How to Create a Content Brief That’ll Quickly Improve Your Content Marketing

How to Create a Content Brief That’ll Quickly Improve Your Content Marketing

By Joel Widmer | Content Marketing

Nov 10
How to create a content brief

Creative work is a process, not some amorphous, intangible thing that magically appears. It has phases and details and specific goals. 

The best way to realize purposeful content to your exact specifications is to use a Content Brief. 

If you are creating a piece of content without a content brief, you might as well be journaling. There is no direction. It's the difference between having a strategy and winging it. Many people slap together a few keywords and call it a brief. It's not; it's a list of keywords. 

So what goes into a content brief? 

First, you should have a brief for every single post or piece of content you're creating, including video productions. It takes more time on the front end to do it this way, but it also takes the guesswork out of it for the writers to whom you're outsourcing. 

If you can't nail down the article's goal in one sentence, a writer doesn't know where to begin. It's akin to chasing a moving target, and it's an enormous waste of time and money. 

The brief's role is to keep the writer focused, erect some creative bumpers, and define the goal for the piece. 

There are different goals for different pieces. For example…

  • Is it a conviction content piece? → Focus on your brand voice
  • An SEO focused piece? → Focus on ranking for specific keywords
  • A thought leadership piece? → Focus on insights backed by experience

The 3 Components Every Content Brief Needs 

Regardless of the type of piece, there are a few core components every post needs. They can be categorized into three buckets:  

Content brief template
  • Context: What’s the background? What does the writer need to know? Where will this live?
  • Communication: Who are we? Who are we talking to? 
  • Content: How do we get our point across? What needs to be said? 

There should be one big point per post. If you're trying to squeeze in a ton of stuff, the result will be disorganized and overwhelming.

The goal of the exercise is to establish consistency. The result should be that the content sounds more like you than you do. 

The more that happens before and after the actual writing, the better that piece of content will be. 

The more that happens before and after the actual writing, the better that piece of content will be. 

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What a Good Content Brief Includes:

  • Headline - What’s the working title?
  • One sentence goal - What’s the main takeaway of the content summarized in one line? 
  • Competitive research - What does the competing content cover and how you can make yours better? 
  • Outline with subheadings - What’s the structure of the post and what main topics are you covering? 
  • Word count range - How in depth will the content be? Is it a quick summary or an in-depth 5k word monster? 
  • Target Audience - Who are you writing for? How aware are they? What do they need to know? 
  • SEO Keywords - What keywords are you trying to rank for? 
  • Post Formatting - How is the post laid out and formatted?
  • Voice and tone - What’s your brand voice and how will you come across? 
  • Research/Links - Any sources the writer needs to draw from or link to? 
  • Visuals - What types of graphics, pics or visuals need to be used? 

Now, every brief will not include all of the above points. Pick the most relevant for your content. 

Finally, get feedback from your writers. What's useful, what's not? Creating an open avenue for both positive and negative criticism hones the briefs moving forward. Plus, writers need to know whether their work is valued and making a difference in your business. 

The best part about the briefs we use at Fluxe is that your participation is limited to an initial conversation with us. We take it from there. One hour of your time and the rest is all on us.  

So sort of like that old saying, that the groom's only responsibility is to show up. 

Great, right?


About the Author

Joel Widmer is the Founder & CEO of Fluxe Digital Marketing—a content marketing shop that helps smart businesses create, produce and promote their content through a unique one-on-one interview process. When he’s not working, Joel can be found trying new restaurants with his wife, son, and daughter.

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