5 Tips on How to Write the Perfect Content Brief
Whether you are working with influencers or a creative agency, delivering a comprehensive and well-considered brief is key to ensuring you get the outcomes you desire. When creating a brief it can be easy to fall into one of two extremes – either including so much detail that the creator becomes overwhelmed, or not offering enough detail to get the results you want.
In this guide, we offer you 5 tips on writing a perfect content brief. Use them and you might just become your agency/content creator’s newest favourite customer!
Start With Specifics
Before you dive into explanations and examples of the type of content you want, start by delivering the crucial specific information the content creator will need. Some of this information is generic and other parts will differ depending on the type of content you are requesting.
Firstly, offer some basic information on who you are. This can include your company name, a link to your company about page, details on the products and services you offer and any other key brand info that you think the content creator needs to know. This step isn’t always necessary if you already have an established relationship with the agency or creator – although it never hurts to include it every time.
Then, offer up some specifics on the content you are looking for. This will include the type of content you need as well key details about that content, a few examples include:
- Graphics – size, resolution, file format etc
- Photos – size, resolution, file format etc
- Videos – length, resolution, file format etc
- Audio files – length, file format etc
- Blog posts – word count, keywords, file format etc
Describe The Content Purpose
Once you have laid out all the specific details, it’s time to set the scene by describing the purpose of the content.
Begin by telling the content creator what it is you are trying to achieve. Here are some good examples:
“We want to create blog content that sets us apart from our competition as a thought leader”
“We want images that will perfectly represent our new product on social media”
“We want a video that will excite our customers about an upcoming event”
Be as detailed as possible, but don’t set specific expectations which are outside of the creator’s control. For example, unless you are working with an SEO agency who are running all aspects of your SEO, you cannot expect a blog writer to guarantee you a top spot on Google – as a lot more comes into play than just great copy.
Once you have detailed what you are trying to achieve, explain how the content will fit into the big picture. This will include details on where the content will be used such as on social media, on a website or in an advertising campaign. Also, you may want to explain how the content will fit within your current marketing campaigns or brand strategy.
Content creation is a creative process, which means it requires inspiration. Use your brief as an opportunity to provide the content creator with some inspiration that you think will help achieve the desired result.
Start by providing some brand inspiration to help the creator understand the current look, feel and tone of your brand. These could be links to your social channels, links to specific website pages or blog posts that you think accurately represent your brand.
Also, include inspirational content that matches or portrays an aspect of the content you are aiming for. For example, you may include images and videos that have the same vibe as the image or video you want to receive. Using examples like these is often easier than trying to explain exactly what you are looking for in words – or they can be used to illustrate a point you are trying to make.
Provide Creative Freedom
Creating the perfect brief is all about walking the fine line between providing enough and providing too much detail. Typically, if you focus on delivering a direction rather than dictating what you want, your brief will work well.
After all, if you explain exactly what you want in minute detail, you may as well create the content yourself. Instead, use your brief to set the creator up in the right direction and give them a push. If you are paying someone for their creative expertise, then don’t restrict them from using it.
If you do require a high level of control over the content, for brand purposes, for example, try and offer a list of things to avoid (colours not to use, things not to say) rather than dictating exactly what to do.
Include a Summary
A short summary at the top of your brief is a powerful tool in supporting the content creation process – especially when the brief itself is longer than a couple of pages.
Of course, you wouldn’t include any information in a brief which isn’t entirely relevant – so you would expect any agency or creator you work with to read it in full. However, a short summary that includes the most important information can help the creator to quickly and easily reference it throughout the content creation process, helping them ensure they are on the right track.
Writing a Content Brief: Summary
If you want great content, you need to create a great brief. The tips we have highlighted in this article will help you deliver a brief that perfectly walks the line between giving enough and giving too much detail.
Remember that a brief is about setting direction, not dictating in fine detail what you want.
Your agency or creator should be willing to help you create a brief that gives them everything they need. If you are struggling with what to include, ask them for a template or to jump on a quick call to walk you through the specifics.