When briefing influencers on what you want from a marketing campaign, it can be tricky to strike the balance between having clear brand messaging while also giving influencers creative control. Here’s some tips on how best to approach it.
It’s a nerve-wracking thought: handing over the creative control of your marketing campaign to influencers.
With a brand’s reputation and money on the line, it’s understandable for brands to feel hesitant when they have the pressure for success. However, we know that the key to influencer marketing is authenticity, and to enable that to happen influencers must have some say over their sponsored content.
In fact, according to Influencer Intelligence, influencers say that creative control is “one of the main goals they look for in a partnership”. Thus, it clearly is important to get the balance right between having a clear, structured brief, while also allowing influencers to interpret it in interesting and creative ways.
So, how do brands find the balance between controlling their brand messaging and allowing influencers to put their own spin on it?
Provide structure as well as flexibility
Allowing influencers to have more creative control over their sponsored content does not mean there shouldn’t be a clear brief from the brand. By providing guidelines with their expectations and needs written out, brands can empower influencers to take that information to make content that is natural and unique to their audience.
Similarly, brands sharing their non-negotiables for the campaign often avoids any unnecessary re-shooting or tricky editing later down the line. In fact, this study stated that 24.5% of influencers said that a common mistake they found when working with brands was having too many drafts of the content. This can be easily communicated when brands state things, such as wording specifications, to allow influencers to know the boundaries which they can be creative within.
This flexibility within the brief can also be managed further by having conversations with influencers about their initial ideas so that there is a clear element of collaboration and open-mindedness from both sides. At Digital Voices, we have close relationships with hundreds of influencers in the space, meaning we’re capable of communicating effectively with them so that they understand the heart of the campaign while still having the opportunity to be creative.
By allowing influencers to keep the brand messaging in their tone of voice and style, brands can utilise the relationship that influencers have with their audience and enable this personalised style of marketing for their brand.
Collaboration builds trust
When brands can be open-minded with the content they receive and become collaborative with their suggestions, it creates space for both the influencer and brand to be happy with the end results. The process then becomes smoother and more respectful on both sides, building on a relationship of trust that could allow for repeat sponsorships later down the line.
This way of working also allows the influencer to become more invested in the campaign itself. If they’ve put extra time and effort into interpreting the brief in a creative, personal way then they’re more likely to want to see it perform well. Creating a positive working relationship will allow for more opportunities for collaboration, and as the industry is beginning to favour long-term collaboration and more ambassadorships, over one-off posts, this should be a real priority when working on influencer marketing campaigns.
These long-term collaborations allow the influencer’s endorsement to be seen as even more genuine, as they continue to promote it. An example of this from one of our clients would be Max Fosh’s videos with Surfshark VPN. Having worked with the brand on a long-term basis, Fosh understands more and more what the brand needs, and the brand is trusting of his creative concepts. His most recent video showed him breaking into the US security convention and he used this persona of him as the ‘bad guy’ to seamlessly link the sponsorship into the video.
As seen here, these influencers often have a niche that they have worked on over years to grow their audience. Brands should respect that they know what their audience wants and what will resonate with them to keep the sponsorship engaging and perform well.
If you’re looking for some guidance in how to structure your creator briefs, then please get in touch!