Content brief templates are essential tools in the content creation process. They provide a structured framework for organizing and guiding content production, helping to streamline the entire process.
Whether you are a marketing strategist or a freelance writer, content brief templates can greatly enhance your content creation efforts.
What is a Content Brief?
A content brief is a guide for writers, showing what to include in a piece of content. It covers topic, keywords, and audience, but can also include goals, outlines, and links to resources.
Having clear expectations and working with multiple writers or agencies maintains consistency in brand messaging and tone.
A content brief is essential for giving information to writers so they can make impactful content that meets your goals and deadlines.
What is a Content Brief Template?
A content brief template is like a pre-made form that helps content creators organize all the important details when planning a piece of content. It’s a necessary information that saves time and makes sure you don’t miss anything crucial. By using a template, content creators can create consistent briefs every time, making it easier to manage their content production schedule. Plus, they can reuse parts of the template for similar projects, avoiding the hassle of starting from scratch each time. The template also helps establish the tone of voice for the content, ensuring that it aligns with the desired outcome and target audience.
Who should use a content brief template?
A content brief template is useful for creating content. It helps everyone from product marketers to VP of marketing planning. These templates are helpful for any job level in your B2B SaaS business.
Usually, two main roles use these templates: [roles mentioned].
As a marketing strategist, you need to find keywords and create content strategies that help the business. One way to do this is by using a content brief template. This template helps you share your ideas with the writer in an easy-to-understand way. It also helps the writer see how their piece fits into the big picture. With this template, the writer can make content that matches the content marketing strategy and needs less editing time.
Content writers may sometimes receive limited information like “we need a blog post about our product’s benefits” without a content strategist.
To ensure everyone understands, the writer should use content brief templates and share them with important stakeholders. These templates save time and trouble later on while ensuring that everyone knows what to expect from the content.
Why are Content Brief Templates so Important?
A content brief template is like a recipe for a cake. It helps you make something delicious. Writers get frustrated when the brief is unclear because they don’t know what the company wants.
Using a content writing brief template is super important for these reasons:
Prevent Rewrites and Reduce Revisions
Content briefs and marketing templates are essential for keeping everyone aligned and saving time. They provide writers, especially new ones, with all the necessary information to avoid mistakes.
Provide details about your target audience, search intent, marketing strategy, brand, brand voice, and competitors to get started. These details are crucial for creating high-quality content. Include them in your website content briefs to avoid rewrites and minimize revisions.
Ensure all Requirements are Met
Content brief templates are like a to-do list for your content. They help writers not miss anything important while creating content. The brief should have SEO things like keywords and section titles to help the content show up well online.
It’s also vital to have editorial guidelines, so the writer knows who they’re writing for and why. Templates help ensure all these important things are included.
Creating a content brief from scratch takes a lot of time. Detailed briefs lead to better content, but it means more work for the planner. So, using a template can speed things up.
It helps you reuse parts you use often, saving time on creating a new brief. Templates make it easier for everyone to find what they need fast. Editors can use the brief to check everything’s included by the writer. If something’s missing, they can ask for changes using the brief, saving revision time.
What to include in a Content Brief?
A content brief template helps writers create great content by providing all the necessary information they need to know. Instead of asking questions, the template should answer all their queries.
Here are 8 things every content brief template should have:
Step-by-step guide for content brief templates. A working title is the best way to clarify the topic. Include your main keyword, but it is adjustable. It gives a starting point and shapes the content. For example, “5 Reasons a SaaS Business Needs a CRM” provides focus on why this tech is important for target customers.
Stay organized with your content schedule by sharing deadlines and due dates upfront. Your brief should clearly show the first draft’s due date and when the content will be published. By doing this, writers can raise concerns if deadlines are too tight or there are any issues early on.
Do you know what you want your content to do? Define its main aim.
When you set clear goals, your writer can create content that suits your needs.
For instance, if you want people to know more about your brand and expertise, your writer can include quotes from important people in your company.
