If you want an awesome marketing campaign, you have to start with a great creative brief.
Your creative brief sets the tone for the entire campaign. It’s the “input” that helps you make sure the “output” is on target. So, it’s worth taking some time to really ask some incisive questions.
Ideally, it should be fun, too.
A good creative brief captures the essence of what you hope to achieve, and then you crystallize that when you work on deliverables. Your brief should be thorough enough so you can check deliverables against it as they evolve and verify that you’re on the right track.
Here at Bluleadz, a creative brief is the cornerstone of every project.
It’s how we get the party started, and we think it’s a big part of our success.
And it all comes down to asking the right questions.
Here’s 14 of our favorites:
1. What Are the Main Objectives of the Campaign?
In this first question, you’re getting down to exactly what you’re trying to achieve – and how you’ll know when you’ve gotten there. A good answer to this question gives you the key metrics you need to monitor, so you’ll be able to set targets and timelines.
2. What Challenges Will the Campaign Aim to Solve?
As a marketer, you’re always trying to drill down to the customer’s pain points are. This is the time to do it, figuring out the main issues all your messaging will hinge on. This will give you some insight into your client’s vision for positioning their brand, too.
3. What Are We Selling as the Solution?
The product or service your campaign focuses on takes center stage here. What is the solution and why is it different? What makes it better than anything else out there? You can use what you get from this question to start a deep dive into the real value added by the solution.
4. Who Is This Campaign Geared Toward?
The crux of this question is simple: Buyer persona. If your client has established buyer personas, then you want to know all about them. If they don’t, you need to work out who the heck the buyer is and why they would want this thing. Then, you can move ahead to the next issue.
5. What Are Their Rational and Emotional Reasons to Buy?
Although B2B buyers put expertise and ROI first, that doesn’t mean emotions are out of the picture. Go deep and figure out the buyer’s personal stake in the problem. Will your client’s brand values or brand narrative connect with them in a way that helps you build rapport?
6. Which Channels Will This Campaign Be Promoted On?
Digital marketers need to clarify which tools in their toolkit are most appropriate for the job at hand. Organic search, paid traffic, and social media can all intersect in different ways. There’s such a thing as trying to do too much, too soon, especially for clients new to the digital sphere.
7. What Is the Main Message Behind This Campaign?
A single message should drive all the communication behind a campaign. The simpler this is, the better. If you can’t distill it down to seven words, keep plugging away until you do. Five is better. Think of the answer to this question as the main headline.
8. What Action Do We Want People to Take During This Campaign?
Everything you do online has a call to action, and your brief should be like a neon arrow pointing directly to what it is. The answer here helps you align your campaign to the buyer journey so you can meet leads where they are and move them in the right direction.
9. How Does the Audience Benefit From This Campaign?
With inbound marketing, almost all campaigns will have a strong incentive for leads – information they need to make a sound decision or move their business forward. Stellar web content might not be the only carrot your campaign uses, though, so work it all out here.
10. What Is the Brand Voice for This Campaign?
Every well-defined brand has its own unique, recognizable voice. That voice, of course, must be relatable. Whether you need the authoritative touch of a B2B campaign or the fun and frenetic pace of a youth-oriented B2C campaign, define it in reference to the target buyer persona.
11. What Other Campaigns Inspire This One?
This is another question that gives you a peek inside your client’s head and lets you see the brand they really want to craft. “Inspiration” can be from a different market segment, industry, or even decade and still work to inform your creative choices in a meaningful way.
12. Who Are Our Main Competitors?
When you’re first getting a campaign off the ground, competitive research is tremendously helpful. It builds a framework for what works and what doesn’t in your target market, which can help you sort and sift through the “inspiration” above and apply it consistently.
13. What Are the Non-Negotiables?
Every client will have brand elements they want to see represented throughout all your campaign collateral. It could be the corporate logo, a color scheme, or some other part of the “look and feel” they want to present to the world. Neglecting these can be disastrous, so collect them here.
14. What Does Our Agency Bring to This Challenge?
With the other answers in front of you, it’s time to have an all-hands confab and synthesize an answer to this one. What special skills, talents, or knowledge does your agency bring to the task? Identifying these strengths fast helps you bake them into the product from early on.
These fourteen questions will get your creative brief off to a rocking start.
From there, you just have to stay the course. It’s a lot easier to avoid scope creep, miscommunication, and other project management disasters when you have a creative brief in tip top condition ... so make it a priority in your next big campaign.