A content brief is an essential reference document for your writer, comprising all the information they’ll need to create a piece of content that meets your needs. If done right, this document is a helpful resource for a writer creating any type of content, including blog posts, eBooks, white papers, web copy, email campaigns, or video scripts. The information in a brief includes details such as audience, content goals, key points, format, and source materials.
A content brief is created for a freelance or in-house writer by an assigning editor or content strategist at the outset of an editorial project. It is usually delivered once the fee or budget is decided on and the statement of work (SoW) has been accepted by both parties. Some of the information included in a content brief might repeat some of the details included in the SoW or as part of an assignment letter, which is fine. What is important is that you convey as much information as possible at the beginning of a project to set up the writer (and you) for a successful deliverable.
A content brief is a good idea no matter what writer you’re working with: an experienced freelancer or in-house writer who knows your company’s or client’s editorial needs, goals, and voice—or a new writer who you’re just getting to know. With a content brief, you make the assignment details crystal clear for the writer, making their job much easier.
An effective content brief can help ensure you get a more complete, accurate first draft that hits all of your requirements. It also not only aides your writer, but helps make sure you know what you want, what the goals of the piece are, and what you’re actually assigning. If you’re unsure of certain specifics, you can be sure your writer will be just as confused. Don’t let that happen.
A great content brief will help you get your writer’s attention, put them at ease, and encourage them to work with you, hopefully again and again. It also makes the content development process more transparent and easier for a writer to engage with. If your brief is a success, you’ll find that you get fewer questions from your writer and speed up the process in return.
Here are the 10 elements that all briefs should include:
For more details on these 10 essentials, read the blog post, How to Write an Effective Content Brief.