If you want to make content that turns potential customers into real ones, consider where they are in the buying decision process. To determine this, think about when people start having the problem you’re trying to solve – there are three main times.
People usually start having a problem when they first notice it, when they think about how to fix it, and when they decide what to do. Knowing which stage they’re in helps your writer ensure that the content’s messages and calls-to-action match its purpose.
Writing content that appeals to your target audience is more likely to incite action. But who is your target audience, and why do they care about your message?
For B2B SaaS companies, blog posts can be made for specific industries, company sizes or job titles. Content planners might focus on customers with high profits like those with high CLV or ROI. Companies in a particular industry that spend more on your product or stick around longer should be targeted in your marketing content, making blog writing an essential aspect of your content strategy.
Your brief should clearly explain the content’s topic and key points. You can specify areas of focus in a content outline to engage your audience. Also, highlight any related topics or points you’d like included. Organize your ideas well and include additional materials or sources for the writer to use. Make sure to include all this information in the brief.
Let’s discuss the appearance of the blog post. Here are some things to consider:
a simple discussion or a list of points? Do you want details to be well explained?
How should the text look?
- Keep in mind how long the post should be.
- The length affects how helpful it is for readers.
- For guides, longer posts with more details work better.
SEMRush found that 3000-7000 word posts get twice as many views and 24% more shares than shorter ones (Source).
But remember, longer posts take more time to write and not everyone wants to read a super long article.
Last but not least, the brief should give the writer any useful tools or documents they might need, like templates, style guides, or key messages.
Having accurate content is really important for building trust with customers. That’s why it’s crucial to do research and fact-checking. We suggest giving writers some links to relevant research and starting points to help them begin.
How to include SEO Focus in a Content Brief Template?
SEO is important for B2B content as it helps your blog and articles show up in search engine results pages (SERPs). More people will see and click on your content, increasing organic traffic and benefiting your business and audience.
However, many content managers don’t think about SEO when making content briefs. Experienced writers may know about SEO, but including specific SEO focus in your content brief template can help them target relevant keywords and optimize their content for better search engine results.
Include primary and secondary keywords in your brief
Step-by-step guide for content brief templates: remind the writer about your focus keyword. The SEO writer will use it naturally, not randomly. No need to add keywords after writing—it’s not that simple anymore.
Identify opportunities to target featured snippets
Have you ever searched on Google and seen “People also ask…“? Or the featured snippets? They show common answers to questions pulled from web pages.
To help your writer, give a clear and simple answer if your article is answering a frequently asked question. This will tell them where to focus in your brief.
Make your desired goal or action clear in your brief
Finally, your brief should include a clear call-to-action. CTAs are important for converting readers into customers and improving SEO. By guiding readers to explore your site, visit a landing page, or contact you, they are more likely to stay longer.
This signals value to Google and improves your search rankings.
Impressive, isn’t it?
Include an SEO cheat sheet or list of best practices
As a writer, you may need help with SEO. Provide them with an SEO cheat sheet. Include guidance on headings, paragraph length, style tips, and meta descriptions. Match your content brief to your SEO plan to reach your SEO goals.
What do most People Fail to include in a Content Brief Template, but Should?
A good content brief is crucial to getting the right content. It gives clear instructions and keywords to the writer, so you don’t waste time or money later on.
Our writing service can help improve your brief, leading to higher search rankings and traffic.
Make sure your template has everything the writer needs by adding these 5 extra items to your content creation brief.
As a B2B SaaS marketer, you know what you want your content to do. But have you thought about how you want people to feel after reading your blog posts?
Maybe you want them to feel happy or satisfied because they finally found a solution to a problem that’s been bothering them.
This is the emotional outcome, which is an important consideration in the buyer journey. Include this in your content creation brief for a strong bond with your audience.
When you write your content brief, think about your company’s bigger mission. Take Apple, for example. They don’t just sell easy-to-use computers and smartphones. They’re about challenging the norm and making things better.
