Regardless of the size or scale of the project at hand, you want your copywriter to produce content that’s right first time around.
There’s nothing more frustrating, or time consuming (for both parties), than having to make endless revisions, particularly if you’ve got a tight deadline to meet.
One of the ways you can help ensure you receive copy that meets your objectives and timescales, is to produce a comprehensive brief. Not sure of the type of detail your brief should cover? Read on for best practice advice on the key areas to include:
The background basics
To help the copywriter get a feel for your business and work it’s always useful to provide them with the basics on the nature of your business. What’s your offering? How established are you? How do you differentiate yourself from the competition? Where does the content sit within your wider marketing communications strategy? What are your key messages?
While you may have a clear vision of the content deliverables, the copywriter won’t have any inkling of this, especially if they’ve not worked with you before. However, this shouldn’t be an issue if you’re clear and concise about the content you require. Questions you might want to ask yourself include, what’s the output? Is it online or offline? Is it an eguide or white paper? If you need a flyer, then is it A4, A5, one-sided or double-sided?
Do you want to generate new sales, raise awareness of your brand/business or drive traffic to your website? What should the main takeaway be? Being informed of your objectives will help the copywriter produce content that’s geared towards achieving them as opposed to generic copy that will add little strategic value.
Who are they?
One of the most fundamental pieces of information you can provide your copywriter with is insight on who they’re writing for. Which buyer personas are you targeting? What are their demographics, behaviours, attitudes and pain points? If you’re issuing an eshot, is the data going to be segmented to allow for more tailored content?
What do you want them to do?
What’s more, what do you want the target audience to do after reading your content? Book an online appointment? Make a purchase? And is there a specific deadline they need to consider? Include the exact details of your offer/call to action.
Why should they listen/take action?
Do you have any particular facts, figures or other proof points you can leverage? Or perhaps you have a relevant unique selling point or compelling argument? If so, cover it in your brief.
There’s no such thing as too much information when briefing a copywriter. Other factors you should consider, include:
- What tone of voice does the content need to be written in? Snappy and straight-talking or chatty and personable?
- What are you expecting to receive? One eshot or three blog posts?
- Do you have any specific instructions on the selling points or structure?
- If you require a letter or eshot, who’s it coming from and what’s their job title?
- Is there a word count?
- What are the contact details?
- What format does the copy need to be supplied in? Who to and when by?
Last, but not least, it’s always advisable to learn from your content wherever possible. For instance, if you need an eshot, do you have the details on how your last one performed? Providing your copywriter with detailed feedback on open rates/responses relating to any similar previous content will enable them to really refine your new content.
While writing a brief for your copywriter may seem like somewhat of a time-consuming task, it’s a valuable action that’ll save you time in the long run, help avoid endless rounds of amends, and help ensure you receive copy that hits the mark, first time around.
Got any questions or want to find out more? Or perhaps you’d like to discuss your copywriting requirements with me? Get in touch by completing the online form, emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling me on 07810 636 748.
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