Handy-Dandy Guide to a Better Content Marketing Brief

by Gerry Moran

My great grandmother Michaelena always told me when I was growing up as a young boy, “Gerry, if you want better content, then you need to figure out a better way to ask for it!”

Content Marketing Brief | MarketingThink.com | @GerryMoran

Little did I know that this grandmotherly advice would translate into a beneficial content marketing strategy.

I find many B2B organizations linking business units to the feet-on-the-street sales organization without effectively integrating content into this supply chain. The hierarchy might be efficient. However, many times the content marketing strategy misses the mark. The right message does not get delivered at the right time to the right audience on the right channel.

The Content Marketing Research Tells Us We Need Relevant Content

  • 89% of B2B decision-makers say personalized content (e.g., company, industry, category) is a key influencer (Source: ITSMA)
  • 68% of B2B decision makers depend on the content more this year than last year (Source: Demand Gen Report)
  • B2B decision-makers want to consume at least 5 pieces of content before they make a decision (Source: IDG)

This research tells us that content is the key ingredient in this supply chain is not optimized; thus is underperforms.

For example, have you ever asked someone to write a blog post to support a marketing event or campaign? If you have, then you know the sometimes frustration of not getting what you asked for.

Here’s a handy-dandy guide to help you create better content!

10 Things To Include In Your Content Marketing Brief

Consider these ten briefing inclusions to help your writers develop the most efficient copy for your social media strategy:

  1. The working title of this blog post or content is [INSERT TITLE HERE]
  1. The target audience reader for this blog post is [INSERT TARGET HERE]
  1. This target audience is at THIS place in the sales cycle [EARLY or MID or LATE]
  1. The key question this blog post or content to answer is [INSERT KEY QUESTION HERE]
  1. A simple Google search that might lead to this post might be [INSERT A SAMPLE GOOGLE POST YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE MIGHT — USE TO FIND THIS CONTENT]
  1. The key take away the reader should have from this blog post is [INSERT KEY TAKEAWAY]
  1. The keyword needed to be included in the title, subheads, and integrated with the copy is [INSERT KEYWORD HERE]
  1. The hashtags needed to be a part of the supporting tweets are [INSERT COLLECTION OF HASHTAGS HERE]
  1. The key reference page on which this blog post needs to be based I [INSERT PAGE NUMBER OF THE REFERENCED MATERIAL]
  1. The key research facts (try to integrate 1-3 key facts) to be incorporated into the blog post or content. [ATTACH FACT SHEET]

Do you have a content creation trick of the trade to share? If so, please share it below!

What’s The Content Marketing Lesson To Learn?

My grandmother also used to tell me that the marketing supply chain is only as strong as the weakest link – and you cannot afford to have content that does not deliver! So, the big lesson to learn is to work with your supply chain to help them assist you with better content by giving them a better brief!

There is one thing for sure. Hope is not a content marketing strategy. You cannot throw requests over the wall and hope for great stuff. It’s incumbent on you to provide clear direction to your writers and content creators. After all, you are the subject matter expert.

Gerry Moran is a social media and content marketing strategist who's worked for large global brands and digital agencies. He's spent significant time in hands-on marketing leadership roles with HBO, IKEA, Ralston Purina, Kodak, and numerous digital agencies. He spent his last ten years working at SAP and Cognizant, where he built their content marketing operating models, developed social media training programs, and helped thousands with their LinkedIn makeovers and personal branding strategies.

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