How to Brief a Copywriter for Successful Content
Bringing a writer onto your team is a great way to save you time and money because you can put your focus back on other tasks. That said, it’s important to invest time at the beginning of your relationship to brief your writer effectively.
Well-briefed writers are more likely to write on-point, work more independently and require less assistance. A writer who is well informed of your expectations and goals is more likely to create content that truly resonates with your audience, and ultimately helps in reaching your content marketing goals.
A great writer’s brief means getting clear on which details are most important, so your copywriter can do a great job. Here are some areas you need to cover when creating your next writer’s brief.
Introduce your organization and brand
If you’re hiring a freelance copywriter or a new team member, you need to brief them very clearly on who you are as an organization and how your brand reflects that. The writer will be representing the integrity of your organization online, after all.
Providing details on your brand will give the copywriter the insight they need to translate the tone and voice of your business into compelling, on-brand content. This will also ensure consistency with all of your other marketing collateral, including your website.
Outline your goals
Ideally, if your team has been creating content for some time, you’re already clear on the purpose of your content and its goals. Now all you have to do is communicate them to your writer. This step is especially important, as it outlines your expectations for your working relationship with the writer moving forward.
Be very clear on why your team is writing this particular piece of content. For example, it might be to increase awareness of the challenge or pain point your target market faces. It might be to increase sign-ups to your newsletter. Or it might be to help prospects see how other similar companies use your services.
Getting clear on your goals from the get-go will mean less miscommunication as the process moves forward, and it will support a smoother content workflow.
Highlight your target audience
The better your copywriter understands your target audience, the better they can produce relevant and powerful content that your readers will care about and want to read.
If possible, provide your writer with a persona of your ideal customer. This will help your writer really step into your customers’ shoes, allowing them to create the kind of content your readers find most useful and interesting.
Introduce the project and the key messages
It’s important to take the time to properly introduce the project to your writer before the project begins so that everyone is on the same page. Points to cover should include:
- goals and audience (as discussed above)
- format for the content (for example, blog, PDF, etc.)
- topic of the content and any background information that will help in writing the piece
- key messages
- workflow for revisions and approvals
- due dates for first drafts and final drafts
When providing key messages for the content, keep it concise—ideally in bullet point form. This should tie back to your business goals for the content and what you’re trying to achieve with the content. What are the main points you want the reader to take away when reading the content?
Provide all relevant guidelines for formatting and structuring content
Educating your copywriter on the proper formatting of your content is key to maintaining a consistent appearance online. Some of these content guidelines include:
- minimum and maximum word count
- appropriate sections (title, header, 2nd header, body, etc.)
- use of keywords for SEO
- any industry-specific terminology or language that should be used
- editorial style guide
Prepare your writer to maximize your marketing success
Freelance copywriters can help you scale your content marketing by providing you with a consistent flow of well-researched, high quality content. When a copywriter is well briefed, it makes for a smoother production process, and more compelling and engaging content for your customers.
Have you ever created a formal (or informal) writer’s brief? How was that experience for you?