If you read my blog about finding influencers last week, you’ve probably at least identified the types of influencers you want by now. Congrats! The next thing you’ll want to start thinking about is how to communicate what you want to influencers.
They’ll need to know campaign logistics, what kind of content you want them to make, how to naturally integrate your product, talking points you want them to include (or not include), and any other specifications you have for their involvement in the campaign.
Remember: They have much more to offer than their audiences’ eyes, so make them part of your team. It’s no accident that they draw the interest of thousands – they’re incredibly smart and creative people.
Without further ado, let’s dive into how to tell influencers what you want!
Step 0: Getting buy in
Before you can do anything, you have to get an influencer to buy in to what you’re doing! Skipping this step is a very common mistake, so I can’t stress how important it is enough. Audiences can tell when an influencer’s heart isn’t in a promotion, so winning the influencer over is often the difference between an average campaign and a great one.
First, you’ll want to start by telling the influencer about your brand. Like any good marketer, I’m sure you have a 2-3 sentence brand overview waiting in your toolbelt, so use that! Keep it genuine though – influencers have heard a million brand pitches, so they can see through “marketing-speak” just as well as you can.
The other half of winning their hearts is getting them excited about the specific campaign you’re running. Will it integrate into their content well? Will it entertain their audience? Will they have creative input? What will their impact be?
Step 1: Logistics
Now it’s time to get down to business – how are you going to team up to make this happen? Influencers often have strict content schedules, so give them a timeline outlining when and what will happen (to help them plan). This should include:
Product delivery: How will they get access to the product? Will you overnight it to them? Is it a digital product?
Pre-production tasks: Is there anything you or they will need to do before they produce the content? This could include things such as “use the product for a week before creating content with it” or “we plan on posting to our brand social channels about our upcoming collaboration with you to generate hype.”
Content delivery: How and when should they create/post the content?
Post-launch tasks: Are you planning on doing anything after the content goes live? Do you need them to do something? Anything from “we will start a discussion about the post on our community forum” to “we’d like you to tweet a link to your post three days after it goes live” works.
There are plenty of other logistical details you may want to share, so feel free to do so. Always err on the side of
Step 2: Content guidelines
Tell them what you want the content to look like! Start by giving them a 3-4 sentence overview.
Give them a clear and concise list of what you want them to do that they can refer back to when creating their content. Break your content guidelines into two categories: requirements and optionals.
Content requirements should be things that absolutely must be in each piece of content. This should include two talking points that are core to understanding your brand/product, a call to action, and no more than one or two more requirements.
Optionals should be additional talking points or other notes about the content that you’d like to bring to their attention. Then, they can consider adding them in if it feels natural. I’d recommend keeping this to less than 5 points.
The purpose of breaking things into tiers is to give them freedom to translate your message into their audience’s language. If you give them a long list of rigid requirements, the content they produce is going to is going to be an obvious promotion in their audience’s eyes. Being genuine is just as important as hitting your key marketing points (if not more so).
Additionally, due to the overwhelming amount of un-prioritized requirements, the influencers may forget to include parts that are integral to the promotion.
Step 3: Working as a team
Finally, don’t forget how talented these people are! They’ve built a massive audience in your target market, so they clearly have good handle on how to communicate with them.
As such, open up the floor to discussion! See if they have any cool ideas for how to promote your product. The best influencer marketers build and take full advantage of feedback loops with influencers to continuously bring their content to new heights.
How to communicate all this on the Grapevine Influencer Marketing Platform
Now that we’ve established what to communicate, it’s time to discuss how. The first place I’d do this is in your campaign brief.
You can create one on this page:
Not only will it draw in influencers and serve as a reference while they create content, it is also a great exercise to formally write this all out before your campaign launches.
Here’s what your campaign brief will look like to influencers:
After that, you can add or emphasize anything in the message center after you start a conversation with an influencer:
Pro tip: Don’t be shy! Feel free to set up a time to have a phone call with an influencer to kick things off. This is a great way to start building a relationship, get buy in, and clear up any questions they may have.
Feel ready to clearly communicate with influencers yet? Hopefully! But before you do, let’s review.
Before you start communicating what you want your promotion to look like, you must first get them to buy in on your brand and campaign.
After that, you can dive in and discuss logistics! Over-communication is never a problem here.
Then, give them an overview of the content you want. Additionally, include a list of content guidelines broken up into “required” and “optional” sections!
Finally, treat them as a team member! They have a lot to offer in terms of audience understanding and creativity, so learn from them.
Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or recommendations of your own!