Tips on how to Create Content material Briefs [Step-by-Step Guide + Template]

Content material fuels trendy advertising and marketing.

However creating distinctive content material that resonates and reaches your viewers is more durable than ever.

How do you guarantee each bit of content material you create strikes a chord with—and even reaches—your viewers?

Begin with well-crafted content material briefs.

Professional tip: Don’t wish to create each temporary from scratch? Join Search engine optimisation Content material Template free of charge!

SEO Content Template homepage

What Is a Content material Transient?

A content material temporary is a doc that offers writers directions and tips for creating written content material. Comparable to weblog articles, white papers, or social posts. 

The objective of a content material temporary is to put out necessary components that writers want to incorporate of their article. And be sure that each bit of written content material works towards reaching your general content material objective.

For example, listed below are some items of data you’d discover in a very good content material temporary:

  • Your target market. Info on demographics, pursuits, and ache factors to assist writers perceive who their reader is. 
  • Your major and secondary key phrases. This guides writers on which key phrases to give attention to. And may recommend what number of occasions to say a key phrase or the place so as to add it. 
  • The perfect article format. Recommendations on the way to construction introduction, headings, subheadings, and so forth., to finest fulfill consumer and search intent. 
  • The prevailing search outcomes web page on your key phrase. An evaluation of the top-ranking pages on your chosen key phrase. This evokes writers to fill in any content material gaps and make items extra helpful
  • Steered meta tags. This will likely embody title tag and meta description concepts that assist search engineers perceive what your web page is about and affect click-through charges from search engine outcomes pages (SERPs).

And right here’s an concept of what a quick that features these factors can seem like (generated by the Search engine optimisation Content material Template instrument):

A brief generated by the SEO Content Template tool

However we’ll get into the way to discover all these items of data later.

For now, let’s have a look at the distinction between content material briefs and artistic briefs.

Are Content material Briefs the Similar as Artistic Briefs?

Nope. They give attention to various kinds of content material.

Content material briefs information the creation of written content material. For instance:

  • Weblog posts
  • Video scripts
  • Social media posts

Artistic briefs, alternatively, information the creation of visible deliverables like: 

  • Movies 
  • Touchdown pages 
  • Covers and infographics

So whereas they sound related, they aren’t the identical factor.

Why Content material Briefs Are Important

Content material briefs are necessary as a result of they preserve your written content material targeted in your general advertising and marketing technique objective. Whereas additionally ensuring your content material contains all the important thing items of data.

Let’s say you personal a social media scheduling app. And your objective is to get extra signups.

Amongst different items of data, your content material briefs could have:

  • An inventory of related key phrases to focus on
  • An inventory of options or merchandise you’ll be able to spotlight to entice extra individuals to enroll
  • An inventory of inner hyperlinks you’ll be able to embody to maintain your readers in your website

That means, mentioning your instrument’s options stays high of thoughts for you and your writers. Whether or not you’re writing about Twitter’s rebrand to X or the way to schedule a put up for Instagram.

Utilizing content material briefs additionally has different advantages:

Benefits of content briefs
  • They prevent money and time. Briefs supplier writers with a transparent start line. This permits them to do their finest work, and minimizes the necessity for editors to make prolonged revisions.
  • They preserve your content material on model. Writers are higher outfitted to weave your model’s type and distinctive tone into each piece.
  • They assist guarantee each bit is optimized for Search engine optimisation. An Search engine optimisation content material temporary improves your probabilities of rating by telling writers the article’s viewers, goal key phrases, and the search intent of these key phrases.
  • They provide help to beat rivals. Writers get a information that tells them which matters, questions, information, or ideas competing posts could have missed (or that you just take into account necessary).

However content material briefs solely work in case you have all the appropriate components. So right here they’re:

What to Embody in a Content material Transient

A primary content material temporary could have the next components:

  • A tentative, really useful title
  • Info in your target market and their present data degree
  • An inventory of your goal key phrase and secondary key phrases
  • The search intent behind your goal key phrase
  • The urged phrase depend
  • An inventory of urged inner hyperlinks
  • An inventory of urged exterior hyperlinks
  • A tough define that features urged headers
  • A hyperlink to your type information

In fact, there are various kinds of content material briefs. Based mostly on a model’s content material targets and the kind of content material they wish to create.

For instance, manufacturers that wish to improve natural visitors (visitors from engines like google) by way of weblog posts will create Search engine optimisation content material briefs. 

These comprise goal key phrases, article size, a search engine outcomes web page (SERP) evaluation, and different data on the way to optimize an article.

Professional tip: Don’t get too granular or inflexible along with your briefs. As writers create the content material, they’ll must deviate out of your temporary anyway. So give them the broad strokes of what your content material completely must have. After which belief them to do the remainder.