For SaaS companies, your ‘why‘ might be about changing the old ways of doing things and making it easier for people to work better. Make sure your content brief shows this bigger purpose of your company.
Add some external links to your competitors’ content in the writer’s brief. This way, the content writer can see what other companies in your industry are doing right—and maybe not so right—in their blog posts and ebooks. It’s a great way to make sure your content is on point and covers all the important info.
The best content is like a story—it grabs your attention and keeps you interested. When you’re making a content brief, think about the story you want the content to tell. Just like a good story, it should have a beginning, middle, and end.
For instance, start by talking about a problem and how it’s affecting the industry. Then, share some smart ideas on how to fix it.
The content brief isn’t just about listing what the content should have. It’s also a chance to show how excited and ambitious you are about the content—and to motivate the writer.
If you want to publish the best guide ever on a topic, tell them! Let the writer know you believe you can make it happen together.
How to Create an SEO Content Brief?
To Create an SEO Content Brief follow the steps below:
- Choose the Right Target Keyword: Pick 1 main keyword that you want the content to focus on. This should be a keyword with decent search volume that’s relevant to your site/business. Use Google’s keyword planner or other tools to research options.
- Make a List of Secondary Keywords: Identify 5-10 other keywords and phrases that are related to your main keyword to include throughout the content. These help search engines understand all the topics covered.
- Conduct a SERP Analysis: To create better content, search your main keyword on Google and analyze the top 10 results. Look at the types of content that are ranking and what they focus on. Also, consider their length for ideas on improving your own content.
- Create Your Tentative Outline: Structure your content piece with an introduction, main sections around secondary keywords, and a conclusion. Aim for 300-500-word pillars of content.
- Make a List of Internal Links to Include: Include internal links within your content to improve search engine indexing and distribute “link juice” across your site. Aim for at least 2-4 internal links.
How to Write a Content Brief?
There are two ways to fill out an article brief template: you can do it yourself, or you can have your writers do it.
Which option you pick depends on many things, but here, I’m assuming you’ll be the one filling it out for your writers.
Write down the suggested title of the article here. The title might change later, after the writer finishes the draft, but this will make sure everyone agrees on what’s going to grab people’s interest and make them want to read the post.
Apart from the target audience, I think this is the most crucial part of the brief. This sentence tells your writer: “Here’s what you need to include in this piece.”
Keeping it to one sentence makes sure it doesn’t accidentally become a mini-outline. (Though some editors do like to include mini-outlines in their briefs.)
“Understanding your audience” is super important in content marketing. What you write here will be different if you’re making content for businesses (B2B) or regular consumers (B2C).
For B2B content, you’ll want to ask:
- What industry are they in?
- What’s their job?
- How much do they know about the topic?
- Where are they in the buying process?
- What’s their problem? / Why are they reading this?
For B2C content, you’ll ask similar but slightly different questions:
- What’s their age, gender, and other details?
- What are their interests?
- Where are they in the buying process?
- What’s their problem? / Why are they reading this?
For example, for this article, I might write:
“Blog editors who are new to the job or looking to improve their skills. They know about content briefs but want a better template for their needs.”
If you have a content funnel, you can also mention where your reader is in it.
Even if you’re not aiming for lots of people finding your content through search engines, it’s still good to make it SEO-friendly. Having a main keyword will also help your writer know what the main idea of the article should be about.
Secondary keywords often come up naturally as the writer works on the article, but mentioning them here does two things:
- It helps the writer think of different ways to say the main keyword (how many times can you say “revenue growth plan” in one article?).
- It helps the writer think about other topics related to the main one that could also be included in the article.
Once again, it’s a good idea to use SEO tools to find these keywords.
This is what you see at the top of your internet browser and in search results. It should be no more than 65 characters long and can have your company name to make people aware of your brand (although Google sometimes shortens company names in search results).
