How to Write a Content Brief (Template + Example)

Creating content for your website is a great way to grow your online presence. But how do you exactly assign content to writers while ensuring that you receive the best possible content in return? That’s where creating great content briefs comes in.

In this article, we’re going to cover the basic elements of a content brief and provide you with a content brief template to use, and show you an example of a content brief that was completed, assigned, and now ranks #1 for its focus keyword.

What is a content brief?

A content brief is a document that provides information for writers on how to write a specific piece of content. Content briefs can be used for various types of content including articles, white papers, press releases, web pages, and more. 

Why use a content brief?

Content briefs are valuable as they improve the likelihood of your content succeeding by ensuring that whoever is writing the content is aligned with the goals of the content.

Without a content brief, there is less clarity for the writer, and therefore a higher probability that they will write content that isn’t congruent with your overall content strategy.

Content brief template

Here is a content brief template for you to download and use.

The format of a great content brief

There’s no “rule” for creating content briefs, as each piece of content is different, and each writer or team you work with requires different instructions and details.

The following structure for a content brief covers all your bases and should provide your writers with all the information they need to write any type of content.

This can be adjusted based on the content type you’re creating. For example, “SEO keywords” and “metadata” isn’t so much applicable to a white paper as it is to an article. 

Let’s get started.

Content for

This is the URL the content is for – e.g https://example.com/ 

Content type

This is the type of content – e.g “article” or “white paper”. 

Topic

This is the topic the content is about – e.g for this article, the topic is “content briefs”. 

SEO keywords

These are the keywords that your content is based around and aiming to have a high search engine position for. This is applicable to content that aims to rank high in search engines, such as articles, web pages, and product descriptions.

Focus keyword

Each page should have one clear focus keyword. The focus keyword is the main keyword you want your content to rank for. This is usually the most frequently searched keyword of the main “theme” your content will cover. 

Secondary keywords

Secondary keywords are keywords closely related to your focus keyword. These may be worded differently and mean something slightly different, but have a search intent that aligns well with the focus keyword – e.g “content brief template” (focus keyword) and “content brief” (secondary keyword). 

Metadata and slug

The metadata and doesn’t always need to be all filled out before assigning content. Often a meta title will be assigned, and then a writer will provide the meta description and slug.

Meta title 

The meta title is the title that we aim to show in SERPs. It’s good to keep this between around 50-60 characters, and include the brand name at the end and the focus keyword near the beginning. 

Meta description

The meta description is the description below the meta title and is usually best to keep around 80-160 characters. The purpose of it is to entice people to click on the page. 

Slug

The slug is the portion of the URL specific to the page in question. Often the meta title is used as the slug, or the focus keyword or a secondary keyword.

English type

This simply describes the English type to be used – i.e US, UK, AUS English

Length

This is the word count you want for the content piece.

This can either be a strictly fixed word count – e.g 1,200 words, or more commonly, a range to write within, e.g 1,600-2,000 words. A range is usually better as this allows writers to write what’s needed as opposed to an arbitrary fixed number. 

Target audience

The target audience is who the content is for – e.g “content marketing manager“, “content manager”, “content marketing director”, “head of content”, “content marketing specialist”.

Objective

The objective is a concise description of the content’s aim. This is good to have as a reference point for writers so that they can ensure all the content they write falls back to this main objective.

Call to action

The call to action is the primary action you want users to take after reading your content – e.g “request a quote”, “share the article”, “download X”, “call us at XXX-XXX-XXXX”.

Internal links

Internal links are the pages on the same website you want to link to. This section may also provide instructions on the specific “anchor text” to use. For example, https://writingstudio.com/blog/content-marketer/ may be the URL we want to link to, and “content marketer” may be the anchor text we use.

Headings

Headings are used throughout the content. When it comes to articles, web pages, and other content on your website directly, these may be marked with specific HTML headings (H1-H6). Having a clear heading structure provides context for writers so they know what to write about.

Competing content

These are examples of content you like that are similar to what you want to produce, and are usually examples that are performing well (e.g an article that’s ranking #1 for your target keyword).

Notes

This section is simply for any further notes that don’t fit in with any of the standard sections in the content brief.

Content brief example

Here is a content brief example for you to check out.

The bottom line

Content briefs are an important part of creating the best content possible and giving writers the information they need to write content with clear objectives. 

While a content brief isn’t necessary, and sometimes a topic and length is sufficient, having a brief is a great way to make life easier for your writers and stay more organized. There’s no rule about how to create them, but hopefully, this guide has given you a good place to start.

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