Tips on how to Create an Search engine optimisation Content material Transient

There are two methods you’ll be able to create an Search engine optimisation content material temporary:

  1. Use your goal key phrase to rapidly generate the temporary with the Search engine optimisation Content material Template instrument
  2. Manually comply with all of the steps laid out under

Right here’s a step-by-step information on the way to do each.

Take be aware, If you happen to’re going for possibility one—utilizing the Search engine optimisation Content material Template—then all you’ll want to do is step 1.

1. Select the Proper Goal Key phrase

Search engine optimisation is a game-changer in relation to producing natural visitors.

However not all writers are SEOs. 

So it’s necessary to point your goal key phrase proper inside your content material temporary. 

The goal (or major) key phrase is the principle time period or matter that your content material will give attention to. It is the principle key phrase your put up will attempt to rank for on SERPs.

As soon as chosen, your goal key phrase influences key elements of your content material temporary—like secondary key phrases, the content material define, subtopics, and inner linking alternatives.

So what’s step one to choosing the proper goal key phrase? 

Be certain that it aligns with each the targets of your put up and your general advertising and marketing technique. 

Semrush’s Key phrase Overview instrument might help with this.

Let’s say your objective is to extend natural visitors by rating for informational searches associated to content material advertising and marketing.

Begin by getting into a key phrase or matter concept you take into consideration, then click on “Search.” On this case, we used “content material advertising and marketing.”

"content marketing" entered in Keyword Overview search bar

The instrument will present you details about that key phrase. However listed below are three key items of data you’ll want to give attention to:

  • Quantity. The estimated common variety of searches a key phrase will get per thirty days. Ideally, you desire a key phrase with a excessive search quantity.
  • Key phrase Problem (KD). How troublesome it’s to rank within the high 10 search outcomes for the key phrase. Ideally, you wish to goal key phrases with decrease key phrase issue; high-difficulty key phrases can require numerous time and assets to rank for.
  • Search intent. Why the searcher is utilizing Google—i.e., do they need extra data or do they wish to work out which product to purchase? In case your objective is to extend natural visitors from informational searches, you wish to goal informational key phrases.
Keyword Overview for "content marketing" search

From the screenshot above, that “content material advertising and marketing” most likely isn’t one of the best key phrase to focus on. It has nice quantity and the appropriate search intent, nevertheless it’ll be too exhausting to rank for since KD is 99%.

So scroll down and take a look at the “Key phrase Concepts” part of the web page. And click on on one of many phrases that appears to suit your standards.

For instance, “what’s a content material marketer” beneath “Questions” appears like a very good key phrase. So click on on that.

“Keyword Ideas” section

You’ll now get detailed metrics of the brand new potential key phrase: 

Detailed metrics for “what is a content marketer”

And it checks all of the packing containers. It has the next:

  • 320 month-to-month searches
  • An attainable key phrase issue of 40%
  • And informational search intent

Which suggests “what’s a content material marketer” is a superb key phrase to focus on with an article. Particularly since your objective is to generate extra natural visitors.

Now that you just’ve picked your goal key phrase, you need to use the free Search engine optimisation Content material Template instrument to routinely fill out the remainder of your temporary. 

Every template comes with really useful textual content size, readability rating, semantically associated key phrases to incorporate, potential backlink targets, and extra.

SEO Content Template comes with recommended text length, readability score, semantically related keywords to include, potential backlink targets, and more.

2. Make a Checklist of Secondary Key phrases

Secondary key phrases are carefully associated to the first key phrase you’re focusing on.

They assist present engines like google that you just’ve coated subtopics associated to your major key phrase. They usually can herald numerous visitors on their very own.

Let’s say your major key phrase is “what’s a content material marketer.” Your secondary key phrases might be: 

  • “What does a content material marketer do” 
  • “What’s content material advertising and marketing”
  • “Content material marketer”

There are two methods you could find secondary key phrases:

First, use the Key phrase Magic Device to search out associated key phrases.

Begin by getting into your major key phrase and clicking “Search.” Let’s proceed to make use of “what’s a content material marketer” as our major key phrase.

“what is a content marketer” entered in Keyword Magic Tool search bar

Then, choose secondary key phrases that align along with your goal key phrase and core matter. And have a excessive search quantity, affordable key phrase issue, and proper intent.

Keyword Magic Tool results for “what is a content marketer” keyword

Second, have a look at what key phrases your rivals are rating for.

Return to the Key phrase Overview web page on your goal key phrase.

“what is a content marketer” entered in Keyword Overview search bar

And scroll right down to the “SERP Evaluation” part.

“SERP Analysis” section in Keyword Overview

Plug every of these URLs into the Natural Analysis instrument. We’ll use the primary one from Semrush.

