Briefing your content writer to get the best results

Hayley Shave a Director at  The Bridge Marketing, is an ardent believer in the power of good content to boost your marketing.  The ability to build value into your brand and communicate that value to clients through marketing content is essential to the long-term success of businesses.

Having good, powerful content will help your business in many ways… if you can get it right. Great content has the potential to:

  • Boost your SEO – Google does love fresh content!
  • Raise your profile and build your brand
  • Convert website traffic to sales
  • Attract new visitors to your website
  • Stimulate demand for your products
  • Engage and build trust with your current customers or clients

Finding Mr or Mrs Write…

Content creators/writers are easy to find these days. But, if you want a writer who writes compelling, accurate and memorable content, you need to do your research.  Ask members of your industry for recommendations, search social media, write a creative job description and advertise on freelancing sites.

Once you have found the perfect scribe for your project (and before they put pen to paper), you will need to create a compelling brief.

You might find that creating the brief can often take longer than writing it yourself, but if you don’t take the time to properly brief your content creator, you will end up with a lot of back and forth.  And, if they charge by the hour, it can become an expensive business.

As our talented, freelance copywriter, Graham Fielding adds; “It really doesn’t matter if the information you provide ends up in the finished article.  It’s a case of, the more we know, the better our creative response will be.”

What exactly is a Copywriter brief?

In the simplest terms, it’s a document that ensures your content writer ‘gets it’. The brief will be a write-up of everything a forthcoming project should require. It should give all the background material, as well as all the requirements and expectations for the project.

A good briefing will reflect the unique tone of voice of your business and separate you from the competition. It should sit well with your target customers and encourage them to respond.

You will find below a copywriting brief/template that I turn to whenever I have a project that requires a great deal of thought and understanding. These are questions I ask and the reasons I ask them:

      1. Who are You?

These pieces of information may seem basic to you, as you work with your business every day. But it’s important that your copywriter understands all the major points up front.

  • What type of business are you? What is your size? How long have you been in business?
  • What is your market position, do you have a USP? Who is your competition?

What products or services do you provide?  Who is buying from you?

      2. Who are you writing to?

Your content writer needs to know what drives a typical client, why do they purchase your product or service?  spend some time on profiling your typical client or customer get the tone of voice right.

      3. Type and length of content

Let your copywriter know what you want.  Is it a newspaper article, website content, case studies, a blog post, press release or marketing materials?  Based on experience, your content writer might suggest the right amount of copy needed for the project.

      4. Subject

Now the important bit.  What is your article about? What do you want to promote? What insight do you wish to convey?  Defining the message of your content requires thought.  How would you like the audience to respond to the content? Do you want them to feel empowered to act, motivated to buy, or informed to make a decision?

      5. Call to action

This is WHY you want your content written! 

You have to consider what you want to compel your audience to do. Sign up to your newsletter? If you can detail this carefully in your brief, a good content write will create a clickable call to action to complete a great piece of content.

      6. Keywords

Search engine optimisation (SEO) can be the difference between making it onto page one or slumming it on page 15.  Research and convey what search terms or keywords you want to be included.

      7. Deadline

Do not say ASAP.  Your content writer is not superhuman.  You need to plan your content carefully and give your writer at least 14-days’ notice.

At the Bridge Marketing we have a toolkit of ideas and proven methods to hone your marketing strategy for the coming months. Speak to a member of our team today and we can make your marketing plain sailing.