How to brief your copywriter: the information they need

Alphabetti Spaghetti

Having copy written professionally is an easy way to promote your products and services and share your latest news.

If you’re planning to have some text created, you’ll need to prepare a little before you place your order. Naturally, you need to specify the topic, but your copywriting agency will also be grateful for lots more additional information.

We’ll tell you what details will help your copywriter create your text.

 

Content

First of all, you need to think about the following points regarding the content:

Subject matter and (working) title

The topic of a piece of text is the most important information for the copywriter. Do you already have a specific or working title? Alternatively, you can leave it to the copywriter to decide on a suitable title.

Your goal

In order for the copywriter to write copy that meets your requirements, you need to set a concrete goal. What do you want to achieve with this text? Does it serve as inspiration or should it promote sales?

Target audience

A clear idea of the target group is crucial for your copy to be successful, as this has an impact on the style, the density of information and possibly also the spelling of an article (e.g. UK English, US English or simplified English to reach an international audience). The more precisely you define your target group, the better the copywriter can address and motivate them with their copy. Who do you want to reach with your text? A press release can, for example, either be for a specialist audience or for the end consumer.

Content description and core statement

Do you have a clear idea about which content aspects should be covered in the text? The more details you can give the copywriter, the more precisely they can implement your ideas. Providing your copywriter with a core statement will help them to focus on the right points. If you have any research sources which you feel are particularly helpful in describing the content, please feel free to add them.

Topics to exclude

Do you already have articles on related topics? If you tell your copywriter about them, they can omit these areas and focus on other aspects to avoid duplicate content.

Sample text

Do you have any copy from other sources that you particularly like? These examples will help your copywriter to orientate themselves and cater to your taste.

 

Structure

Once the content and title are in place, it’s time to define the formal criteria:

Outline

How should your text be structured? For longer articles, an outline is indispensable. Only then does copy appear structured, clear and easy to read Certain marketplaces already have a pre-given outline. In this case, you can send a template (a letterhead with the copy outline) along with your order.

Format

How should your copy be formatted? The formatting plays an important role too. Subheadings, for example, loosen up continuous text and give your reader some orientation. Can your copywriter use highlights, bullet points and tables or is this not something you want?

Pictures and captions

Should your copywriter also look for pictures for the article or will you take care of that? Will you require any additional captions?

Links

Links to sources or further information can also be useful. Do you want the copywriter to create links or is this not necessary? It’s also important to note whether these are references to internal or external sources.

 

Form and language

Form and language are also critically important, because these two points determine whether or not a text reaches the intended target audience.

Type of text

Which kind of text is your copywriter writing for you? Is it a newspaper article, a press release, an article for a magazine, a letter to a customer, a product text or something completely different? Your copywriter will choose a different style according to the type of text you require.

Where will it be published?

Where exactly will this content appear? If the copywriter knows the portal, the magazine or the marketplace, they can look at existing articles and adapt their style accordingly.

Text length

What length of text do you have in mind? If you don’t specify a text length, the article could end up being either too long or too short. The costs are also based on the length of text you require. It’s best to estimate the number of words and give the copywriter some leeway. If the length is too precise, the quality of the text may be affected because the copywriter concentrates too much on limiting the number of words.

Form of address

How formally or casually would you like to address your reader? Generally speaking, the more unfamiliar your target group is, and the higher the price of your products and/or services, the more respectable your salutation should be. However, this is not always necessary for younger audiences. In certain cases you might even choose not to address your customer directly. The only problem here is that this can makes your text feel more factual and less appealing. And how about you? Do you know what kind of tone you’re hoping to strike?

Style and tone

As with salutations, the style and tonality of your piece will depend very much on the target group and the nature of the text. How do you want your text to come across? Should it be formal or more casual? Is it supposed to be purely informative or more entertaining? Do you need the piece to be neutral and objective, or are you happy for a more subjective opinion to shine through?

 

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

These days, search engine optimisation (SEO) is particularly important. If you want to have some copy written, you’ll probably come across the following terms which you’ll need to take into consideration.

Keywords

Do you want your copy to be optimised for search engines? If so, then you’ll need to give your copywriter a list of keywords. When you do, make sure you specify which is the main keyword and which are the secondary keywords. You can also include additional keywords if need be. Do you want your text to focus on SEO or content?

Keyword density

Do you have specific ideas about keyword density? Ideally, you should suggest a range for the keyword density you want and not a fixed number. And remember, the best copy is written for the reader and not just for the search engine. Or would you rather have WDF*IDF text? WDF*IDF analysis increases the search engine relevance of text without relying solely on keyword density.

Meta data

Meta data is also important for increasing your website’s findability through search engines. Do you want your copywriter to take care of the meta title and meta description? Do have specific guidelines for this?

 

Research aids

And finally, provide your copywriter with research material or links to relevant websites.

 

Now you know how to brief your copywriter to ensure you get an end product that meets your requirements and captivates your audience.

Give some thought to the points covered here and you’ll be ready to commission that next article in no time!