A good content marketing project brief in hand is worth at least half a dozen meetings on the books. It provides guidance to every member of the combined content creation, production, and promotion team. It’s the flag around which everyone can rally.

That means a good content marketing project brief is itself a project, because it tries to anticipate all the questions the team may ask. Brainstorming the answers to those questions before assigning a writer, editor, designer, or other member of the creative team invariably brings up other questions.

Start by asking the 5Ws and 1H of basic information gathering. Following is a list of some questions to consider. Once you’ve worked with these, the next best step is to put together a project brief template to ensure every piece of content hits the mark.

Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • Who will be reading or consuming this piece? Ideally this answer points to a buyer persona that includes that individual archetype’s pain points and issues, how they like to consume information, and how they define success.
  • What action do you want readers to take after consuming this piece? Content for content marketing is organizational storytelling with a purpose—it has to be actionable.
  • When are readers most likely to need this information? In the beginning of their buying journey when they are just starting to look for solutions or toward the end when they are short-listing options?
  • Where will this piece of content live in your content ecosystem? Will it be the starting point for several new pieces of content or does it piggyback on another asset that’s already developed? Where will it be promoted?
  • Why do readers need this information? Does it offer a new perspective, new data, new insight? Content doesn’t live in a sterile vacuum; what seemed like a good idea when you put together your editorial calendar last quarter may need some fine-tuning or new focus to be relevant today.
  • How will you measure the success of this piece? Think beyond the basic transactional stuff like downloads, likes, and shares to how this piece can contribute to strategic goals such as more conversions, reduced time from capture to nurture to sales qualification, and how the cost of content production compares to results.

Of course a good project brief also includes all the necessary tactical details too, like which technical and creative resources will be required, what primary and secondary resources provide background, and which subject matter experts should be involved, as well as a workflow, budget, and timeline. Combined with information that speaks to the purpose of each piece, a well-constructed content marketing project brief can help you maximize your resources and create better content.

Want to learn more about how to sharpen your own content marketing practice? Download Building a Blueprint for B2B Content Marketing Success to learn more.