8 points needed in a creative brief
How to write a great creative brief
For copywriters, translators and designers, nothing’s more confusing or time consuming than working with an incomplete creative brief.
If you’re going to work with a freelancer or an agency, whatever your project is, you need to start by writing a great creative brief. It’s the best way to avoid misunderstandings and get the results you want.
If you don’t know where to start, no problem. We’re here to help. That’s why we’ve listed the key pieces of information needed in any creative brief.
1. Introduce yourself
The people who are going to craft your marketing content need to know who you are. What does your company do? For how long have you been in business? On which markets do you operate? Think of this part of the brief as a summary of the “About us” page on your website.
2. What’s the purpose of this new content?
Explaining what the project is is essential, but you also have to explain what the purpose is. Whether you’re commissioning a blog post or a whole marketing campaign, you’re doing it for a reason. What’s your goal with this content? Increase sales? Conversions? Brand awareness? What do you want to achieve?
3. What’s the main message?
The question could be “what’s the message?” but we know our clients often have several messages they want to convey in their content. For example, if you want to introduce a new product, while mentioning a promotion on something else, while insisting on the urgency… You’ll need to establish a hierarchy. This is even more important if the project involves localisation in other languages and limits for the length of the copy.
4. What’s your tone of voice?
Now that you’ve defined what you want to say, you need to explain how you want to say it. What’s your tone of voice? Should it be formal or informal? Authoritative or casual? And will it be exactly the same for all your channels of communication? Do you use a glossary? Are there words or turns of phrase you prefer or some you don’t want to use at all?
5. Who’s your target audience?
Knowing who they’re writing for is essential for copywriters. What’s your audience gender? Age? Socio-professional category? What kind of customers do you want to attract? If you have created marketing personas, that’s great! If not, you can just describe your ideal client.
6. Do you have existing content?
If you already have some content you can show, don’t hesitate to add it to your creative brief, whether it’s a link to a webpage or screenshots. Compared to the new content you’re commissioning, what should change? And why? Is the existing content an example of a successful campaign? Are you expecting the same results?
7. Who are your competitors?
Let’s have a look outside your organisation. Who are your direct and indirect competitors? Do you have examples of content created by others that you really like and want to emulate? On the contrary, do you have examples of things you dislike to show your copywriters what not to do?
8. What are the specific requirements?
Minimum and maximum number of words (for long pieces of content), character limitations (for banners, tag lines, SEM ads), SEO requirements including keywords, best practice for this type of content, specific guidelines to guarantee consistency with other brand communications… Be as specific as you can be and never assume instructions are implied.
Bonus: deadline, timeline and rounds of edits
Always talk about future revisions before you start a project. Both parties need to agree on a timeline and on how many rounds of edit are included. Giving your agency or freelancer a deadline is important, but it’s even better if you can be more specific. When will the first draft be delivered? Then, how long will you have to provide your feedback? A detailed timeline is the best way to avoid unpleasant surprises.
At Cam’s Writing, we love working in close collaboration with our clients, that’s why receiving a great and detailed creative brief is so important for us.
If you’re still not sure how to proceed, we can help you with your brief, answer your questions and provide you with a template. Just give us a shout!