Crafting the Perfect Creative Brief

Crafting the Perfect Creative Brief

Crafting the Perfect Creative Brief
minute read
Jan 31, 2024

You're likely familiar with the concept of a creative brief and its significance in creator partnerships, but the true art lies in crafting one effectively. Understanding what elements to include, how to structure it, and the do's and don'ts are critical for achieving exceptional results. In this guide, we'll walk you through the valuable insights we've gained from creating creative briefs, using examples from past successful collaborations. We'll demonstrate how to provide creative guidance to creators while maintaining brand safety. Our tailored briefs are designed to help you achieve specific objectives, whether it's boosting sales, increasing app installations, or driving conversions. This guarantees that your campaigns can achieve their full potential.

Define the Essence

To begin, introduce your brand to the creator. Share not just what you sell or offer, but also the core values that shape your brand's identity. This information enables creators to genuinely connect with your message. Next, provide a clear explanation of the campaign's purpose, goals, and intended outcomes. Take, for example, two products you'd like to highlight. First, provide a concise overview of each product and clarify their significance or unique selling points. Consider this part of the brief as a guiding instrument that both you and the creator can rely on throughout your partnership. It's a tool that ensures everyone understands the primary objective and works together towards achieving it. In the image below, you can see how ABOUT YOU effectively expressed their campaign goal right in the first line of their brief.

Explain your expectations

Now that your brand identity is established, it's time to outline your expectations for the type of creator you're seeking and the content you desire. Specify whether you're looking for videos, stories, carousel posts, or a combination of these formats. Define whether you want the content to be educational, entertaining, or informative. Indicate whether you prefer it to be shared on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or any other platform of choice.
Selecting the platform in your creative brief serves as the foundation for where you want the creator's content to shine. Different social media platforms offer unique features, cater to distinct audiences, and have varying engagement styles. For instance, TikTok is ideal for short, engaging video content that resonates with a younger audience. Facebook provides diverse targeting options for reaching specific demographics through various content formats. Instagram's visual-centric approach enables captivating storytelling and seamless brand integration. By specifying where you want creators to post, you ensure that your campaign achieves the highest impact, resonance, and engagement among your desired audience. The image below illustrates how Volkswagen clearly communicated their content preferences.

When setting your expectations, keep in mind that your intended audience may encompass a broader range than you initially realize. Avoid being overly specific when describing the ideal creator. Instead, trust in the creators' expertise, as they have built their followings by understanding their audience. It's essential to prioritize aligning the audience and content with your target demographic when selecting creators.

The image below illustrates how StriVectin outlined their preferred creator and content profile in their brief on The Cirqle's platform.

Aesthetic Harmony

Furthermore, it's crucial to provide detailed guidelines for visual aesthetics. This should include instructions on color schemes, branding elements, and imagery styles. A cohesive visual representation reinforces brand recognition and memorability, which is vital for effective marketing. In the image provided below, you can see an example of how Wild has effectively communicated their visual aesthetic preferences, reinforcing their brand identity. It's important to acknowledge that this serves as a 'creative direction,' fostering inspiration rather than enforcing a mandatory format.

Set a Road Map

A frequently overlooked aspect is setting a timeline. When partnering with creators, it's essential to establish a well-organized and successful campaign timeline. This timeline serves as a roadmap, ensuring that all involved parties remain coordinated and synchronized throughout the campaign's duration. It's important to note that this timeline can remain flexible, serving as a guide to keep all parties coordinated during the campaign. Consider elements such as when creators should submit their content for approval after being contracted. Another crucial aspect is setting intervals for the creators between their posts

The example below shows how HelloFresh made a great campaign timeline, emphasizing timelines rather than fixed dates.

Compensation and Incentives

At The Cirqle, our priority is ensuring fair compensation for our creators. That's why we offer them the opportunity to suggest a bid that aligns with their desired partnership terms. Through our experience, we've found that creators often have a keen understanding of their own value, and this is reflected in the quality of their content in relation to their proposed rate. To enhance the authenticity of our partnerships even further, we recommend the inclusion of incentives whenever possible. These incentives can take various forms, such as presenting your beauty product or a bicycle, for example. The example below illustrates how Veloretti effectively rewarded their creators, strengthening the quality of their partnerships.

Another thing we have seen in the past, is that creators love to work with unique discount codes that they can share with their audience. This benefits both parties - creators can offer value to their followers, and you can track conversions from their referrals.

Do’s and don’ts.

Now you know the essentials, we’ll provide you with our most important do’s and don'ts. These guidelines can serve as a checklist for your campaign, ensuring you navigate the creator performance marketing landscape with success.

Do's when launching the campaign and creating a brief:

  1. Set clear objectives and KPIs: Clearly define the campaign's purpose and establish measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate its success.
  2. Provide comprehensive brand guidelines: Ensure the creator understands your brand's voice, values, and aesthetics to maintain consistency.
  3. Include timelines: Clearly outline important milestones, deadlines, and the campaign's overall duration to manage expectations.
  4. Specify deliverables aligning with goals: Request specific content formats (posts, videos, stories) that resonate with your campaign's objectives and target audience.
  5. Add incentives: Offer appealing incentives to capture creator interest and encourage quality applications.
  6. Encourage authenticity: Allow creators creative freedom within the brand guidelines to ensure authentic and engaging content.

Don'ts when launching the campaign and creating a brief:

  1. Avoid micromanaging: Give creator's room to infuse their unique style and perspective into the content, rather than overly controlling each detail.
  2. Avoid setting unrealistic expectations: Set achievable goals and expectations to foster a positive creator experience and campaign outcome.

Do's for creator selection:

  1. Audience alignment: Choose creators whose audience demographics, interests, and values align with your campaign and brand.
  2. Select a higher number of creators: Increasing the quantity of creators enhances the likelihood of achieving success.
  3. Authenticity: Opt for creators who share authentic content that resonates with their audience rather than just chasing follower count.

Don'ts for creator selection:

  1. Ignoring audience fit: Avoid partnering with creators whose audience demographics and interests do not align with your campaign.
  2. Follower count focus: Don't solely base your decision on follower count; prioritize engagement and audience quality.
  3. Overlooking niche creators: Don't overlook smaller creators with highly engaged niche audiences that might be highly relevant to your campaign.

Do's for Content Approval:

  1. Alignment with brief: Ensure the content matches the guidelines, objectives, and key messages outlined in the campaign brief.
  2. Brand consistency: Verify that the content aligns with your brand's tone, style, and values to maintain consistency.
  3. Provide feedback: Provide feedback whenever needed to improve content alignment with campaign objectives and brand guidelines.

Don'ts for Content Approval:

  1. Micromanaging creativity: Avoid overly rigid approval processes that stifle the creator's creative expression.
  2. Don't be scared to try something new: Don't be afraid to experiment with new ideas; have confidence in the creator’s abilities and professionalism.

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