Creative briefs are a common part of the content planning process. They offer the context, goals, and parameters for any content project. If you’re not using them, you may find that your content throughput and operations aren’t efficient. To inspire you, check out these creative brief template examples.
What Is a Creative Brief?
A creative brief is a blueprint document that summarizes a content project. It often contains:
- Goals and objectives
- The target audience(s)
- Target Keyword(s)
- Buyer’s journey/funnel stage
- Formatting parameters (e.g., length, formats)
- Creative direction
- Key messaging
- Competitor notes
- CTA (call to action)
- Distribution channels
A creative brief informs all stakeholders of the project requirements and their roles. When you use them consistently, you can enjoy these benefits:
- More on-time project completions
- Higher productivity for your content team
- Better alignment on marketing goals
- Consistent branding and messaging
- Ability to measure performance
- Reduction of project meetings because all the information is available
Creative brief templates can range in complexity. The more complicated the project and the number of resources involved, the more details a creative brief will need. Flexibility in the template you use is necessary to ensure project team members have the correct information.
So, how difficult is it to create a creative brief template? Before we provide you with examples, keep these tips in mind when developing one.
How to Write a Creative Brief
Follow these steps when writing a creative brief:
- Name the project: You’ll want to categorize each project not just by topic but also by its format, product, audience, content cluster, and funnel stage. Decide how you’ll organize this hierarchy so that your creative briefs are searchable.
- Draft a project overview: This is the “why” for the project. You’ll need to include a brief introduction to the project, why it matters, and where it fits in the sales funnel. You’ll also need the launch date, budget, timeline, and keywords.
- Define the project’s objective: Document the project’s goal or goals here and how you’ll measure performance against these.
- Describe the audience: Next, you’ll assign a target audience to the project based on your customer personas. A project can have one or more audiences.
- Define the funnel stage: If this project is marketing-centric, which stage of the funnel is this more tailored towards? Top-of-funnel? Mid-funnel? Bottom-of-funnel?
- Note all parameters for the project: No matter the type of content, you’ll want to map out the guidelines. For written content, this can include length, formatting, and keyword usage. For more design-centric projects, you may include branding standards or other content to influence the creative aspects.
- Include key messaging: Consistency in messaging is a challenge for enterprise content teams. One study concluded that 31% of organizations struggle with this. If that’s you, then creative briefs can sort out these disconnects. The strategist preparing the brief should refer to key messaging (e.g., value prop, USP or unique selling proposition, elevator pitch, etc.) in your content strategy and/or product marketing message matrices.
- Add any competitor notes: The competitive landscape is vital in some creative briefs. The most common reasons for this would be content that is a comparison piece or content that highlights your competitors’ weaknesses.
- Determine the CTA: The ideal CTA to choose for the project will depend on its funnel stage. Top-of-funnel projects probably shouldn’t immediately try to close new sales. The prospect is likely not ready to buy yet. But bottom-of-funnel assets should drive toward a lead conversion. Note the funnel stage to assign the most relevant CTA.
- Document the distribution plan: How will you get this content out to the world? You may use various channels, including social media, email marketing, paid advertising, home page banners, and content amplification tools. The audience, format, and objective will all inform your distribution plans.
All these components should also align with your content workflows. Additionally, you can use content request tools to capture and streamline creative brief creation. See how one works by viewing the DivvyHQ feature.
Now that you know the basics, let’s look at some creative brief examples.
7 Creative Brief Examples to Inspire
Check out these creative brief templates that can help you develop yours. Keep in mind that different project types will have different fields.
Content Creative Brief (Aha!)
This content creative brief is simple but hits all the main areas. You could add to this if necessary to include any other parameters.
Download it here.
HubSpot Creative Briefs
HubSpot has a free download of several creative brief templates, including one for a campaign, one for video projects, and one for client usage. The video creative brief is worth reviewing if that’s an area of content you want to accelerate but are having issues streamlining.
Get the three creative briefs here.
Creative Briefs for Projects with Copy and Design
In this creative brief, the fields remain mostly the same. It does also provide space for brand voice and visual assets. It could be useful for interactive content projects that require copy and design work.
Find the template here.
Creative Brief with Detailed Objectives and an Appendix
Sometimes creative briefs need to be lengthy. For example, if the project requires lots of stakeholders, research, and assets, your creative brief will need to be more robust. This option is a good example of this, as it has a lengthier objections section. It also includes an Appendix where you can leave further details.
Check out the template here.
Creative Brief with SMART Goals
SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) goals are a standard that many organizations use. If they are important to your content operations, this template includes them as a section. Additionally, it has all the other essential fields.
Review the template here.
Creative Templates Increase Throughput and Content Performance
When you start projects with a defined scope, objective, and context, you can speed up your content operations. Additionally, this consistency can improve content performance. Review these templates to develop your own, so you can reap these benefits.
Looking for more content marketing templates? Check out our post with eight more templates to help you plan and execute content projects.