HomeBlogsHow To Write A Content Brief For Your Writers [with Free Templates]
Nov 9, 2022

How To Write A Content Brief For Your Writers [with Free Templates]

Scalenut
How To Write A Content Brief For Your Writers [with Free Templates]

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Content marketing managers, strategists, or agencies may frequently find themselves in situations that prompt the idea that bringing order and systems to the content creation process would help them save time and costs and simplify management overall.

One way to do just that is through content briefs. They are quick to make when templatized, and the few minutes it takes to create one can save hours of revisions, among other benefits.

This article will cover everything you need to know about content briefs—what they are, who should use them, and how to make them, along with free templates to get you started.

Let us begin by understanding content briefs and what they can do for you.

What is a Content Brief?

A content brief is a structured text document that specifies various details essential to creating a piece of content. These details include the topic, description, purpose, target audience, and SEO details like keywords, word count, links, and more. 

You can also use briefs for purposes like developing social media posts, blogs, or content strategies. A content strategy brief can contain details like the business goals, purpose, mission, etc., so strategists can devise ways to meet them successfully.

What types of content can you make content briefs for? A brilliant feature of content briefs is how versatile and universally applicable they are. That said, you may need to tweak your content brief template to make it relevant to the type of content.

These are some forms of content you make content briefs for:

  • SEO blogs
  • Ebooks or guides
  • Thought leadership articles
  • Case studies
  • Website landing pages
  • Social media posts
  • Video scripts
  • Email newsletters

Who should use content briefs?

Content briefs have multiple benefits for anyone who works in the content marketing space at any level. Whether you are a content manager or freelance writer, content briefs can make the job easier for your team or just you. 

We will go over those benefits in just a moment.

First, let us identify some symptoms that indicate a need for content briefs in your content creation process.

  1. You are finding it challenging to communicate content requirements to the writers.
  2. Your editors are overwhelmed, and your writers are engaged in unjustified rounds of revisions and rewriting.
  3. You are looking for ways to grow with quality content output.

You may be experiencing one or all of these issues at once. Content briefs make for a solid solution in all cases.

How exactly will content briefs solve these problems? Let us understand.

Why should you use content briefs?

Five benefits of using content briefs

The benefits of content briefs permeate through the different stages of the content creation process. If you are interested in implementing them, it is good to know what you can expect.

These are some reasons why you should use content briefs:

  1. They allow the content assigner to put down what they are looking for.
  2. They help avoid verbal miscommunication or natural misinterpretation.
  3. They let the assigner specify any key details they wish to have included.
  4. They offer an organized explanation of the requirement to the writer.
  5. The writer can refer to them in times of confusion.
  6. They reduce the frequency or intensity of revisions required.
  7. They serve as reference documents for editors for examination.

So what do these powerful instruments look like in application? Let’s see.

Content Brief Example

Content creation briefs are a simple concept to understand. To make an effective brief for content writers, put down all the information they would need to create what you need in an orderly manner.

These content brief examples should help you understand how to make them better.

Blog or Article Brief Template Example

Creating an SEO content brief for blogs or articles is a great way to improve the quality of your article and enhance your search engine performance.

Let’s look at what a blog content brief for a content writer would be like.

Blog Topic - 8 Simple Changes to Start Eating Healthier.

Submission Deadline - 17/11/2022

Word Count - 1200+

URL - /nutrition/8-changes-for-healthy-eating

Blog Description- This blog will communicate simple ways in which readers can make changes to improve how and what they eat. Think of these as easy holistic swaps; not just ingredients but also mindset swaps.

Target Audience - 30 to 50-year-old, health-conscious individuals residing in cities.

Purpose - Driving social media audience to the blog page on our website.

The Tone of Voice - Knowledgeable, friendly.

