14 Feb How to Brief a Copywriter
Content creation is a fast-paced field that demands skill, speed and SEO knowledge. Gone are the days where copy just needed to sound good; it now needs to sound good and be well optimised for search.
This is precisely why you should always brief your copywriter thoroughly before tasking them with a new project. As frustrating as it may be, even the most talented content creators can’t read minds.
To help you out, we’ve put together the key elements of a brief that hits all the marks, promising to give your copywriter everything they need to deliver perfectly crafted content.
Tell the copywriter about your brand
Open your brief by telling your copywriter who they’re writing for. They need to feel connected to your brand in order to fully echo its ethos and values. You don’t need to go overboard here, but information on how long you’ve been in business, your market position and best-selling products will provide your copywriter with a useful insight to get started with.
What’s the purpose, audience and message?
Provide your copywriter with a solid overview of the purpose of the content, its target demographic and its intended message. By supplying this information in the brief, your copywriter will be better informed to reach out and engage your audience. We’ve broken it down for you below:
The purpose of your content may be to inform, motivate, clarify, or explain, for example. Really think about why you’re commissioning the content and what you’re hoping to achieve from it.
Key audience demographics might include the age, gender, location or profession of your target audience, as well as any other relevant information.
Defining the message of your content requires a little more thought. Think about how you want the audience to react to the content – do you want them to feel empowered to act, motivated to buy or informed to make a decision? The answer to this question is likely to strongly dictate your content’s tone and message.
What’s the required style and tone of voice?
So, you’ve laid down the intended purpose, audience and message for your copywriter. Next stop: style and tone. Key to creating content in line with your brand, defining your desired style also ensures consistency throughout your content. Buffer details the subtleties of style on their blog, which range from adopting a certain quotation style, to capitalisation techniques.
Tone of voice essentially determines the way in which you communicate with your audience. Do you prefer to use a humorous tone? Serious? Playful? Punchy? Check out our blog post covering the basics of how to define your tone of voice for more help on this.
What’s the USP?
Your unique selling point defines the brand’s unique position on the market and helps copywriters to nail SEO. Talented copywriters will take the USP and run with it, researching competitors and getting inspiration from the best ideas out there. Think about why your brand has the edge over the competition and be sure to include this information in your brief.
Does your copy need to be SEO-friendly?
The way in which we create and consume content has changed significantly over the years. SEO ensures ROI is buoyant, so the chances are your content has SEO copywriting requirements that your copywriter needs to know about.
Are there certain keywords to include? Terms, phrases or product names? How often should they appear? This information forms a core part of your brief. Whatever your keyword requirements are, make sure your copywriter knows about them.
Do you want your copy to include images, infographics or graphs?
If the effectiveness of your content depends on a visual aspect, include links to images in your brief and let your copywriter know how you want them to work together.
Are you looking for captions, or should the copy refer to the images in a more succinct way? Nailing down these finer details in your brief will reduce post-editing required later on.
What’s your CTA?
A well-written CTA encourages the reader to click-through and perform the desired command. For this reason alone, it’s a crucial element in your content. Take a look at Moz’s thoughts on ways to improve social and subscription CTAs for a little inspiration.
What do you want to compel your audience to do? Buy your product? Sign up to your newsletter? Subscribe to your service? Detail this in the brief and a good copywriter will create a clickable CTA to finish off a great piece of content.
Briefing a copywriter essentially involves taking a step back from your brand and looking into it from your audience’s perspective. Arm up your copywriter with the tools they need to excel in their craft. This may feel like a daunting task before you get started, but trust us; you’ll reap the rewards in the form of relevant, engaging content.