How Important is Your Influencer Marketing Campaign’s Project Brief?
We get it. Working with influencers is exciting and new, and it’s hard to be patient when you know the campaign’s potential reach and amplification. But, just like you wouldn’t rush into buying a new house or planning your content strategy, you don’t want to rush into an influencer outreach campaign without carefully preparing a project brief.
More often than not, the brief gets overlooked. You’re busy juggling a seemingly endless to-do list and certain tasks get the boot. You may think, “oh, the bloggers will just get it”, I don’t need to spend the time creating a detailed brief. But they aren’t mind readers and they rely on the brief to guide their execution.
So, to answer the question of a brief’s importance, the project brief is the most crucial part of a campaign and you cannot afford to skimp on it.
1. It sets expectations early on
This is huge. Especially when it is your first time working with an influencer. It sets expectations as to who your audience is, the feelings you want to invoke in your audience, and what action you want them to take.
Having a weak brief is like having a football team without a quarterback. No matter how many all-star influencers you have lined up to spread your message, it won’t be effective if they are not provided with a clear game plan.
2. It acts as a consistent reference point
Campaigns vary in length and can sometimes get derailed. A solid project brief is the one document that all parties involved can refer to throughout the entire campaign to make sure your influencer campaign is on track. This especially rings true if you are working with more than one influencer. You don’t want each one going in a different direction because they weren’t consistently briefed.
3. It acts as a measuring reference point
Having a brief will allow you to reflect back on the campaign upon completion, review the established benchmarks, and ask “did we accomplish the objective we set forth to achieve?”
Seems like a no-brainer, eh?
So when you are creating your next brief, make sure you keep in mind the following guidelines:
1. Be specific and detailed in what you are looking for
When writing briefs, you want to be as specific as you can for your influencers.
A vague brief can be scary for bloggers. You may think that you are doing them a favor when you allow their creative juices to flow in any desired direction. But this can lead to spin, and a hundred different results – none of which you may like. If there are previous campaigns that you like, show them to your influencers so they have an idea of the tone and vibe that you looking for.
On the other hand, your influencer knows their audience and they know the best method to reach them. You have to trust them to do their job, while providing enough information to guide them in the right direction.
Remember, there is a fine line between being too controlling and too lax.
2. Should be brief and to the point
A brief should be exactly that, brief. It doesn’t need to be 4-5 pages long. If it is, look at it again. I can guarantee you that there are ways of conveying your message using fewer words.
One of the largest areas marketers have a problem with is their objective statement. When writing your objective, keep it short. A successful campaign focuses on achieving one goal. Say, for example, you are doing a campaign for your new staples business, ProStaples.
A bad objective statement would be:
To raise awareness in the business community of ProStaples, while increasing sales and driving visitors to enter your new contest.
There is too much going on in that statement, and more room for error if each influencer takes away a different priority goal. Make sure that your objective statement is SMART so that it eliminates any subjectivity for influencers and you get the results you’re aiming for.
3. Outline all deliverables and timelines
This goes back to managing expectations. How many times have you thought the blog post was due on Friday but it was actually due Thursday. Not only did you get the deadline wrong but you also were supposed to do two blog posts.
Spell out all the expected deliverables, from how many video posts, tweets and shares to event attendances and blogs. This will help keep you, as a marketer, organized and it will also keep your influencers on track.
Project briefs are filled with more than just input. They contain valuable insights. Insights that will drive your influencers to spread the right message loud and clear to their followings. A brief is a simple, logical and professional way for all parties involved to understand the task at hand in a transparent manner.
Unfortunately, many marketers overlook this crucial step. And if they are doing it, they aren’t always doing it right. Building this solid foundation separates successful campaigns from the rest.
What other guidelines have you found useful when creating a brief for your influencers?