SEO Meta Description
This is the short blurb you see under the title in Google search results. Google might not always use it, but it’s your chance to grab attention beyond just the title. Also, Google highlights any matching keywords from the user’s search, so it’s good to include one here.
Usually, your SEO description should be around 155 to 160 characters to fit nicely without being cut off.
Word count can be tricky, so we include some standard language saying that it’s just an estimate. You don’t want writers to focus only on hitting a specific word count. It’s more important that they focus on getting the message across well.
Especially if you’re working with newer writers, make sure they know these are just estimates. Saying something like “~1,000 words” is better than giving a range like “1,000-1,200” words.
The range might make writers feel pressured to add extra stuff or cut out helpful information just to fit the number.
If you manage a blog, you likely know all the articles on it (like me!). But your writers might not. If there are certain articles you want them to link to, list them here.
You can still add more links as you edit, but this first step does two things:
- It helps your writer see what similar articles you’ve already published, so they don’t repeat things.
- It gives them more ideas to work with.
There are a couple of reasons to add links to articles from your competitors:
- It helps the writer make sure they’ve covered all the important points.
- It helps the writer see where they can add more information that the competitors haven’t included.
If there’s something you really like (or don’t like) about the competitor articles, you can mention that here too.
The last part of the template is called “Notes.” It’s purposely general—every article is unique, and you need a place to put those specific comments about each one. This is where you can do that.
How Should you Fill out a Content Brief Template?
Now that you know what parts to put in your content marketing brief template, you can start filling it in.
Here are 4 things to remember as you do:
Be clear and concise
The aim of the content brief is to give the writer clear directions so they can make content that you like. To do this, you should be very clear about what you want—and also what you don’t want.
But don’t be too controlling in your brief. You want to give the writer what they need to make a good post, not tell them exactly what to write.
Know your Audience
When filling out the content brief template, prioritize your target audience. Consider their preferences when deciding on the topic and writing style.
Ensure that the chosen audience aligns with your desired customers. Also, consider which stage of the buying process you are targeting as this will influence how your writer prompts action.
Set Realistic Expectations
It’s important to be realistic about what you expect from both yourself and the writer. If you expect too much in terms of deadlines, how many words to write, or how detailed the final piece should be, it can cause frustration for both of you.
Be open to new ideas and different viewpoints. Collaborate with the writer for the best content. Understand what parts of the brief can be creative and be clear about non-negotiables. The writer’s ideas can improve the post, so keep restrictions minimal.
How do Content Brief Templates fit into Content Marketing Workflows?
Content briefs streamline the content marketing process by providing writers with all the necessary information upfront. By using a template, you can save time and avoid creating new briefs every time. The content brief template is an essential part of the content marketing process, helping to keep everything organized and efficient.
Let’s explore how content brief templates fit into the typical content marketing process:
The beginning of the content marketing process involves researching to understand how content fits into your overall plan and what strategies will work best.
In this step, you should create successful content, analyze keywords to identify important topics and words. Study competitors to understand their strengths and improve upon them. Determine what your target audience is searching for and create problem-solving content that leads to success.
Next, plan how each content piece fits into the big picture and schedule them on the editorial calendar. During this stage:
- Determine the goal of each content piece, who it’s for, and what problems it solves. Decide on the desired reader action.
- Create a timeline for writing, editing, and publishing each piece. This ensures an organized and consistent content schedule.
Content Brief Template
To create your content, start by filling out a brief for each piece. This connects your research and planning to the writing process. Using a template ensures you include all necessary details, saving time on revisions.
After planning, the writer uses the content brief to write the piece. The brief should contain all necessary details. Searching for information elsewhere slows down the writing process.
The editor checks the piece using the content brief as a guide. If changes are needed, revisions can be made quickly using the brief.
Once the content is edited and approved, it’s ready for publication. Before publishing, review the content brief to ensure proper keyword usage. Additionally, follow other SEO rules outlined in the brief, such as using appropriate titles, descriptions, and tags on your website.
