How To Share Creative Guidelines To Get The Best Influencer UGC For Your Brand

Influencer marketing thrives on creativity, authenticity, and collaboration.

Priya Nain

Priya Nain

May 15, 2023

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If you've come here in search of a ready-to-use script for influencers, or a set of talking points that you expect them to regurgitate verbatim, hoping to sell your products or services in a traditional, overtly promotional manner... then I'm afraid this blog is not for you.

The expectations and preferences of modern consumers have shifted. They crave authenticity, genuine connections, and meaningful experiences. They can easily sniff out insincerity and dismiss contrived, sales-focused content as ineffective and untrustworthy.

A mindset makeover is needed

In the past, companies believed they knew exactly how to communicate with their audience. They treated influencers as mere vessels, expecting them to follow strict guidelines and deliver pre-determined marketing messages.

Unfortunately, this approach overlooked the unique voice and storytelling abilities of creators, limiting their ability to engage with their followers authentically.

To tap into the power of user-generated content (UGC) and genuinely connect with audiences, brands must embrace a new mindset.

It's time to prioritize creativity, collaboration, and move away from the traditional sales-driven approach. Brands need to let go of the desire for complete control and instead provide influencers with a framework that sparks creativity and empowers them to inject their own personality and style into their content.

But there's a question about balancing brand consistency and creative freedom

With the power of creativity now largely in the hands of influencers, there's a question that pops up - how can we ensure the brand's consistent representation, maintain the integrity of its messaging, and safeguard key branding elements from unwarranted changes?

This is where the importance of a well-crafted guideline document comes into play.

A comprehensive guideline document serves as a bridge, connecting the brand's vision and the influencer's creative freedom. It delineates non-negotiable aspects of your brand identity, ensuring that while influencers tell their unique stories, the essence of your brand remains consistent and un-compromised.

In this blog post, we'll talk about the framework to build a guideline document for influencers without compromising their creativity or the brand's messaging.

Traits of a great guideline document: clarity, inspiration, and communication

When it comes to making a top-notch guideline document for your influencers, there are a few key things you'll want to include to make it super helpful and easy to follow:

  • Non-creative details: Start by spelling out some non-creative details such as posting frequency, ownership details, perks they get, payout method, links they can use etc.
  • Inspiration: Get those creative juices flowing by sharing examples of successful content from other influencers or even a mood board. This will give them a better feel for your brand's style and vibe, so their content fits in seamlessly.
  • Brand Clarity: Make sure to fill them in on the background of your brand — its story, mission, and values. This way, they'll know what your brand is all about and can truly be an extension of it.
  • Open Lines of Communication: Let your influencers know you're there for them. Encourage them to ask questions or share ideas, and make sure they know who to contact if they need help. Drop in a phone number if you can!

With these essentials in place, your guideline document will be a breeze for influencers to follow, and you'll get some fantastic user-generated content.

7 Must-have sections for an outstanding ambassador guideline document

1. A warm welcome

Begin the document with a warm and friendly greeting, addressing the ambassador by their first name. This personal touch helps establish a genuine connection right from the start.

Show genuine excitement about their participation and emphasize how their involvement is valued.

Talk about the mission that the brand aims to achieve through the partnership with the ambassador.

And finally, encourage the ambassador to reach out for any additional information they may need. Provide them with a contact email where they can ask questions or seek further assistance.

Here's a template you can use:

2. About the brand and its ambassadors

Before you jump into the instructions, explore your brand's unique story and philosophy.

These elements are more than just narratives—they are a powerful tool for connecting ambassadors with the core values and mission of the brand. Through these, ambassadors gain a deeper sense of alignment and purpose in their role.

Brand story and philosophy

Your brand story is the narrative that captures the journey, evolution, and unique experiences of your brand. It allows ambassadors to comprehend what sets the brand apart and enables them to effectively communicate this distinctiveness to their audience.

To effectively share your brand's story, it's important to be authentic and transparent. You want to communicate the story in a way that captivates and resonates with your ambassadors.

  • Share personal anecdotes or experiences that make the narrative interesting and relatable.
  • Highlight the significant milestones and turning points in your brand's journey This could include sharing the inspiration behind your brand, the challenges you've faced, or the breakthrough moments that have shaped your brand's identity.
  • You can use visual elements such as images, or videos to make it engaging.

Your brand philosophy represents the guiding principles, values, and beliefs that underpin your brand. It reflects the core ideologies that drive your brand's actions, decisions, and interactions with customers.

Your brand philosophy serves as a compass, shaping the way you conduct business and engage with your audience. When ambassadors understand and embody your brand philosophy, they become advocates who genuinely align with and represent your brand's values.

