A website & marketing materials are worthless without great content produced by an even greater copywriter.
It’s a task not to be taken lightly when it comes to showcasing your business, its objectives and its offering and there are many factors to outline when beginning a copywriting project. You want to start off on the right foot with a copywriting brief which outlines your audience, tone, message and the deliverables you require.
This will help you to communicate your brand voice and tone guidelines to your chosen copywriter, as well as inform them of your expectations and feedback. Having a well-considered copywriting brief saves you time, money and the avoidance of writer’s block, and is there to help ensure the copy provided is aligned with your marketing goals.
Keep reading for tips on creating a copywriting brief that works.
Define its purpose
The first step you want to take when writing your copywriting brief is to define the purpose of the copy needed. What are you trying to achieve? What action do you want the audience to take after reading? And, how will you measure its success? Be as specific and realistic, avoiding generic or vague goals. For example, if you are encouraging your audience to purchase or register for something on your website, ensure a clear and concise call to action is featured in the copy.
- The purpose of the copy is to meet the goals of the business itself. Don’t let the purpose of your copywriting be suited to one medium, or you’ll end up spending time and money rewriting your brief to better suit all the places your brand may have to end up utilising copy for.
- The purpose of your copywriting should be a S.M.A.R.T. goal – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and utilise a timeline.
- Without defining the purpose, or objective of your copywriting, the end product won’t be effective and the effort put in will be a waste. Be clear on what you want to achieve.
Understand your audience
The next step to undertake is knowing your audience. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who exactly are you writing for?
- What are their needs, wants, pain points, and motivations?
- How do they talk, think and feel?
- How do they consume information and make decisions from it?
- What challenges are they facing?
Utilise data, research and consume profiles to conduct a clear and detailed profile of your perfect customer.
- Be as specific as possible when it comes to your audience targeting. Targeting too broad of an audience will cause you to produce copywriting that doesn’t connect or engage anyone.
- A great audience persona should include both quantitative measurements (age or location & qualitative measurements (like their dreams and desires).
- If you’ve never created an audience persona before, consider using Open AI’s ChatGPT to help you. All you have to do is prompt the tool with your business and the purpose of your copywriting, and it will generate an audience persona based on the knowledge it’s collected.
Set your copywriting tone
The third step to take in writing a copywriting brief is to set your tone. How do you want your brand to be perceived by your audience? What emotions do you want them to feel? What personality traits do you want to reflect? How will you differentiate yourself from your fellow competitors?
Your tone should be reflective of your brand voice and values, as well as meet your audience’s own preferences and expectations. For example, if your product is fun and quirky, you may use a humorous and lighthearted tone. Whilst, if you are selling a luxury product, you want to reflect sophistication and elegance within the tone of your copy.
- Setting the tone should be the easiest part of writing your brief. You should already have an understanding of how others perceive your company, and you want to match this.
- If you’re struggling to identify the tone of your copywriting, imagine it as a person. Is it funny? Serious? Informative? Take these human personality traits and align them with your brief.
- You’ll be creating content year-round, so be sure your tone works in all seasons, rather than on occasion annually.
Carefully craft your message
The next step in writing a copywriting brief is to carefully craft your message. What key points do you want to communicate to your audience? What are the key benefits of your products or services? How do you address your audience’s pain points? How do you create a captivating call to action?
The message you share should be clear, relevant, and concise and focus on the benefits of your offering rather than its features.
It’s important that your overall message aligns with your business purpose. It’s very easy to get lost in the clever copy and mask the goal of the communication. You want your message to be effective and clear at the same time!
Be specific on your deliverables
The penultimate step in writing your copywriting brief is to be specific in your deliverables. What formats, channels, and platforms do you require copy for? How detailed and long should your copy be? What are the milestones and deadlines for the copywriting project? Are there any technical and creative requirements/specifications for your copy? And most importantly, how will you provide your feedback and revisions to your copywriter?
Every deliverable should be realistic, within reach, and aligned with your audience and business purpose.
Share your brand resources
The final step within your brief is to share your brand resources. What can you provide your copywriter with to help them understand your brand, product, audience and market? Do you have style guides, templates and a list of best practices to help them follow your tone and message? What tools, systems and processes can you use to work collaboratively with your copywriter during the process?
Your resources should be easily accessible and useful to the project, and help your chosen copywriter deliver fantastic copy that meets your every need and expectation.
Thanks for reading,
Myk Baxter, eCommerce Consultant