Captions: Add captions
      • Timeline: Release one new video every Tuesday. Post teasers and travel hacks once every two days for each influencer. The campaign starts on April 1st and finishes on May 4th, 2023.

      4. Guidelines with Do’s and Don’ts

      The do’s and don’ts outline your expectations for influencer partnerships. These include:

      • Influencers’ behaviors
      • Communication
      • Their creative assets
      • The content review process

      Creators directions for your potential influencers should include:

      • How they should talk about your product
      • The hook they should start with
      • Which keywords, hashtags, and calls to action they should include
      • Video length
      • Type of video
      • Subjects and words they should avoid

      Insider example: Here’s an example of do’s and don’ts we included in one of our creative briefs. Although the influencer creative brief looks different than the influencer brief template, these sections are fairly similar:

Creative Brief Do’s and Don’ts

Insider tip: Include a mood board with three ad creatives as examples so your preferred influencers can understand what’s expected of them.

Here’s what that looked like in our Chin Su campaign

Chin Su campaign

Practical Example Time: Climbrz

Do’s:

  1. Talk about why Climbrz shoes help kids reach their adventure goals, discussing their unique technology.
  2. Start with a hook, such as “here’s a hidden gem for parents of highly sensorial climbers” or “my kid would’ve quit climbing without this gem.”
  3. Include #Climbrz and #AdventureAwaits.
  4. Create content that will keep your audience engaged and interested. Relate to your own climbing experiences or your children’s.
  5. Include CTA: “Share your kids’ Climbrz stories and get a 20% discount code for your next order!”

Don’ts:

  1. Do not include any copyrighted material within your videos.
  2. Avoid insincere captions.
  3. Do not use language or themes that may be perceived as offensive or inappropriate by parents.
  4. Don’t post during night time.

5. Compensation

This section includes details on how the influencer will be compensated for their work. You’ll include these details into the influencer contract as well:

  • Types of payment: An influencer can receive various types of compensation, such as monetary payments, free products or services, gift cards and vouchers, and discounts.
  • Payment installments and dates: Be specific about when and how you will reimburse your influencers.
  • Additional perks: Potential benefits may include non-monetary compensation such as public recognition or access to exclusive events.

Note: You can see the fees each influencer practices on their influencer rate sheet. The payment depends on their audience size, engagement rate, types of posts, and expertise.

However, the rule of thumb is $100 for every 100 followers.

Practical Example Time: Climbrz

Each micro-influencer will be offered $150/video.

Get the most out of your campaigns with our influencer agency in London!

Your Influencer Brief Writing Checklist

Now that you know the practical steps of writing an effective influencer marketing brief, here’s your writing checklist:

1. Determine Campaign Goals and Target Audience

  • Make sure your marketing goals are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-related): Think in percentages and deadlines for each goal. Outline your campaign KPIs to measure success.
  • Define your audience as closely as possible: Focus on their pain points and how your products can assist them.

2. Define the Influencer Selection Criteria

  • Zero in on the right collaboration opportunities to meet your business goals.
  • Find the creators’ social handles.
  • Vet these content creators’ audience quality, engagement rate, content type, and usual interactions with their audience.
  • Check that these influencers’ values, personalities, and content themes fit your brand, audience, and campaign type.

3. Identify the Key Message and Content Requirements

  • Choose the channel.
  • Outline creative requirements, such as the types of content, format, style, and post captions.
  • Give your content creators enough creative liberty to produce authentic content.

4. Determine the Compensation and Perks

  • Be upfront with the payment process and deadline.
  • Follow the $100 for every 100 followers rule, but adjust your payment according to social media platforms and industry standards.
  • Include perks and discounts if appropriate.

5. Set Guidelines and Expectations for the Influencer

  • Be very specific in your do’s and don’ts: Mention the exact words, hashtags, and CTAs you want to be included or excluded from their content.
  • Include examples: Mention a specific CTA and hook. Embed three post/ad examples in the creative brief to make your requirements clearer.

6. Review and Refine the Brief with the Campaign Team

Consult with your campaign team before sending the brief. Include:

  • Finance department to double-check the client’s budget.
  • Tech specialists to ensure your technical specs are on point.
  • Client liaison to check your influencers’ profiles and audience profiles.

You can also consult with the legal, product, customer service, and operations departments. Each of these can provide valuable insight and perspective on how to best execute a successful campaign.

Scaling Up Your Campaign

A based influencer brief is essential to run an effective influencer marketing campaign. This little piece of paper provides a blueprint of what needs to be done to reach your goals.

When you set the time to write this brief, you set yourself up for success and maximize your return on investment.

But writing this document can be easier than actually implementing it.

Pro tip: Use our free toolkit to find the right influencers, check their engagement levels, analyze their profile quality, and generate different ads.

inBeat agency can help you with everything from influencer whitelisting and negotiations to creating engaging content, monitoring the creation process, and scaling your campaign across other media outlets.

Let’s schedule a free call, and we’ll discuss the strategies that fit your campaign.

Want more examples of successful influencer campaigns? Check out our case studies of our high school advertising agency!

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