Top Competitor Blogs (not for citing)-

Eight Small Changes for Healthier Eating in the New Year (South Shore Health)

Reference Links (not for citing)-

25 Simple Tips to Make Your Diet Healthier (Healthline)

How to Start Eating Healthy: 10 Changes You Can Make (Health)

10 Simple Ways To Start Eating Healthier This Year (Forbes)

Internal Links to Add-

www.healthandnutrition.com

www.healthandnutrition.com/all-in-one-supplement

Meta Title - 8 Simple Tips for Healthy Eating

Meta Description - (Writer to suggest)

Primary Keyword - start eating healthy

Secondary Keywords - nutrition tips, balanced diet, weight loss, weight gain, hair loss, healthy diet, natural health supplement

Image Guidelines -

  • Include images every 300 words.
  • Source high-fidelity images from copyright-free sources.
  • Add reference graphics, illustrations, and infographics where needed.
  • Provide a link to the source.

Website Landing Page Brief Example

Another type of content that can benefit from a content writing brief is website landing pages. They need to be optimized for search engines, highly convincing and communicate all essential selling points. Highlighting these aspects through a well-made brief can make your content more compelling and lead to higher conversions.

Let us look at an example of a website landing page.

Landing Page Name - Graphic Design Services for SaaS Companies

Submission Deadline - 17/11/2022

Word Count - 550+

URL- /for-saas-businesses

Target Audience - Marketing Managers, Design Heads, Founders, CEOs

Traffic Source(s) - Google search and other search engines.

Main Benefits for Target Audience - 

  • 100% original graphics for various use cases.
  • Savings on hiring and management costs.
  • Unlimited revisions.
  • Subscription plans at affordable rates.

USP - Wide international pool of experts, experienced designers from varied industries.

CTA - Request a Graphic Now

References -

Graphic Designer Landing Page (Penji) 

Graphic Design for SaaS (Dark Roast)

Internal Links - designz.com/signup 

Meta Title - Graphic Design for SaaS | DesignZ

Meta Description - (Writer to suggest)

Primary Keyword - graphic design for saas

Secondary Keywords - saas graphic designer, hire graphic designer, freelance saas graphic designer

Design Reference - landingpagewireframe.pdf

You will notice that while certain elements apply across both briefs, some have been replaced or reframed for context and efficacy.

We created content brief examples for plenty more use cases like social media posts, case studies, and ebooks in our blog, 5 Effective Content Brief Templates and Examples to Get You Started. Check out our free editable templates there.

Details you should include in your content brief

While briefs for all types of content will differ in their elements, some details remain constant across most types, and you should include them in your content brief.

1. Purpose and/or Goals

Describing why you are writing the content and what you want to achieve with it to your content writer can go a long way in getting the piece right and creating the best content in one go. 

Here are some examples of what your purpose or goal for writing can be:

  • Creating product/service awareness.
  • Educating the audience.
  • Directing social media followers to the website.
  • SERP ranking and organic traffic.
  • Moving prospects down the sales funnel.
  • Generating leads.

2. Target Audience

Let your content writer know who they are writing for, so they can communicate with them well.

The target audience for your business, in general, could be a more macro group of people. When defining the target audience for particular pieces of content, it is best to be more specific.

For example, the target audience or buyer persona for a gourmet cat food brand could be affluent cat parents. However, the target audience for a blog about festive cat outfits by the same brand could be 20 to 30-year-old female cat parents.

3. Keywords

Receiving a list of keywords along with the detailed content brief allows novice or experienced writers to incorporate keywords naturally without disrupting the flow of the piece. The writer can also create the blog structure with the prioritized keywords in mind so they can be a part of the headings.

When creating your brief for any SEO-focused content, like blogs, landing pages, and product pages, include a list of primary and secondary keywords in your brief.

4. Word Count

The length of your content will affect how detailed your content writer makes the piece. But that is not all, as your word count will also affect your search engine ranking.

While blogs of all lengths serve a purpose, if you are looking to specifically write blog posts that rank on the SERPs and generate organic traffic, keep your blogs a minimum of over 900 words. 1500-2000 words make for the sweetest spot!

