In the advertising world, the creative brief is typically a one-page document that encapsulates the objective, tone, and purpose of a creative project. It is given to creative teams to inspire their best work in order to satisfy clients and solve their marketing challenges.

A solid, well-written creative brief could have been the catalyst behind Injury Free Nova Scotia’s NotAMagicGoat campaign. Imagine the brief that inspired the straight-to-the-point antics of this Stihl advert.

What if we flip this concept on its head?

While creative briefs fuel behind-the-scenes encouragement for creative teams to come up with their next memorable ad campaign, we can use a similar strategy to inspire or influence users via great content.

Keep an eye on objective, tone, and insight.

One of the best briefs that I’ve ever worked with (in my very brief time working as an ad creative) contained different sections that promoted creative neuron firing across accomplishing an objective, reinforcing the brand’s tone, and melding all that creative juice together with some insight about the audience. This way, the creative work is resonant with the audience and solves the marketing challenge while promoting the brand.

I believe that these criteria can be applied to offline and online content, creating benchmarks for success.

OBJECTIVE: When you create a new piece of content, how does this piece accomplish any of your personal or business objectives?

TONE: Does the experience of your content fit the overall mood and flavor of your brand?

INSIGHT: When your user comes across your content, what do they do about it? Do you understand their need enough to provide content to help inform, inspire, or persuade them how you’d like?

It works because you should completely know your audience.

Creative briefs are salient because they inspire great work by providing relevant consumer truths and other juicy bits of information to creative teams. Of course, a lot of this information is derived from consumer research, some assumptions, and testing. Bright account members take this information and weave it into a custom-fit idea seed that leads to some powerful work.

Content should be approached in a similar way. Before anything is created, content managers and creators should ask themselves if they know they are right about their audiences. If they don’t know enough about their users, then research is a must.

Once sufficient research is conducted and collected, maybe a content brief could be created as a rulebook to consult. This way, the content will deliver a concise tone, solve a specific objective that will be resonant with audience since its creation relies upon knowing the user and their needs so intimately.

It’s hypothetical, but beautiful, no?

[sources: Osocio, The Inspiration Room]