Organic Research tool search bar

You’ll get an inventory of key phrases that the article is rating for.

"Positions" table in Organic Research tool

Scroll by way of that record and search for key phrases that match your content material targets (i.e., excessive quantity, low KD, and informational search intent).

Bonus: Determine semantic key phrases: phrases or phrases which can be conceptually associated to a given key phrase or matter. 

Semantic key phrases encourage a pure means of writing, which might enhance high quality. This will result in greater rankings and higher consumer engagement. 

When selecting semantically associated key phrases, use the Search engine optimisation Content material Template to save lots of time. 

Enter the goal key phrase for a web page and click on “Create content material template.”

"content marketing" entered in SEO Content Template

The instrument will analyze the highest 10 Google outcomes to supply an inventory of semantically associated key phrases (alongside different suggestions).

For instance, listed below are the semantically associated key phrases for “content material advertising and marketing.” 

Passing these on to your content material author would give them extra inspiration on which subtopics to cowl. 

Semantically related keywords for “content marketing” 

3. Conduct a SERP Evaluation

Conducting a SERP evaluation means studying from the top-ranking webpages on your key phrase. 

You’ll uncover what makes competing posts rank on your goal key phrase, and use these insights to maximise your put up’s probabilities of success on SERPs.

Then, for every top-ranking put up, take note of: 

SERP Options

SERP options are “particular” enhancements to natural search outcomes.

One sort of SERP characteristic is the featured snippet. And it appears like this:

An example of a featured snippet

Different frequent SERP options to look out for are: 

  • Wealthy Snippets. Regular search outcomes that profit from a visible enhancement that pertains to a web page’s content material (e.g., score begins from a web page that opinions a product)
  • Individuals Additionally Ask (PAA). An expandable record of solutions to questions which can be associated to a question. Queries that set off PAA packing containers usually begin with query phrases, resembling: “what”, “why”, “when”, “the place” and “who.” 
  • Information Panels. A block that shows data on a particular matter, model, or enterprise. 
An infographic showing different "Google SERP Features"

The Key phrase Overview instrument simplifies the method of analyzing SERP options. 

After trying to find your major key phrase, scroll right down to the “SERP Evaluation” part. 

From right here, you’ll see an in depth breakdown of the SERP options for the highest 10 URLs rating on your goal key phrase (amongst different helpful metrics). 

“SERP Analysis” section in Keyword Overview tool

Click on the “View SERP” button to see a dwell view of the SERP on your key phrase. 

Live view of the SERP for "how to start running" search

With this data, be aware the SERP options you wish to goal in your temporary and supply real-world inspiration on your writers. 

The SERP for “the way to begin working,” for instance, contains a PAA part stuffed with beginner-focused questions. 

You’ll be able to record related questions in your temporary for writers to reply. 

This may give your put up a better likelihood of additionally getting featured within the PAA part. 

Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

Pay attention to how rivals are presenting their content material on SERPs. 

For title tags, analyze how rivals incorporate major key phrases, emotional triggers, and modifiers to entice clicks. Gauge what size most appear to make use of. 

For meta descriptions, be aware how lengthy descriptions are. And observe how rivals reply queries and encourage clicks.

Let’s say we wish to goal the key phrase “the way to begin working.”

Google SERP for “how to start running” with title tags highlighted in purple

We are able to see that almost all top-performing outcomes embody the first key phrase “the way to begin working” at first of every title. So we’d wish to do the identical to extend probabilities of rating. 

Google SERP for “how to start running” with meta descriptions highlighted in purple

A lot of the meta descriptions additionally immediately reply the question: “the way to begin working.” 

They ship the reply in an educational, beginner-friendly tone and use the key phrase—or elements of it—within the description. 

Utilizing the phrases of (or phrases just like) a searcher’s question may cause Google to embolden these phrases on SERPs. Which can assist draw consideration to your description and improve click-through charges (CTR). 

Phrase Depend 

Assessing the size of top-performing content material suggests how complete your put up needs to be. 

This helps set up a goal phrase depend for writers, which defines the “scope” of your put up. It additionally indicators the extent of depth you count on from writers. 

You’ll be able to gauge goal phrase counts by manually analyzing the SERP on a page-by-page foundation. Or use a Chrome extension like Word Counter Plus to focus on and depend the phrases on the competing web page. 

Chrome extension Word Counter Plus showing word and character counts

Or you need to use the Search engine optimisation Content material Template—which routinely recommends a really perfect size primarily based on the highest 10 rating outcomes. 


Have a look at how top-ranking items are structured. Then make an inventory of their H2s and H3s and see how they’re related. 

Let’s revisit the top-ranking for the question “the way to begin working.” 

Most rivals embody H2s that supply pattern working plans for newcomers all through their content material. 

