Creating a content brief takes time and can be downright overwhelming at times.
You need content that will resonate with your audience and drive your business goals. But to do this requires a collaborative effort. And the key to a successful collaboration with a writer starts with a well-crafted content brief. Think of it as the roadmap that guides a writer toward creating content that hits the mark every time.
So, grab your favourite beverage, put on your creative hat, and let's dive into the nitty-gritty of writing an effective content brief.
→ Understand your audience
→ Clarify objectives and goals
→ Outline the structure
→ Provide style and tone guidelines
→ Define key messages
→ Provide resources and references
→ Add formatting and length instructions
→ Include visual content
→ Set clear deadlines and expectations
Understand your audience
Before you can even think about writing your content brief, you need to have a deep understanding of your target audience. Who are they? What are their needs, desires, and pain points? Conduct thorough research to gain insights into their preferences, demographics, and psychographics.
Unearth the buried treasure of information to help your writers create content that speaks directly to your audience.
Clarify objectives and goals
Every piece of content should have a purpose.
Clearly define the objectives and goals you want to achieve with your content. Be specific and measurable. Are you looking to educate, entertain, or inspire? Do you want to increase website traffic or generate new leads?
When you set concrete goals, you give your writers clear direction to deliver quality content.
Outline the structure
When you have a good grasp of your audience and objectives, it's time to structure your content brief.
Suggest logical sections and subtopics that can help your writers maintain a cohesive flow throughout the piece, ensuring a seamless reading experience for your audience. Think of the outline as the skeleton of your masterpiece.
Provide style and tone guidelines
Writers appreciate clear guidelines. I cannot stress this enough.
Guidance enables us to create content that matches your brand and plays an integral role in how your audience perceives the content. Define the tone and style that align with your brand's personality and values. For example, do you want it to be conversational, professional, or humorous? The more thorough you are, the better.
If you don’t know your brand story, then it’s likely your writers are frustrated and you’re not getting the results you want.
Define key messages
Now it’s time to identify the selling points.
What is the core message you want your content to convey or the key takeaway you want your audience to remember? These are the nuggets of wisdom that pull everything together. Make sure your writers are aware of any unique features of your product or the benefits of your services so we can effectively communicate them.
Provide resources and references
Content is about more than just getting clicks. Those clicks mean nothing if visitors can’t relate to the content, or if they don’t trust you enough.
Accuracy and credibility can give you the edge.
Yes, most experienced writers hoard industry-related resources but it might not always be specific to your company or industry. When you share relevant resources with your writers, you equip them with the right information to help create well-informed and authoritative pieces that attract the right people.
This might include, industry articles, reviews, studies, and reliable sources that can support the claims and arguments presented in the content.
Add formatting and length instructions
Every piece of content requires its own formatting and word count.
Do you prefer short, snappy paragraphs or longer, in-depth sections? Clearly communicate your formatting preferences and specify the ideal word count for the content. This helps writers structure pieces and provide enough depth while keeping the content engaging and concise.
Include visual content
Gaining your audience’s trust is one thing, but keeping them engaged is another.
Imagine landing on a page with heavy blocks of text. Do you feel motivated to read? Probably not. Visuals can be powerful storytelling tools that can greatly enhance the impact and readability of your articles. Let us know if you want images, graphs, or other visual elements included in the content. Bonus if you can provide guidelines for captions and alt text.
These small yet crucial details help maintain accessibility and improve the visual experience for your audience.
Set clear deadlines and expectations
Time is of the essence.
You need to communicate the project timeline, including milestones for drafts, revisions, and final submission. Be transparent about the revision and approval processes, so your writers know what to expect and can plan ahead.
Effective time management ensures a smooth workflow and allows for the timely delivery of your content.
A well-crafted content brief is like garlic. It gives the content the flavour it needs. Yes, creating a brief takes time and we know the whole point of hiring a writer is to save you time. But any experienced writer will tell you that a solid foundation will actually save time, decrease the likelihood of disappointment and consistently get you outstanding content.
Download my content brief template or check out these 3 in-depth examples of result-driven content briefs for a head start. Connect with me if you need help outlining a blog content brief. Heads up though. I’ll ask you to complete my Google worksheet so I can understand your business needs.
Together, we can work towards getting you the results you want.
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