Have you scrolled through an article, just to get to the right section? Don’t you find it daunting to scan through the whole document? When you are writing an article, and other pieces of content are messy if you do not have the right guidance. That is why it is important to have a strategic plan to write down a well-guided blog post. Or else, it will just contain a whole heap of nonsense with way too much information.
Content briefs have become a crowd-favorite amongst the writing community, and nowadays, they are also used to refine and create high-quality articles for SEO purposes as well. Digital content creators use this guiding document to help plan and gather the right information on what to put on their articles. Writing an article doesn’t necessarily have to consist of clear, concise language, but also, a direction to where it’s leading a reader to. If you don’t have a directional purpose in your articles… you will tend to lose your reader at the next scroll.
What Is a Content Brief?
A content brief is a compiled document in a format that acts as a guide for a content writer on how to structure and write a well-written article. It is often created by a content strategist or an editorial manager who helps to strategically plan and execute the document. Often a content brief seamlessly combines both aspects of direction and content strategy planning to ensure that the content is informative and interesting, rather than some mumbo-jumbo nonsense written on the page.
There are many different ways to create a content brief to help your writers get a basic idea of how they should construct an article. It is really important to get this, mainly because it will not only help the writer but the reader, as well as it will give them a feeling of confidence – leading them to come back and look for other articles. After all, people trust easy and cohesive writing with informative content.
Content Strategists and writers should work, and bare, in mind that going off-topic will affect the marketing strategies that you had in planning for a blog post. Therefore, using content briefs, not only assists with producing the right content but overall, it has to be in line with the wider SEO content marketing strategy in place. However, using too much SEO as well can be harmful to your article. Therefore, as the writer – you must ensure to get the right amount of content out.
A really good content brief will contain the seamless editorial and brand guidelines, your vision for a piece of content, and not to mention, a roadmap on what exactly you should write; rather than aimlessly searching through Google’s SERPs. Content briefs are specific to written articles, product reviews, product pages, and category pages.
How Content Briefs Improve Content Marketing Efforts?
It is common for content strategists to experience the disappointment of receiving work from a writer or editor and discovering that it does not connect with the overall vision of the company or project. From the writer’s viewpoint, dissatisfaction is when rewrites are asked as a result of inadequate instruction from the beginning.
When done correctly, the content brief may reduce – if not eliminate – these miscommunications and the continual back-and-forth that is commonly associated with content development. To maximize the effectiveness of content marketing efforts, content briefs must ensure that whoever is responsible; for producing written content is completely aligned with the objectives of the individual campaign and the content marketing strategy on a high level.
This is especially significant if you are attempting to scale up your content creation, and have several writers and content producers working on a variety of projects at the same time. Briefs provide content strategists, and leaders with a method for producing high-quality output at a large scale, which is essential for laying the foundation for achieving consistent outcomes.
A good quality content brief will give writers a guide on how the following:
- The target audience
- The buyer’s persona
- The brand’s message, tone, and products
- The questions that the article should answer
- Title and subheading suggestions
When the content strategist has all these details aligned for the writer, they get the bigger picture on how they can structure their articles properly and give a better-produced article.
What You Should Include in Your Content Brief?
Content marketers and SEO strategists oversee research to define the material strategy, and how editorial content fits into the whole scheme of things. Following the research process, particular content pieces are mapped out into content plans and planned out on a content calendar, which serves as a visual representation of the material. Writers may then go to work on the content creation process itself. This is when the briefing process comes into play.
Each content that you intend to send out to the writer, must have a content brief included as it will help the writer get the right message across to the reader. Plus, this will also help execute and work with your strategy and that is to drive results like – organic traffic, social reach, and better performance following the content.
The content brief is the link between research and actual content creation. This also gives an impact to help writers have a perfect example of what needs to be written rather than going haywire over what to put into the articles. Briefs are what helps to drive traffic and optimize content, to its full potential – hit a homerun with the content they create!
This also helps content managers to spend less time editing and optimizing the copy. It also results in higher quality content that can help fuel and grow your optimum reach for your business. Using an AI tool can help to get the best-sought keywords which can help the content strategist to create and make better content briefs overall.
Content length can vary from article to article. The average length of a piece of content is around 810 – 1000 words according to a 2018 SEMrush study. At the same time, the study says that you’d need an average of 1137 words for a better ranking. Content length can be a factor if you use precise comprehensive and topic-related ways to ensure that your content is informative
If you don’t have a particular context in mind, there are some approaches you may use to come up with anything
- By looking at Quora, reviews, and Google’s most frequently asked questions on your subject topic, you may do audience research to identify the most pressing issues that your clients are experiencing.
- Consider conducting a poll on your social media platforms to find out what topics your fans are most interested in reading about.
- Examine the material produced by your competition. Conduct a keyword gap study to identify terms that your rivals rank for but for which you do not rank. You’ll be able to obtain information on areas that your website does not already address.
- Repurpose the material of your competitors to make your articles more actionable and helpful to the reader.
- Use content ideation tools to identify the most popular themes that will also score high in search results.
When creating your content brief, keywords are an important requirement. And how would a writer know the keywords you want your content to rank for unless you tell them? A smart approach is to do keyword research before providing your writer with a list of guidelines you want to appear for on the first page of search results.
Preparing a list of keywords is the first step, with your seed keyword appearing at the top of the list, followed by long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords with high search volume and CPC, as well as low SEO difficulty, should be considered when doing a keyword search.
Make sure to provide keyword search volume so that the writer can determine which keywords should be included in the headers, body text, URL, and meta description of the page in question.