5. Topic

The topic of your blog post is the key point of information your brief needs to have. Your topic should be a crisp yet descriptive one-liner. For instance, ‘Five Hacks to Problem Solve Faster’ or ‘Exciting Ways To Interact With Hardware From Python.’ 

All content topics need not be spur-of-moment ideas. You can create a process to come up with topics strategically, so you are creating content relevant to your readers, addressing their pain points, and boosting your organic traffic.

These are some ways to come up with topic ideas:

6. Tone of Voice

A consistent, defined tone of voice across communications humanizes your brand to readers and viewers. It also gives you control over how your consumers perceive you as a brand.

an example of the tone of voice in content briefs

For example, a healthcare business would like to come across as knowledgeable and formal, while a fashion boutique may prefer to sound relatable, friendly, and casual.

You can use the tone of voice matrix to establish the right tone for your brand.

This process involves putting down descriptive terms that define your brand and its communication and those that do not. You can then add terms that do not reflect through your current brand communication but you wish for your readers to perceive you as.

It is good to note that your tone of voice can differ between types of content. For instance, an email to give customers an update on the pricing policy can be formal, but a social media post from the same brand can be casual.

7. Links and Citation

Links are an often overlooked aspect of online content. Think about internal and external links you wish to include in your content.

Internal links are links to pages on your website. These links can be placed as linked products, reading suggestions, CTA, etc. 

External links are links to pages not on your website. These may be links to non-competitor reading material, videos, social media platforms, etc.

pie chart of different components of Google ranking, including links

Citations, too, are a good way to add links to your content. Add links to studies, research, and official data as sources.

Remember to avoid linking to direct competitors so readers aren't diverted to their website and other brands aren't provided a search engine advantage.

In your brief, include a list of internal and external links and citations (or data points), so your writer can intentionally place them through the content.

8. Benchmark Content

Benchmark content is existing content, which may or may not be your own, that you want the content requested to measure up to.

Include a link to benchmark content you can find so your writer knows what they are aiming for. Alternatively, you can add reference links for your writer to look at for inspiration.

9. Image Guidelines

Images can add character, keep the reader interested in reading further, and improve the overall reading experience. Images can be photographs, graphics, illustrations, infographics, screenshots, or GIFs.

Include image guidelines in your brief so your writer can look for apt images or suggest graphics for your design team.

Your image guidelines can look like this:

  • Include images every 300 words.
  • Source high-fidelity images from copyright-free sources.
  • Add reference graphics, illustrations, and infographics where needed.
  • Provide a link to the source.

Content Brief Template [Free Downloadable]

We created a boilerplate content brief template that you can download and edit for free to get started. You can edit the template to align with your organization’s standards and needs.

The next time you need to get your content writer to write something for you, fill this template out and share it with them for ease of communication and a hassle-free content creation process.

A preview of Scalenut’s free content brief templates

↓↓DOWNLOAD OUR FREE CONTENT BRIEF TEMPLATE HERE↓↓

Automate with Scalenut’s Content Brief Software

If you are convinced about adding content briefs to your content creation workflow, you should know about Scalenut.

Scalenut is an AI-powered SEO and Content Marketing platform. Apart from exceptional tools like Cruise Mode that creates blog first drafts in under five minutes and an AI Copywriter for short-form content on the go, Scalenut also offers a robust content brief creation infrastructure.

With Scalenut, you can conduct your topic research, keyword research, link research, and even in-depth competitor analysis. Then, you can bring all of these details into a functional blog content brief with an outline.

Content briefs created in Scalenut are easy to share with your team, and they can use them to start creating content with AI assistance.

Marketers across the globe trust Scalenut to scale their content creation strategy. Our customers note grown content creation volume, higher SERP ranking, and increased organic traffic.

Sign up for a free trial today to experience the power of content.

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