Content Brief Examples
Here is a content brief example for an article on the “best headphones for gaming“:
Content Brief Example: Best Headphones for Gaming
Topic: Best headphones for gaming
Hosting Site: yoursitename.com
Company: Your Site Name
Content Goal: Provide an informative guide to help gamers choose the best gaming headphones. Cover key factors to consider and recommend top headphone models.
Target Audience: Gamers looking to buy new headphones, especially those new to headset shopping.
Buyer’s Journey Stage: Consideration & Decision. Readers are researching headphones to purchase.
User Intent: Informational and Transactional. Looking to learn about gaming headphones and potentially buy.
Tone: Conversational, with some gaming lingo. Friendly and enthusiastic.
- Intro – Overview of gaming headphone benefits & buying considerations.
- H2: Important Features for Gaming Headphones
- Sound quality, microphone, comfort, compatibility, wireless vs wired, budget, etc.
- H2: The 5 Best Gaming Headphones of 2022 (with subheads for each)
- Model, price, pros/cons, summary
- H2: How to Choose the Best Headphones for You
- Prioritizing key factors based on your needs
- Conclusion – Final tips & recommendation
Keywords: gaming headphones, best gaming headsets, headset for gaming
Word Count: 1,800-2,500 words
Title: 55 Character Title with Primary Keyword
Meta Description: 160 Character Description with Primary Keyword
Internal Links: Related headphone reviews
Sources: Headphone brand sites, gaming sites, audio sites
Content Brief Template – is it worth using one?
Content brief templates are useful for staying focused and achieving objectives. They act as a roadmap to your goals. Writing without a template can be freeing, but having structure is essential if you want your content to be discovered. Templates ensure essential elements are covered, including user experience. They align with your SEO strategy, include keyword instructions, and relevant topics coverage.
Free Content Brief Template:
Are you looking for a free content brief template? Look no further! We’ve got you covered. Use our template to stay organized and save time on revisions. It includes all the necessary details to guide your research and planning, ensuring a seamless writing process.
With this template, you can confidently create high-quality content that aligns with your SEO strategy and user experience goals. Don’t miss out on the benefits of using a content brief template.
Download it now and start writing like a pro!
How Long Should a Content Brief be?
A content brief should ideally be 1-2 A4 pages, adjusting based on content length and topic complexity. Keep it concise with bullet points and link to sources/examples to save time. Avoid getting too detailed; lengthy briefs can defeat their purpose and lead to overwriting.
How Much Time Should You Spend on a Content Brief?
The ideal time spent on a content brief is 30 minutes to one hour, but it varies based on the topic and complexity. Some topics need more detail or involve keyword research, leading to longer times. With practice, you’ll get faster, and working repeatedly with a writer helps gauge the needed direction.
Should You Build Your Own Content Brief Templates?
Building your own content brief templates can save you considerable time. By pre-filling sections like company background, brand tone, and target audience, you streamline the content creation process. Then, you only need to update specifics like word count and keywords for each piece, making production more efficient.
Is there a Difference Between Content Briefs and Creative Briefs?
Content briefs are like creative briefs, but for a single written piece, like a blog post. If you focus on writing content, use content brief templates. It’s important to specify the type of content the brief is for, such as an article or landing page. This tailors the brief to meet your specific needs and goals for the content, including the content goal.
Does the Writer really Need a Content Brief?
A content brief is necessary for a writer to understand the target, avoid excessive communication, and prevent extensive rewrites. Without clear direction, writers may struggle and create subpar content. A detailed brief sets the right path and aligns work with your goals.
A content brief is vital for good content creation. It helps writers know what they are doing by providing clear goals and objectives. A content brief should include the working title, deadlines, goals, target audience, and specifications to succeed.
Including SEO focus in the content brief through keyword research, SERP analysis, and internal linking strategies can help optimize the content.
Emotional outcome, competitive analysis, and storytelling can also add depth to the content. A comprehensive template streamlines the workflow and maximizes effectiveness.