So it’s clear that “working plans” are necessary for satisfying searcher intent. And are one thing you’d wish to embody in your put up. 

An example of a 7-week run-walk plan for beginners

Prime-ranking pages additionally supply beginner-friendly, educational subheads. Comparable to: “Select a coaching plan.”

“Choose a Training Plan” subheading

Or “Choose a race.”

“First, Pick a Race” subheading

So we’d additionally wish to embody H2 or H3 subheads that contact on these matters. 

When you’ve built-in the core matters into your temporary, analysis the way you may add one thing new to distinguish your put up. 

Tailor it to particular searchers. Or dive deeper right into a subtopic. 

The Key phrase Magic Device might help you with this by revealing associated key phrases and potential subtopics. 

Within the instance under, we will differentiate our put up by including H2s and H3s on:

  • “Tips on how to begin working for overweight newcomers”
  • “Tips on how to begin working for obese newcomers”
  • “A coaching plan for obese newcomers” 
Examples of related keywords and potential subtopics for "how to start running"

This provides one thing new to the subject. And it boosts your probabilities of rating for associated key phrases. 

4. Create Your Tentative Define

Give your author a jumping-off level within the type of a tentative define. Your define ought to embody:

  • A urged title
  • The principle H2s
  • Necessary H3s
  • Descriptions for every part

It ought to look one thing like this:

An example of a tentative outline

To create your define, mix the entire analysis that you just’ve already finished.

  • Use your major and secondary key phrases as headers, if doable
  • Add continuously requested questions that you just uncovered from PAA packing containers
  • Make certain your outlines covers all of the necessary matters your rivals cowl

After you construct your define, your urged temporary is nearly completed.

Inner hyperlinks are clickable textual content that result in a special web page inside your web site.

They’re necessary as a result of they:

  • Assist engines like google perceive your website’s construction
  • Cross authority between totally different pages in your web site
  • Make it simpler for customers to navigate your website and uncover content material 

Inner hyperlinks can even level to subtopics that warrant extra dialogue or clarification on a devoted web page.

For instance, in our article explaining Search engine optimisation fundamentals, we have now a bit about search intent.

However as an alternative of explaining the totally different sorts of search intent, we clarify the idea briefly then hyperlink out to an article that already does it.

An example of an internal link with anchor text "search intent"

That means, readers get a fast overview of an necessary idea with out getting too slowed down by the small print. However a hyperlink is readily-available in case they do wish to be taught extra.

Create your record by trying by way of your present articles. And taking a look at which articles align with matters you’ve listed in your urged define.

Professional tip: Enhance your inner linking technique by constructing out matter clusters with our Key phrase Supervisor instrument.

3 Nice Content material Transient Examples

1. Semrush’s Search engine optimisation-Targeted Content material Transient

Semrush’s Search engine optimisation Content material Template generates a quick that may provide help to outrank your rivals. Utilizing Search engine optimisation finest practices.

That features:

  • An inventory of the highest 10 rivals who rank on your goal key phrase on Google
  • Suggestions for backlinks, semantic key phrases, and goal phrase depend 
  • Title tag, meta description, and H1 tag suggestions

The temporary is Search engine optimisation-focused. So use it that will help you rank higher on SERPs, improve visitors, and seize extra leads from search. 

SEO Content Template generates SEO-focused briefs

2. Daniel Cheung’s Newbie-Pleasant Transient Template

Daniel Cheung’s content brief template is nice for individuals who are new to content material advertising and marketing. 

Every part of the temporary comes with a quick description of what data customers ought to add. This makes it helpful for groups which can be unfamiliar with filling in content material briefs. 

Daniel Cheung’s content brief template

Each section prompts the user to think deeply about their answers and offers detailed guidance. 

The first half of the brief asks for essential details like:

  • Target keywords
  • Audience information
  • Internal links

The second half provides the skeleton for an outline that turns secondary and long-tail keywords into subheaders. 

3. Hack The Box’s Technical Content Brief 

Hack The Box’s (HTB) content brief template helps material specialists write content material for technical audiences (like cybersecurity professionals).

The technical content material temporary features a part on Search engine optimisation to offer specialists any essential data on optimization. 

Use it to create briefs that prioritize distinctive, brand-specific angles for technical matters—like cybersecurity. 

Hack The Box’s (HTB) content brief template

Obtain Your Content material Objectives with Content material Briefs

Content material briefs are highly effective. However they require numerous analysis, planning, and Search engine optimisation data to do proper.

If you wish to save time and get the right content material temporary each single time, try our instruments.

Search engine optimisation Content material Template will provide you with a fast overview of the key phrases you need to goal, what your rivals are doing, and what you need to do to get your articles to carry out.

Let instruments do the analysis for you. To be able to focus on creating nice content material that enhances your backside line.