HOW TO WRITE A CONTENT BRIEF TO INSPIRE YOUR CREATORS
Updated: Mar 29, 2019
A lot of content for brands and businesses is commissioned piecemeal, one video, blog or infographic at a time. This is problematic because it suggests a lack of a joined up content strategy. However, sometimes, due to structural, budgetary or procurement issues it’s unavoidable but often results in briefs like these:
"We just need an opening video for our conference."
"We just a need a blog about our office move."
"We just need an infographic about our growth."
Commissioning piecemeal may be unavoidable, bad briefs aren’t.
First up, use of the word ‘just’ implies you don’t really care about this piece of content, so why should your creators? Every piece of content is an opportunity to connect with your customers, partners or staff, drive them a little further down the funnel or your company a little higher up their consideration, so let’s brief like we care.
Secondly, asking for a video, blog or infographic only tells the creator about the medium but nothing of the purpose, audience or usage of the content, all of which play a vital part in its success. You work in your company full time, your creator doesn’t. You have a reservoir of knowledge built up over years in your role or industry, they don’t. You have access to customers and data, they...well, you know what I'm getting at. What they do have is an ocean of creativity waiting to be unleashed all over your brief, but you need to help them do it constructively otherwise they'll drown it in irrelevance.
Great content comes from combining your deep insight with their broad creativity. Both are required for success. So go deep, share more, and give your creator everything he or she needs to produce great work. Even if your budget is a little as S$1,000; a grand misspent is a grand wasted! Sometimes restrictive parameters can form the breeding ground for even greater creativity; but only if the shortfall in cash or time is topped up with information.
So, how do we fix this going forward? Below is a list of questions that, when answered, will result in a info-packed brief that your creators will love you for:
GOAL Why are you commissioning this content? What’s the outcome you’re looking for? Views? Feedback? Leads? How do you want people to feel once they have consumed it? This will profoundly affect the concepts and construction of the content.
AUDIENCE Not just who they are but what they like in terms of titles, formats, mediums and frequency of content. If you have embarked on a content initiative before, what did you learn and how can that help your creators improve this time?
PLATFORM What platform or platforms is this content intended for? Increasingly each platform, be it your company website or blog, YouTube channel, Facebook or LinkedIn page, Twitter, Insta or Snapchat feed has its own spec and preferences in terms of aspect ratios for pics and video, or tone and style for blogs. If you want to publish your content to multiple platforms, remember to reserve some budget for “reversioning”; the process of optimising the content for each platform.
CONTENT. Asking for a video, infographic or a blog doesn’t actually tell the content creator what you're expecting to find inside of that video, infographic or blog. Is your video an ad, interview or highlights reel? Is your infographic about people, processes or results? Is your blog an article, announcement or opinion piece?
METRICS . What’s important to you in terms of performance? There’s no point in making something to go ‘viral’ if what you want is leads because 99% of the audience won’t be relevant to you. Similarly there’s no point in creating something super niche and detailed if you're simply after maximum views or likes.
To make it even easier I have created a free, downloadable briefing template for you here that I implore to use with your creators. Let me know how it goes and if you’re looking for more content strategy and storytelling solutions check out www.mooreslore.com.