How to Write a B2B Copywriting Brief17th May 2022 / All, How To
In the bustling world of B2B, nothing is more important than your communications. Your audience is busy and unlikely to waste time on content that isn’t concise, informative, and useful to them.
Hiring a professional copywriter is the obvious solution. They have the skills and knowledge to tailor your message and present it clearly.
But developing a B2B copywriting brief is no small thing. It takes time, and that might be time you don’t have.
In this blog post, we’ll be going over how to brief a B2B copywriter effectively so that you’ll yield the best results. Additionally, we’ll look at ways you can make the process as painless and time-efficient as possible, allowing you to focus your attention back on what you do best.
First, let’s look at the basics.
How to find the B2B copywriter that’s right for you
Businesses are looking for concise and understandable communications that will capture their attention, and that can be hard to do when you’re selling a complex product. B2B copywriters are masters at transforming complex information into simple yet effective copy.
But don’t they need to have a good understanding of what they’re writing about?
It’s common to think that flawless product knowledge is the key to writing informative comms, which is why a lot of businesses attempt to do their copywriting in-house. But being too close to the product or service you’re selling can actually be a major issue. It makes it harder for you to see things from an outsider’s perspective, and it’s that perspective that you’re trying to appeal to.
While some content may require a specialist B2B copywriter – such as highly academic copy, for example – in most scenarios that is not the case. Copywriters are curious creatures, and fast learners, and they will quickly know enough about your business to communicate it effectively. They will need a little guidance, of course, and this is where your B2B copywriting brief comes into play. You should use your brief to provide the purpose of your content, as well as all the necessary information your copywriter needs to understand the context, including previous content, papers, or relevant research.
This may sound like a lot of work to do for each and every piece of content you produce, and you’re right. If you want to work with someone who understands your business, there is another option, and that is to build a long-term relationship with a copywriter. This can offer a lot of value, as they quickly build up expertise and become familiar with your business and brand. It can also save you time in the long run when it comes to future briefs, as you’re copywriter will already have a pre-existing understanding of your audience and content needs.
In need of a B2B copywriter? Book a call with us today to discuss your content requirements and we’ll match you with one of our expert B2B copywriters.
What to include in your B2B copywriting brief
When it comes to writing your B2B copywriting brief, there are some hard and fast rules for what to include – essential stuff, like the title, deadline, length of piece, etc. You can see these listed below.
Here is a free template that you can download and use, which works for any B2B copywriting brief you need to produce.
Simple yet essential details:
- Content type: Surprisingly, this is one that is often forgotten about. While your B2B copywriter is capable of a great many things, what they cannot do is make business decisions for you (although we are always very happy to advise as part of our content strategy work). Whether it’s a blog post, a product brochure, or web content, decide on this first and let them know from the get-go.
- Context: Is this a one-off piece or is it part of a series?
- Length: What’s the word count? How many pages should it be? Or is there no limit?
- Target audience: e.g. sector, seniority level, extent of knowledge/expertise in the market – who is the audience, your ideal customer/reader?
- Source material: If your copywriter should want to familiarise themselves with the topic, this is where you can provide them with the information/expertise to support this content. Please provide any documents, links to websites or files, interview recordings, event information, etc. Or, provide details of an expert to be interviewed to supply this information. Often the best B2B copywriting comes from interviewing the experts – asking them the right questions really helps to get to the real story.
- Tone of voice/brand guidelines: You may have guidelines for this already in place, but if not you should discuss the tone of voice with your copywriter so that it fits your brand.
- Deadline for first draft: There will be a conversation about this depending on the length of the piece as well as the copywriter’s schedule, but generally speaking it could be as short as a few days for something like a blog post, or a few weeks for something longer, like a whitepaper.
- Any additional information: e.g. keywords for website content, phrases or words you like/dislike, layout preferences, template designs, etc.
These are the basics that you must always include, but you won’t want to take too much time on these. Instead, you should focus your attention on more critical areas – things that will affect the impact and results of your piece.
Here are some things you’ll want to focus on and how:
- Purpose/objective: Of all the things you’ll provide in your brief, this is the most important. Why are you producing this content? What does it need to do? E.g. inform potential clients about a new product/service, raise awareness of your expertise in X area, present findings of research to position you as a thought leader, promote an event, etc. It doesn’t have to be long in your brief – just a single line – but have a really good think about your purpose and make sure it’s clear. Without a purpose, your content might as well be listed information.
- Key messages: What are the key messages you want to communicate – and do try to be specific here. How many you have will depend on the length of your piece, but you should come up with approximately three key messages. Any more and the copy will begin to feel overwhelmed, but too few and your content will not correspond with your brand. When planning your messages, try to relate them to your purpose and audience. Keep in mind that B2B audiences want to feel understood, and your comms should aim to appeal to their business challenges, wants and needs. Think: how does your message serve them, align with their business needs, or appeal to their ethos?
- Outcome: What do you want people to THINK, FEEL and DO as a result of reading this content? For instance, you may want them to come away thinking “This is an issue that will affect my business and X company seems to know a lot about it.” You may want them to feel a sense of urgency. And you’ll definitely want them to take action, e.g. to contact X to find out more/request a quote/register for an event, etc.
When writing any brief, remember to be as informative as possible. A good B2B copywriter will process the information they’re given and translate it into a clear and concise form of communication, but they do require that initial set of information.
Don’t forget to download the brief template here.
How can I save time and also produce an effective B2B copywriting brief?
The process of finding, hiring, and briefing B2B copywriters can be long and odious. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered.
At Nellie PR, we not only work with brands to land them coverage and build their profile, but we also offer B2B copywriting and content creation services for businesses. With a specialism in copywriting for technology, data, Uk manufacturing and financial services companies, we understand what it takes to create successful written content for B2B audiences.
The benefit of hiring through a PR agency is that our team already has an innate understanding of brand, purpose, and audience. Instead of asking you to spend hours planning and developing a copywriting brief, we’ll meet with you via Zoom and go over everything together.
This approach helps us to quickly get to know your business needs, and as we talk through the brief together, you’ll end up with expert content that is purpose-driven and brand-oriented.
Get in touch
At Nellie, we have years of experience in B2B communications in many different industries. If you would like to find out how we could help your business, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.