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  • Writer's pictureSarah Turnbull

How Do I Write a Creative Brief for a Copywriter?

Woman sitting at desk with elbow on knee, looking at the camera

When engaging a copywriter for your project, providing a well-crafted creative brief is essential to ensure they understand your vision, objectives and desired outcomes. A comprehensive creative brief helps copywriters to deliver compelling and impactful content that aligns with your brand and resonates with your target audience. It saves you both time and money and is a really valuable part of the overall project.

Read on to learn about the key elements you should include in a creative brief, which will help you clearly communicate your requirements and maximise the potential of your project.

Creative Brief Information You Need to Provide:

Project Overview:

Begin your creative brief with a concise overview of the project.

Provide background information about your business and values and what the specific project is for. Tell your copywriter what you’re aiming to achieve – whether it be relationship-building, increasing sales, educating your audience, launching a new product or re-positioning yourself in the market.

The more information you can give at this stage sets the ‘boundaries’ for the project and makes sure that everyone's on the same page.

Target Audience:

Identify and describe your target audience in detail. Outline their demographics, pain points and motivations. Share insights about their preferences, challenges and the key messages you want to convey. This information will help the copywriter craft content that resonates with your audience and prompts them to take action.

When I understand a client’s target audience, I then create a ‘persona' - an actual person I’m writing for and to. The more information you can give in your creative brief about your target audience’s likes and dislikes at this stage is hugely beneficial for shaping the copy that’s going to be produced.

Tone of Voice:

Specify the desired tone and voice for the content. Whether it's funny, casual, formal, enthusiastic, matter of fact or authoritative, clearly articulate the personality you want to convey through the writing.

Personality elements that sit under these headings are:

FUNNY - Witty, Quirky, Cheerful, Animated

CASUAL - Friendly, Conversational, Easy-going, Relaxed

FORMAL - Professional, Straight, Trustworthy, Accomplished

ENTHUSIASTIC - Upbeat, Excited, Lively, Vivacious

MATTER OF FACT - Pragmatic, Practical, Direct, Reasoned

AUTHORITATIVE - Serious, Informative, Decisive, Confident

You can also share examples of existing content or brands that you like where the copy gives you a good feeling. Your copywriter can take all this into consideration and build the styles into the copy they create for you.

But remember, it’s much easier to reproduce the tone of voice if it’s authentic to you and your audience. Don’t try to be something you’re not, it’ll be hard to keep it up across other channels if it doesn’t reflect the real you!

Key Messages and Value Proposition:

What’s the message that you’re trying to get across? Outline the key messages and unique selling proposition (‘USP’) that should be emphasised in the copy.

And don’t say it’s that you're committed or passionate. URGH!

"Loads of people say this, so it’s not exactly unique and it’s not like you’re going to say you’re neither of these things, so your copywriter and audience should be able to take this for granted!"

Clearly communicate the main points you want to convey and the core benefits your audience should take away from the copy. Highlight any specific features, solutions or brand differentiators.

Content Format and Length:

In your creative brief, tell your copywriter the format and length requirements for the content. Whether it's a blog post, website copy, email newsletter or social media caption, if you provide the expected word count or any other relevant guidelines, it makes the copywriter’s job easier and also aligns earlier on with your expectations. This ensures the copywriter can tailor their writing style and structure the content appropriately.

"And don’t forget: Less is more! We’re a nation of scrollers. People have really short attention spans so my recommendation is that shorter is better. Your audience will thank you for it!"

SEO Considerations:

If search engine optimisation (‘SEO’) is a priority, provide relevant keywords, key phrases or topics that should be incorporated into the content. Share any specific SEO guidelines or requirements related to meta tags, headers or internal linking. This information will help the copywriter optimise the content for better search visibility.

Remember though that gone are the days of the late noughties when copy was packed with keywords for SEO (thank god!). Google is looking first for readability and, more importantly, so is your target audience. Your copywriter will know this!

Brand Guidelines and References:

Share your brand guidelines, including visual assets, logos, fonts, and colour palette. Provide examples of existing content or writing styles that align with your brand's voice and personality. This will help the copywriter maintain consistency and ensure that the content reflects your brand’s identity.

Deadlines and Budget:

Clearly communicate the project timeline, including any specific milestones or deadlines. Give the copywriter a clear understanding of the expected turnaround times for drafts and revisions. If you have a budget for the project, provide that information upfront to help the copywriter plan accordingly.

So, in summary, writing an effective creative brief for copywriters sets the foundation for successful collaboration and the creation of impactful content.

A well-crafted brief fosters clear communication, aligns expectations and paves the way for top-quality content that engages your audience and drives desired outcomes. Time spent on your creative brief for your copywriter is time well-spent!

Like to know more about how I put a project together? Book a chat, I'd love to get to know how I can help. From copy to content, brochures to blogs and everything in between, I can craft effective copy to help make you more money!



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