The terms of reference for an advertising publication is an instruction for a blogger, which is compiled by the customer of the integration. TOR can be written in free form: create a file in Google Docs or send a message to direct. The main thing is to make it clear to the blogger what needs to be done and within what time frame.
Another option is to draw up the terms of reference as part of the contract. A document signed by the customer and the contractor will be legally binding. If the blogger fails to fulfill his obligations, you will be able to refer to the terms of reference to get your money back.
Having a detailed terms of reference is important for both parties. It helps the advertiser to spend the promotion budget effectively. And the blogger can understand what the advertiser is waiting for. The terms of reference also help to save time. If there is a clear task, the script of the video or the text of the post will not have to be redone several times.
In this article, we will tell you how to make a right terms of reference for advertising for a blogger. We will consider point by point what you need to write. We will show examples of TOR for real-life advertising publications.
What should be written in the terms of reference for advertising?
There is no universal template for the terms of reference. The document should include details and conditions that the advertiser considers important. Correctly drafted terms of reference give a clear idea of the product, brand, goals of the advertising campaign and customer expectations. At the same time, the terms of reference do not need to be overloaded with details. Otherwise, the blogger will be uncomfortable with it.
If you are planning a long-term collaboration, it is better to include legal details in a separate document. For example, prepare a contract or offer the blogger to sign an offer.
Don’t make too rigid demands on the content. Integration should be native. Then subscribers will perceive it as a friendly recommendation, not as a direct sale. So leave the blogger room for creativity. Influencers know from experience what kind of content their audience likes. For example, you can draw up a rough text of the post, and the blogger will adapt it to his author’s style.
What to include in the terms of reference for the advertisement:
- A description of the product or service;
- information about the brand;
- goals and objectives of the advertising campaign;
- integration format;
- content requirements;
- timing and number of publications;
- references of successful integrations;
- links, hashtags, promotional codes;
- payment terms (if there is no contract).
Remember that the Influencer can refuse to integrate. If he considers that the product does not correspond to the subject of the blog or due to some personal beliefs. Therefore, prior consent for cooperation should be obtained in advance. Send product samples after the blogger gets acquainted with the ToR and confirms the possibility of publishing it.
Let us consider in detail the items in the terms of reference from the previous section
The list is not exhaustive, you can supplement it or delete unnecessary things, if necessary.
A description of the product or service. Explain briefly about the product: who it is useful for, what it is suitable for, its main advantages. Add a few photos.
Information about the brand. Give links to the company website and social media pages. Specify how to spell and pronounce the brand name.
Goals and objectives of the advertising campaign. Explain what results you expect from the integration. Examples: attracting customers to your online store, selling tickets to an event, increasing interest in the brand. By understanding your expectations, the blogger can properly formulate a call to action for your subscribers.
Format of integration. Depends on the social network. For example, on Instagram* an Influencer can advertise your product in posts, Stories or Reels. On Telegram, bloggers post text posts with photos or videos. On YouTube, ad integrations are posted in video format.
Content Requirements. In this paragraph, detail the requirements for the visual, text and pitch of the integration. You can send a ready-made layout of the post or outline the requirements for photos and videos. For example, the color scheme, foreshortening, and position of the product in the frame.
Coordinate the script of the video or the text of the post. Suggest your own options or give only the main points. Explain to the blogger what message you want to convey to the audience. Specify whether the video needs subtitles. Choose the format of your pitch: mention, recommendation, tip, review, unboxing.
Timing and number of postings. Specify the dates and times the integrations are posted. As well as the time the publications were saved on the blogger’s page.
References of successful integrations. Give examples of native advertising that you like. These can be integrations of your brand with other bloggers or any other promotional posts.
Links, hashtags, promo codes. Coordinate where the blogger posts a link to your site or social media page. In the header of your Instagram profile*, as a sticker for Stories, at the beginning or at the end of a Telegram post, or other options depending on the social network.
Include hashtags to the promotional post. Give the blogger a promo code to share with subscribers. By the way, by the number of applied promo codes it is convenient to track the effectiveness of the integration.
