A Brief Explanation
A brief is the single source of truth for any of your content assignments. It outlines the purpose of the assignment and acts as a reference throughout the production process. It’s the map everyone should follow to arrive at your best content.
Because writers will reference the brief frequently while they’re writing and researching an assignment, it’s important to be clear on exactly what you’re looking for. The more time you spend outlining what you want in the brief, the less time you will spend editing and revising the submitted draft.
When writing the brief, the more information you include, the better. But if you’re more of a minimalist, here are the elements your brief must include:
- Who is going to read this content?
- What is the goal of the content?
- What are the main take-aways or themes of the content?
- Any execution guidelines (format, budget, timeline, etc.)
- Voice and Tone: What does your content sound like? Give examples if you can.
If you want to be most efficient, here is some helpful information to include in your brief that will help the writer take the content from good to exceptional:
- The Next Best Action: What is the immediate next step you want people to take after reading this content?
- A Key Insight: Explain why you are the best at answering this question or what insight that you have on this topic that readers won’t find anywhere else.
- Competitive Content: Give examples of content that already addresses this topic. Explain what it does well and what you want to do better. Remember, your content competition is not always your direct sales competition.
- Target Keywords: Good content only matters if it can be found. Include target keywords so that your writer can optimize your content for SERPs.
One Last Tip
As you start to find writers you work well with, you will likely modify or shorten your briefs. That’s totally fine and definitely saves time. But whenever you launch new campaigns or start work with new writers, providing them a comprehensive brief will ensure quality and efficiency.