It’s one of the easiest traps to fall into with influencer marketing, being so strict with the brief you turn your sponsored content into an ad.
It doesn’t work!
Customers have turned to influencers because of a growing distrust and annoyance of traditional advertising.
You will fail to maximise your return on investment with an influencer if you keep playing the same game, even if you are using a different kind of a spokesperson.
Native content works the best (see this article for more on native content), that means allowing to influencer to integrate authentic referrals or recommendations into the content their audience loves to watch.
Your influencer brief should focus on the parts of the influencer marketing process your influencers will not already be expert in.
This might include length and timings of mentions in a sponsored video, for instance you will get the most views at the beginning of a YouTube video, promotions of the content on the influencer’s other social media accounts, inclusion of a tracking link, themes/activities you want repeated in all your influencers’ sponsored content, etc.,.
You should also include guidelines on how you want the tone of the content and whether there is anything the influencers should avoid, for example, you might not want them talking about alcohol or using curse words in the same video as your product.
But you need to avoid the temptation to go really into specifics with the content itself. Your influencer is an expert in creating content for their audience – in this case, your target customers. If you have checked the influencer’s back catalogue of content and have selected them because they would be a good brand fit, you won’t need to bog them down in endless dos and don’ts and story pitches.
Instead let your influencers pitch you their content story, you can always ask them to go in a different direction if you think it would not work.
The quality of these pitches varies, sometimes the influencer comes back with a standard content format, such as what’s on my phone, and sometimes they come back with a highly detailed outline of the video they want to create.
Never be afraid to ask for more information, or if you think the outline is 98 per cent there, don’t worry about making a suggestion or two.
But in general, leave as much as the story as you can to the influencer, they built their following on their ability to create content, it’s what you’re paying them for, let them do their thing.