A user-friendly online store, an intuitive app, a persuasive newsletter: to reach their final form, all three formats need the help of a copywriter who understands the audience and the medium. The goal: content that triggers the readers’ emotions, that makes them enthusiastic about the brand or product, and that encourages them to make a purchase. And to produce this content as quickly as possible – after all, time is money. However, taking the time to put together a good brief will ultimately pay off with a much more convincing result.
How to work efficiently
It would certainly make life easier, but sadly, copywriters don’t usually have psychic powers. They don’t know what you want if you don’t tell them. The way to get a good text is to give them as much information as possible about the intent, the format and the target audience. This is the fastest way to the success you want, with minimal feedback loops, less frustration and lower costs.
Rules for a successful briefing
Before you commission a text, it’s worth thinking about a few basic things:
Is it aimed at:
• Teenagers looking for cheap, fashionable clothes?
• Well-off over-50s planning for their retirement?
• IT project managers making purchasing decisions?
• Middle management staff looking to use particular services?
Is it for:
• Social media?
• A product brochure?
• A company video?
• A white paper?
Do you want to:
• Expand the reach of your channels?
• Generate new business contacts or customers?
• Establish your own company as an expert voice in the industry?
• Make yourself visible online via search engine optimization (SEO)?
How do you want your text to sound?
• Serious, businesslike, intelligent?
• Friendly and approachable?
• Bold, snappy, sales-oriented?
• Entertaining and funny?
These four examples make it clear how the feel of a text can change as you adjust the individual parameters. Here are a few other points to keep in mind to help make your brief perfect:
• Terminology: do you use a corporate language? Do you have a style guide?
• Look and feel: in what context will the text appear? If possible, provide images and graphics
• Define the length of the text
• Provide additional information, e.g. the previous newsletter
• Provide information about the competition
• Specify anything that shouldn’t be mentioned
• Deadline: the more time you leave, the better
See your product with fresh eyes
Creating a good brief takes time. If you spend that time thinking about your product, you’ll be able to describe it as accurately as possible. Besides making life easier for your copywriters, this offers another big advantage: you end up seeing your product from a different perspective and discovering inconsistencies or neglected characteristics that are perfect for marketing.
Make it a relationship
You should have a good relationship with your copywriter; only close collaboration can help you communicate as accurately and successfully as possible. That’s just how we approach it at Supertext: we know our language professionals, and so we know what they can do. We maintain a close relationship with them – which you also benefit from. And we have a detailed outline for our copywriting briefs, so all you have to do is fill it out.
Cover image via Unsplash (CC0)