Who are brand ambassadors

In this section, clarify the role and significance of being a brand ambassador.

Ambassadors are not just ordinary representatives; they are invaluable members of your brand's mission.

Emphasize the importance of their contributions, as they play a vital role in your brand's growth and impact.

The aim of this section is to inspire ambassadors to fulfill their role with pride and dedication, understanding that their efforts directly contribute to the success of the brand's mission.

3. Benefits, payout details

The next section answers the question 'What's in it for me' that is a major question on any ambassador's mind.

Starting with the "Benefits for you" section, it highlights the various advantages our ambassadors can enjoy. This is to inspire and motivate ambassadors to actively participate in our program.

  • Money: How their efforts contribute to their financial goals
  • Audience: Content that adds value to their audience, talk about genuinely helpful products can help them improve engagement and attract more followers.
  • Perks: Talk about exclusive access to new products, discounts, special events, or even possibility of collaborations with other influential individuals.

Athletic Greens, a brand that has a successful influencer marketing strategy talks about this exact thing on their ambassador landing page. Check this out:

Now, let's move on to the "Payout details" section, which outlines how and when ambassadors will receive their compensation.

  • Payout frequency: Mention your payment schedule to ensure transparency and provide ambassadors with a predictable income stream.
  • Payment platform: Introduce them to the platform through which the payouts will be processed and delivered.

Any other relevant instructions specific to the payout process should be clearly communicated in this section. This may include important deadlines, submission requirements, or any additional documents that need to be completed.

4. Content guidelines

Here you have to strike the balance between brand vision and influencer creativity.

So first, forget about scripted sales pitches.

The key to successful UGC influencer content lies in allowing your influencers to bring their unique creativity and understanding of their audience to the table.

Avoid overly prescriptive guidelines and let them work their magic. After all, they're the experts when it comes to engaging their followers authentically.

We all have goals, but it's important not to overwhelm your influencers with sales-focused criteria.

Instead, inspire them with success stories from past ambassadors and discuss metrics that have yielded positive results. For instance, share insights on which video niches resonate best with your audience or the number of videos that typically lead to conversions. Encourage experimentation while offering guidance.

Creators are the ones who pour their heart and soul into creating amazing content that engages your audience. Assure creators that you won't use their content for ads without their consent.

Also talk about how you would be truly grateful for the opportunity to repost or reshare their fantastic creations on your social channels. You can curate attractive social media feeds and display their valuable content through free social walls at live events, lobbies, or conferences.

5. Brand assets

To maintain consistent branding across your content, share your brand assets with ambassadors.

Logos, images, product reviews—anything that will help them create good content! These resources will help them effortlessly blend your brand elements into your content, ensuring that our brand recognition remains strong.

6. Next steps

This is the section to bring everyone on the same page and move forward.

Put your contract here and ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding deliverables, compensation, and usage rights. It's all about creating a solid foundation for a successful collaboration.

To streamline the collaboration process, provide a centralized hub or platform where influencers can access important information and resources. Whether it's a dedicated portal, shared document, or project management tool, make sure to mention the link in your content guidelines.

Prompt ambassadors to take the next steps whether it's creating their first video, post or signing up for any specific platform.

7. FAQs

This section serves as a resource to address the most frequently asked questions and concerns that our ambassadors may have.

By providing clear and concise answers, you save time, reduce potential confusion, and ensure that ambassadors have the necessary information to navigate their role effectively.

Regarding your FAQ section, it's important to keep the following in mind:

  • Provide clear and concise answers to address each question or concern.
  • Use a friendly and approachable tone to make ambassadors feel comfortable reaching out for further clarification if needed.
  • Regularly review and update the FAQ section based on emerging questions or feedback from ambassadors.
  • Encourage ambassadors to refer to the FAQ section before reaching out with questions, as their queries may have already been addressed.

What's next?

The final step is to add this document to your onboarding email to the creator. Also store it under “Resources” inside SARAL. This way your creators have access to it at all times!

Now that you have a solid framework for creating a comprehensive guidelines document for your brand ambassadors you are closer to building a successful and cohesive influencer program. By clearly outlining your expectations, providing the necessary resources, and maintaining open communication, you'll foster strong relationships with ambassadors who are excited to represent your brand.

To further streamline your influencer marketing journey, consider using SARAL – an all-in-one platform designed to streamline the process. With SARAL, you can avoid the frustrations of underperforming platforms and agencies, and instead enjoy a powerful suite of tools that help you discover influencers, manage your ambassador program, and automate time-consuming tasks like outreach and sales tracking.

Why not give SARAL a try? Experience its benefits with a 7-day free trial, and see for yourself the positive impact it can have on your influencer marketing efforts.

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