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How To: The Brief

Seven questions you should ask yourself to help shape the perfect brief

July 2021

3 min read

So, you’ve chosen a content agency to create your new campaign, and an invite has popped up in your calendar – Briefing Call 9 AM. Some companies might refer to it as a ‘kick off call’, while others may want to do it face to face. Regardless, it’s your opportunity to explain your vision to people who are keen to do the best possible job for you.

 

But what do you need to prepare? Is it an informal ‘getting to know you’ type meeting, or is there work to be done? Ultimately, it comes down to that age old equation – you get out what you put in.

 

By preparing yourself for a briefing you dramatically increase your chances of achieving your desired results.

 

Take a look at these seven key questions you should be asking yourself each time you prepare for a brief, and you’ll be able to perfect your campaign every time.

1. What are the objectives? 

You probably already know the answer to this question, but it’s best to clarify your thinking ahead of the briefing. You don’t need all the answers, but a strong reason for undertaking the campaign will help the content agency find an answer to the problem you’re trying to solve.

 

It could be that you want to explain a complicated product in a simpler way. You might want more website visitors, or maybe you want to increase email sign ups. Whatever your ambition, try to keep it to a single sentence that you and your colleagues all agree on and flesh out the details during your discussion. You might have a general idea but, with a little digging, it will translate into something more tangible. ‘We just want to get our name out there’, for instance, can quickly become ‘we want to hit our quarterly sales target’ and so on.

 

Not only does knowing the ‘why’ behind your campaign help to focus energy and discussion around what’s important during the briefing, but it will also help you in other areas too. You’ll be able to more clearly define the audience to target, as well as the tone and style that will resonate with them. You’ll also be able to more accurately determine whether your campaign was a success…

 

2. What does success look like?

By setting a specific goal for your campaign, it will be far easier to decide whether you’ve achieved your objectives. Think about how you want to move the needle with your campaign, whether it’s the number of new customers you attract, how many people visit your website or whether people take advantage of a specific promotion you’re running. Not only will this help you with your immediate assessment of the campaign, but it will enable you to learn from it and apply that knowledge to your next campaign. A good content agency will always help you to think about what worked and what didn’t and suggest ways to achieve greater impact.

 

3. Who are you talking to?

You know better than anyone who your current and target customers are, and this is crucial information to share at the briefing stage. If you’re not sure, take the time to gather this information from sales analysis, reports or surveys you may have run. With a specific persona (or a few of them), you can help your content agency to develop a campaign that triggers the right emotions in the right people and lead them to take action.

 

It’s worth spending some time thinking about what your audience needs, how they think, act and feel so your campaign can be tailored as if it’s speaking to them individually. Consider things like whether you’re targeting consumers or business customers. Ask yourself what motivates them and think about the challenges they face. In a world of short attention spans, knowing your audience can help you create a campaign that speaks to and engages them while also avoiding tonal and stylistic choices that could put prospective customers off.

 

4. What does your brand look and sound like?

A strong objective and a defined target audience will feed into discussions around your brand voice and identity. Again, this may be something you’ve already identified, in which case sharing what you have will be valuable. It will help with decisions on voiceover artists, colours and animation styles, tailoring them to your company’s mission and your audience’s preferences. With confidence in your brand voice and its identity, you will generate trust from customers.

 

5. Where will people see your campaign?

In addition to determining certain technical aspects of your campaign, knowing where it will be shown is also important when crafting its content. Will it be shown on social media where the sound will be muted by default? If so, it’ll need to work harder to get people to turn up the volume or work just as well without audio. Does it need a stirring soundtrack to engage a conference audience? If it plays automatically on your home page, are there key messages you want to ensure are visible right away?

 

Considering where people will see your campaign will help the content agency to maximise its impact as well as provide different versions of the campaign where possible, such as shorter edits for social media and longer cuts for a captive audience.

 

6. What do you want your campaign to make people do?

The Call To Action (CTA) is arguably one of the most important elements of your campaign. It’s the difference between someone watching all the way to the end and doing nothing or choosing to act. With a clear idea of your campaign’s objective and how you’ll measure success, the action you want them to take should become clearer. Whatever you choose, the action you call for should be direct and clearly tell the audience what they get if they do so, whether it’s receiving a discount or accessing more detailed information.

 

A solid CTA is proven to increase conversion rates and boost ROI, so it’s certainly something you should be clear on from the outset. For example, KISSmetrics found that a CTA included within a video increased clicks by 380% by comparison to those on the surrounding page.

 

7. Who will be working on the campaign?

Feedback from multiple sources and divergent opinions can quickly derail a campaign’s progress. By putting together a team of in-sync stakeholders and, ideally, a single person to lead the campaign, both communicating your brief and applying edits will be far easier. If possible, all involved should be present for the initial briefing to ensure they’re up to speed and aware of the decisions made. Of course, there won’t always be a complete consensus, but a group of actively engaged individuals will always be better than seeking feedback or sign off from someone who wasn’t even aware the campaign was being made.

So, there you have it. Seven great ways to get your brain ticking before you brief the campaign. Why not save this post or write a list so you have the information to hand every time you begin a campaign?

 

The questions can be applied to other creative campaigns, too and, when you’ve answered them once, your responses to the broader brand questions shouldn’t vary too wildly, so it’ll make your life easier and more efficient too.

Who are The Like Minded?

The Like Minded is a team of established strategists, analysts, writers and core creatives, each with their own ability and flair. We create responsive, fresh ideas to rocket your success, covering all channels and cross cultures, serving first-class animation, film and graphics to clients all over the world. By taking the time to really get to know you, your aspirations and frustrations, we use our Combined Minds approach to deliver and surpass your expectations.

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