Payment terms. If you do not conclude a contract, specify the terms of payment in the terms of reference.
The principles for drafting the terms of reference for advertising are the same for all social networks. Here are examples of terms of reference for Stories, Reels and posts on Instagram. And we’ll also share a useful service for native integrations with bloggers.
Example of TOR for Instagram Stories
Stories are up to 60 seconds long. This is important to keep in mind when writing a script. You shouldn’t try to fit a full-fledged product story into this time. It’s better to focus on 1-2 main benefits. Or make the engagement with the content gradual: publish a series of Stories.
Let’s look at an example
Stories #1: The blogger natively mentions a food delivery service. A person moves, so there is no time to cook at home, and ordering rolls in such a situation is an important item on the to-do list.
Stories #2: Benefits of the delivery service and a link to the company’s social media page.
Let’s imagine what the terms of reference for this integration could look like:
- Description of the product or service. Sushi and rolls delivery service.
- Goals and objectives of the advertising campaign. To increase sales and attract new subscribers to my Instagram page*.
- Format of integration. A series of 2 Stories.
- Requirements to the content. Natural presentation, live emotions. Close-up photo of a dish in the second video.
- Main thesis. Meal delivery will bail you out if you don’t have time to cook. We make delicious rolls and bring them fresh. Low prices.
- Timing and number of publications. One publication, 03.05.2023 – in time slot from 5.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.
- Links, hashtags, promotional codes. To the publication to attach a sticker with a link to a page in the social network.
Posts and Reels also have restrictions: no more than 2,200 characters with spaces and no longer than 60 seconds, respectively. In these formats, you can talk more about your product. It’s important to capture your subscribers’ attention from the first seconds of a video or the first lines of a post.
Example of specifications for a post/Reels of perfume
- Description of the product or service. Women’s perfume exclusively available in the L’Etoile store chain.
- The goals and objectives of the advertising campaign. To tell about the product, increase sales.
- Format of integration. Post – a photo plus text.
- Content requirements. A photo with a bottle of perfume in the foreground. The text in a restrained style should convey a positive attitude to the product. Emoji use a minimum of or do without them.
- The main thesis. Our perfume – an exclusive, which distinguishes you from others. It is the fragrance of choice for independent women. Suitable as a gift.
- Timeline and number of posts. One post, February 2023.
- Links, hashtags, promo codes. Add a link to the brand’s page in the text.
On Instagram, you can do collaborative posts and Reels. Such publications are posted by one of the co-authors, and they appear simultaneously in the accounts of all participants.
Co-posts allow you to expand your reach – the integration will be seen by the blogger’s followers and the audience of your page. Statistics of likes, views, and reposts are added together.
Mistakes in the terms of reference that can lead to budget drain.
It happens that the advertiser has chosen the right blogger, made a detailed terms of reference, and the integration didn’t work. The budget is spent inefficiently. Perhaps one of the most common mistakes was made.
What mistakes in blogger terms of reference should be avoided
- There is no exact publishing time. It’s important to agree not only on a date, but also on a specific publishing time during the day. Find out when the blogger’s audience is most active and book a time slot. If the integration comes out at the wrong time, it won’t produce the expected results.
- Don’t provide for a publication report. Write in the ToR that the blogger should send you a link to the post and statistics. This is necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of the advertising campaign.
- There are no clear talking points for the script or text. The blogger must know how to position the product, what to emphasize, what meanings to put into the publication. To avoid misunderstanding, include the main points in the TOR.
- Too tight restrictions. The situation is the opposite of the previous point. In integrations with bloggers, creativity and authorial style are important. To be effective, ads must fit seamlessly with the rest of the content influencer. Therefore, in the terms of reference indicate the general direction and the main message, but do not put strict limits.
A detailed terms of reference for advertising for a blogger helps to get the most out of the integration. Describe the product, outline the goals and objectives of the campaign, specify the content requirements. You can suggest a sample script for a video or the text of a post.
In order not to drain the budget, avoid common mistakes in the ToR. Agree not only on the date but also on the time of publication. Ask for post statistics and links. Prescribe the main theses, but do not put the blogger in too rigid a framework.