How to Write a Brief in 5 Steps

Picture of Julia McCoy

Julia McCoy

Creator and Co-founder

how to write a brief

So, you’re here to learn how to write a brief. Good call. Whether it’s nailing that creative project or arguing a case with precision, getting your brief right can set the stage for success.

This piece is designed to walk you through the nuts and bolts of crafting effective briefs — be they creative or formal.

We’ll dive into defining clear objectives, pinpointing your target audience, and articulating key messages that resonate. Plus, tips on leveraging technology for better collaboration.

By sticking around, you’ll get practical insights into structuring your document for impact and making sure every word counts through proofreading practices.

Let’s make sure your next brief hits all the right notes.

Table Of Contents:

What is a Project Brief?

A project brief lays the foundation for any creative or strategic initiative, serving as a roadmap that guides team members and stakeholders from start to finish. Think of it as the blueprint of your project’s building process.

At the core, creative briefs involve merging background information with clear targets, ensuring everyone moves in sync toward the envisioned outcome.

Types of Creative Briefs

Here at Content Hacker, we emphasize the importance of strategic long-form content marketing. A crucial part of this strategy involves crafting an effective creative brief that aligns with your project’s goals.

What are the types of project briefs?

Marketing Creative Briefs

The marketing creative brief is a powerhouse tool used predominantly to steer campaigns toward market success. Whether you’re launching a new campaign or revamping an existing one, this type of brief lays down broad business objectives alongside strategies designed to achieve them.

It often encompasses revenue targets and budget considerations — key components that ensure all team members are on the same page regarding financial constraints and expectations.

Product Design Briefs

Product design briefs, on the other hand, focus squarely on introducing new products or features into the marketplace. Crafted by product marketers in collaboration with product managers, these documents detail not only what makes a product unique but also how it benefits its intended audience.

They typically include comprehensive product documentation and descriptions — a vital resource for any team tasked with bringing innovative solutions to consumers efficiently.

Advertising Agency Creative Briefs

Creative agencies employ their version of concise yet informative briefs tailored specifically for each client they serve. These documents encapsulate everything from brand guidelines to specific project directives — and oftentimes budgetary outlines — to guide decision-making processes effectively across teams.

An account manager or supervisor usually spearheads this development process before sharing it with the project stakeholders, ensuring brand alignment before any actual work starts.

The value of a creative brief lies in the streamlining of communication between different departments while clearly defining project objectives upfront.

Selecting which type of brief suits your current needs depends largely on your role within your organization as well as the specific projects at hand.

Key Components Every Project Brief Must Have

To kick things off right, every effective creative brief starts with a comprehensive company background. This sets the stage by providing context about who you are and what drives your business forward.

Project Background

The project background serves as the foundation for your entire project plan. Consider questions like what led to this project? Was it customer feedback or a gap identified through research?

Also, if there were related projects previously undertaken by your team, how did those go and what lessons were learned? This section ensures everyone starts on the same page regarding why this project matters.


Clearly defining your project goals within your brief can significantly impact team alignment and motivation. These objectives act as your north star — guiding every decision made during the project.

Without sharp goals, projects can drift aimlessly so be sure to articulate what success looks like for this particular venture.

Target Audience

Understanding your audience is the cornerstone of any successful content marketing strategy, especially when it comes to long-form content that aims to educate, engage, and convert. If you’re catering primarily to entrepreneurs, founders, business owners, and marketers, know that these individuals are not just looking for quick tips but comprehensive insights on how to leverage long-form content marketing to grow and scale a sustainable business.

To further break down your target audience:

  • Entrepreneurs and founders: Driven by innovation but often strapped for time, they require efficient yet potent strategies that promise real ROI from their content efforts.
  • Business owners: With an eye on growth opportunities but facing fierce competition, they need ways to stand out through high-quality content that resonates with their niche market.
  • Marketers: Always on the lookout for trends and tools that can enhance engagement rates while streamlining campaign management processes across multiple platforms.

Whether you’re crafting an insightful blog post series or developing comprehensive guides laden with industry expertise, knowing precisely who you’re talking to will determine how effectively your message lands.


A well-structured timeline highlights key dates and milestones critical for keeping everything on track. This clarity helps manage expectations around deliverables and deadlines amongst all involved parties.

Incorporating buffer times for unforeseen challenges can also ensure more realistic timelines are set from the get-go.

Your timeline isn’t just about when things happen; it’s about making sure they happen efficiently while maintaining quality standards throughout each phase.

How to Write a Brief in 5 Steps

Creating a comprehensive project brief is essential for ensuring all stakeholders are aligned from the get-go. This document serves as the foundation for your project, outlining objectives, expectations, and how success will be measured.

Below are five crucial steps to craft an effective project brief.

Step 1: Provide Context or Background Information

The first step in drafting your project brief involves setting the stage by offering necessary background information. For instance, if you’re launching a new feature within your app, the project overview should detail its relevance based on current user behavior or feedback:

“Currently, chat is our second most popular feature (first is connecting with friends via email). With 84% of users utilizing chat in some capacity and 63% reported being on another platform’s video or voice call while using our app.”

Step 2: Clearly Define Your Project Objectives

After providing context, articulate what this project aims to achieve. Use specific metrics where possible to set clear targets.

For example:

  • Increase user retention rate by X%
  • Migrate Y% of free users to monthly plans through enhanced features

Step 3: Outline Scope and Deliverables

Delineate exactly what will be delivered upon completion of the project. If developing an in-app live video experience, specify functionalities expected at launch.

For example:

  • User-to-user video calls within the app interface
  • Screenshare capabilities during calls

Step 4: Identify Key Stakeholders and Roles

This section should list everyone involved in the project along with their responsibilities. Effective stakeholder management is critical for seamless execution; thus clarifying the roles of project team members early prevents confusion down the line.

For example:

  • Project Manager – Oversees overall progress and coordinates between teams

Step 5: Assign Timelines and Budgets

To avoid projects dragging on indefinitely, it’s vital to assign realistic timelines and budgets. Include milestones to track progress against deadlines and ensure there is enough financial runway to see the initiative through to completion.

For example:

  • Prototype of in-app video chat feature ready for testing by Q2

Following these steps ensures that every stakeholder has a clear understanding of what needs to be done, why it’s important, how it will happen, who is responsible for each task, when it needs to be completed, and how much it will cost.

Armed with this information from the outset can dramatically increase the chances of successful project outcomes.

Automate Your Project Briefs

Creating compelling long-form content requires meticulous planning and precision.

The solution? Preparing your briefs well in advance.

Yes, it might seem like an additional task on your already overflowing plate. However, crafting detailed briefs ahead of time can save you from countless hours of frustration and internal screaming down the line.

This is where efficiency comes into play. Did you know that AI can now write detailed project briefs? Getting a chatbot to create your briefs can cut hours from your workload, without compromising on quality.

Here’s an example of a project brief I asked AIMEE to write:

And this was done with no detailed prompting at all! Just a simple, generic instruction to write a sample project brief for an email marketing campaign for a new baby formula brand.

Here’s another AI-generated project brief, this time for a social media marketing campaign for a golf club brand:

Streamline Projects with a Creative Brief

Remember, effective long-form content marketing isn’t just about writing; it’s about strategic thinking, prior planning, and understanding that good things take time. Preparing briefs embodies this philosophy promising smoother workflows, fewer headaches, and more impactful results.

So, before diving headfirst into creation, take a step back. Planning may initially feel cumbersome, but ultimately, it lays down solid groundwork facilitating easier moves forward.

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