There are many briefings. One of the most important briefings is the content briefing for content creators. What a content briefing should look like – what structure and content it should contain – can vary considerably. We therefore asked ourselves: What should not be missing in a content briefing? In this article, you will get an overview of the structure and content of the content briefing.
It’s time for a briefing again. This time, we take a close look at the content briefing. But before we go deeper into content briefing, we would like to give you a definition of content briefing:
Definition and delimitation of content briefing
When should you rely on a content briefing?
It is not always necessary to create an elaborate content brief. It depends on what content is to be created and for what purpose. And what demands you have on the content. However, if you want content to be precisely tailored to your target group and your company, you should always create a content briefing to provide the creator(s) with important information. Otherwise, many questions will remain unanswered and you will certainly not receive the content you want or really need.
However, if you can answer “yes” to these three points, the content briefing can be omitted:
the content (text, audio, video) does not have a target audience or does not need to be targeted to one. For good content marketing, however, this aspect is basically omitted!
the text should simply fill the page. You should also avoid this – not least, Google penalizes “fillers” without added user value in the ranking!
the produced content is only a basis, which is rewritten several times. This case is the only one that is halfway understandable. For efficiency reasons, we would still not recommend it. Then, in case of doubt, you pay a:n creator and still have to put your own resources into optimization again.
As you can see, a content briefing is generally always useful for obtaining directly suitable content. It is the basis for professional content marketing and important if you and your (potential) customers have high demands on content. But what should you include in the content brief so that creators know what you want and need?
Less effort in marketing production
Structure and content of the content briefing – an overview
Every content briefing should contain information about your company as the client, the target group for the content, and organizational details. However, the core of the content briefing is the details about the actual content. We have summarized the most important points and questions that you should answer in the content briefing.
Details about the client
Especially if you are working with several content creators, details about you as the client are important in almost every content brief. Specify here what industry your company is in and what your USP is.
Information about the target group
If you want your content to reach your target audience successfully, content creators need information about them. Are you targeting new or existing customers with the text, video, or graphic you produce? For more detailed information about the target group, you can also use individual results of your target group analysis. The better the information about the target group, the more precisely the content can be created.
When shall the content be published? What deadlines (internal as well as external) need to be considered? Fixed dates are important to keep the organizational process as smooth as possible. In the same way, you should name concrete contact persons for the content creators who will take over the further coordination process. You should also define in advance how many correction loops are to be included in the order – and in what timeframe corrections must be made.
Exact details of the desired content
If content creators create content for you, the first three structural details are only the smallest part of the brief. The details of the desired content are more in-depth. Here you should rather give one or two more details so that the content meets your expectations as exactly as possible.
1. aim of the content
Define the goal of the content as well as possible. For example, do you want to generate leads? Or do you want to offer inspiration to (potential) customers? Or perhaps you want to position yourself as an expert in a particular field. The goal of your content determines to a large extent how the content should turn out. Therefore, this information comes before the format and other details in the content briefing.
We said it before: the goal determines the format. Or at least it influences it enormously. But so that your:e content creator is not completely puzzled about which format is really desired: state clearly what kind of content you expect. Is it a whitepaper or a checklist that you want to use to generate leads (i.e. downloadable content)? Is it a technical article for an online magazine or blog? Or do you want to make a podcast recording and need a script for it? Ultimately, many different formats are conceivable. Clear communication is therefore all the more important.
As soon as you need online content, the question of SEO automatically arises. And with that, relevant keywords as well as other meta tags like meta title and meta description. For your:n content creator, indicate which keywords, if any, you have already identified in a keyword research. You should also indicate if any additional meta tags are to be created by the content creator – such as the copywriter.
4. wording, tonality and length
One of the most important aspects of the content brief is the wording and tonality of your content. After all, the content should fit your company and be easily identifiable by your customers. The CI should be maintained in any case. A good way to streamline this part of the content briefing is to provide wording and tonality catalogs to content creators via a shared folder, for example, and link to them in the briefing. Last but not least, you should define how long a text, audio recording or video should be. If possible, allow for a margin of +/- 10% of the number of characters or running time.
5. structure and central content
In the content briefing, you should ideally also provide more detailed information on the structure and central content of the content. For example, if a text is to be written, roughly structure the content and write key points about the content that should definitely appear in the text. The same applies to graphics, videos or audio formats and their scripts. A rough overview of the structure and content helps content creators to better meet your requirements right away.
6. research tools
Of course, the structure and central content are usually just the tip of the iceberg. If you already have further research material yourself for the content to be created, the Content Creator(s) should receive this as well. Again, linking to a shared folder with the materials is a good idea. Do you know any particularly helpful web addresses or other contacts for further research? Then it is best to include these as well. Research aids not only support faster content creation, but also ensure that the desired content meets your content quality standards (for example, in the case of study results and their sources).
7. additional information and elements
This point is broad. Therefore, you can list a lot of information here that is or could be important for the content creation. For example, if a technical article is required for an online magazine, you can list or link to the style guides of the medium here. Or you can provide further details on special requirements on your part (e.g. wish for checklist elements in blog posts, maximum headline order, possibly required umbrella line for the headline, etc.). In addition, you can also “brief” other required materials here, such as image elements that are to be supplied directly by the Content Creator.
Whether you just need a text for your blog or website, scripts for videos and podcasts or an infographic: A content brief is elementary to avoid unpleasant surprises during content creation. However, make sure to provide your content creators with enough information during the content briefing. Especially with complex content, it is worth the effort to get the desired result from the copywriter or creator more quickly. In the end, this will also save you additional effort and costs due to many correction loops with the copywriter/creator.