Tone of Voice
When you first write a blog, you must ensure that the style you are using reflects the brand’s voice. That includes the type of language you use, and what type of tone you want the blog to have? Using a tone of voice can help a lot of people understand what exactly the article is about. Be it a technical, casual, or even just a witty tone. It should resonate with the message you are trying to convey.
If you are new to blog writing, take some time to play with the tone, research on how you would like to sound, and what type of tone readers respond to as well. There are many ways in which you can ‘play’ with the tone. Just ALWAYS make sure to keep your audience hooked on the brand, and make changes for each niche. Experimentation is KEY when building a fan-based community.
What do you expect from your article? Or rather what is the purpose of your content brief? When you first create a brief, always ask yourself what it is that you want your audience to feel? What is the intended result of your blog?
If your article is meant to attract readers to your blog – there is a high chance that you would choose a ‘catchy’ title and use a WOW factor that you may have to use to capture your clients. Whereas, if it is for your regular reader – you might want to use a useful blog, where you want to give your readers an insightful article.
Even if a writer is familiar with your industry, don’t assume that they will know all the ins and outs. A firm may want to write about a ‘specific’ post but if you do not inform your writer on who you are targeting, they might not know where to start and end. Writing somewhat needs direction or the article could easily go haywire and, you may not know why
Links and Statistics
When you are writing a blog, always ensure to give the writer a reference link or guide as to how it should be written, or else they may have an overload of information that they will put into the blog. Oftentimes, ensure that you have a source of good information when it comes to writing. Adding statistics can help in terms of readers within the country; to let them know where to go, or how much it will cost. Don’t assume that writers will find it or write it on their own.
If you are hiring a freelance writer often, they may accidentally link your blogs with your competitors. There are instances where you should make note of, or rather inform your writer on which websites/businesses you should avoid. Consider writing a side note on the brief, saying ‘Do not share links to these brands’ Listing your competitors as a way to introduce your writer to know which articles to not research on as well.
Examples of Content You Like
Plenty of expert writers will ask prospective customers to submit samples of work they think suit best for their industry. This might be stuff that you’ve written or content that someone else has posted on your blog. It can be from a rival blog, or even from another source online with no link to your sector.
Share at least one or two links to stuff that you think suits you best, and then describe what you like about it. Do you enjoy the tone, or that it’s heavy with loads of statistics? Do you believe that it provides amazing examples or case studies? Again, the more the writer understands, the better they can offer what you’re wanting to see the first time around.
Visuals are important to the writer, as this will give a basic idea of what type of photos that they can use for the blog. Stock image websites that you are familiar with or you think to provide good and relevant images for your blog. Consider using these websites:
What You Should Pay Attention to for Writing in SEO Purpose?
When you are preparing a content brief or rather writing, you must make sure that you have the SEO guidelines in place; especially when you are trying to write for SEO purposes. After all, conjuring a blog post with an SEO purpose isn’t the same as writing for your blog. Here is a list of tips that you should take into consideration when writing for SEO, as it will help you to drive traffic and reach more audiences.
Headings (Including Meta Titles)
Headings – include all things title and heading related. It is just the structured data that the readers don’t see. But, Google’s crawl index does. For better rankings with Google, you have to ensure to optimize your structured data, which will give you a guided tour on how your website will look to the visitors on your website.
A readability score helps to keep the writing tone and style in check. The harder the words on a page, the more likely it would be for a reader to lose interest. At the end of the day, nobody would want to search up definitions on Google. Keep your blog posts in simple English, with proper punctuation and grammar.
Keyword Volume and Positioning
Keyword volume is a general term, of the volume or (numbers) of searches for a particular keyword at a given time. There are at least 6.5 billion searches per day in Google; which means that the keyword density is probably 2 trillion searches on a global scale. A keyword search volume provides marketers with a general sense of competitiveness over a keyword.
Keyword positioning is when you have a keyword in Google for a given time. In other words, it refers to the position in search results for a certain keyword, or search phrase that you are now in. The competition for the same keywords is challenging, and your task is to convince Google that you are the best in your field.
Link-building is the process of generating backlinks from other websites, which go back to your website or blog. Links are seen by Google as equals to positive votes for your website. The greater the number of positive votes, the higher your site’s ranking in search engine results will be.
Images And ALT Images
ALT images are ‘alternative texts’ for an image. These are most probably used to describe whatever the image is representing. One of the main functions of ALT images is that it helps for the benefit of impaired users on the internet to look through and who use screen browsers to read. Whereas, images are used to make a website look professional or ‘put together as it will help to tie all the written elements on the screen together. Some graphic content can include:
- Statistical reports
Meta Description is a snippet of a brief or a (summary) which will help guide a reader/visitor to your site or not. When you are writing a meta description – you must make sure to enter the keyword within the context. A meta description can be any length, but Google only optimizes the first 155 – 160 characters. Hence, it is better to get a basic idea of how much you should add on.
To put it another way, a listicle is an article written in the style of a list. Typically, a listicle would have a few phrases or numerous paragraphs for each item on the list, and it is intended to either educate or pleasure readers.
Words Number refers to the word count that you have to write. There is a standard word count of 1500 – 2000 words per blog post. You should always make sure that you get the exact amount of word count or (else) you may have to keep writing and well, your article will not make the cut.
Having a content brief, therefore, will be beneficial to writers, who can get the most out of using the directional guide that they need. When you first start writing for a specific topic. A content brief can give you a set of rules on how you can achieve that specific goal. Hence, it can be used to write more quality content.