A good content brief is critical. For content marketers, it helps to create clever collaterals that speak directly to customers. With B2B decision makers spending more than 70% of the purchase cycle engaging with content before ever reaching out to sales representatives, it’s no wonder content is still considered king. When working with external partners, marketers still struggle to receive the right content so putting together a good brief is vital.
As a content marketing agency, we are experienced writers with broad industry knowledge however, we are not mind readers. A good content brief can ensure writers are aligned on core content goals and business requirements.
So, what does a successful content brief look like, and how can you get the best results from writers?
Here are our top tips for creating a good content brief:
- The content conversation – a good content brief starts by having a frank conversation to outline your goals and aspirations. Get an initial briefing call in the diary with your writer to lay the foundation. During this call, give the ‘elevator pitch’ of what you are looking for such as the thought leadership theme and the customer pain points you’re addressing. Provide a high-level view of your marketing strategy and where the content fits into wider business objectives. This call also enables a writer to fact check before the first draft gets underway.
- Target audience – it is essential to outline your key customers. Who the content is addressing will inform the tone of voice and the vocabulary used. For example, if it’s written for customers whose native language isn’t English, a writer should avoid using colloquialisms. If it’s written for B2B decision makers such as CEOs, the writing needs to be more concise without the use of technical jargon. In terms of content style for key audiences, share materials you’ve seen that you’d like to avoid or indeed, to emulate to give a writer a better steer.
- Key takeaways – it is key to offer the writer a list of the Very Important Points you want customers to take away from reading the content. Three to four points is usually a good place to start. This allows the writer to create a story arc based on the agreed key talking points. Not only does this give your content a smooth storyline but also a goal, which helps you to speak more directly to customers.
- Core supporting information – giving a writer your core company positioning and brand guidelines is important. This standardises all content and keeps messaging consistent across materials. Providing this information allows a writer to align key arguments with your company’s proof points and helps to highlight USPs. Clever content focuses on where your organisation can solve a customer’s problems and demonstrates to target audiences how your offerings stand out from competitors.
- Call to action – what’s the CTA on your content? Perhaps your content is a ‘teaser blog’, driving customers to download a whitepaper which dives deeper into the proposed topic. Maybe the content discusses a specific customer pain point which is then used to encourage customers to look at case studies. Including a CTA as part of your content brief is crucial to show the bigger picture to a writer, which helps them make the content more focused.
- Executional information – always include information such as the visual style you’re aiming for with the piece. Provide any available company templates, explain the approval process and who will be involved. Give the writer any additional contact information like a sales executive’s email for a product briefing. Discuss deadlines and word count to ensure content is delivered at the right time for your business and audience.
By using the tips above to create a good content brief, you can ensure you get the best out of your external partners. More importantly, you will receive the marketing material that’s right for your customers to drive them down the sales funnel.
If you want more information on our content marketing capabilities, please contact us at: [email protected]