*Turns on mp3 player…* “Are Y’all ready for this???”
It’s game time, folks! So let’s bust out the old-school basketball game music and get the creative brief started. (Dance moves are optional.)
Okay, so last time we talked about the function and purpose of a creative brief – and how it’s the key ingredient in creating a great landing page. And, well, that’s true. However… a creative brief is good for so much more. In fact, this creative brief is great for helping you get pretty much any campaign built from the ground up: sales, free printables, landing pages, and social media campaigns just to name a few.
I promise… you’ll see it soon.
But for now… well, let’s take a peek behind the curtain of the creative brief.
The Creative Brief – in depth for IBA Members Only
If you’ve done any googling of creative briefs, you’ll notice there’s a ton out there. But after working with a couple of coaches, I’ve found that 13 common questions or themes run throughout them all.
Ready to see my creative brief questionnaire? Let’s do this!
1. What is the objective of this campaign?
Let’s hope your campaign has an objective. Because if it doesn’t… well, how will you know if it worked? Objectives can vary. Maybe you’re trying to generate more ad revenue. Or maybe you’re trying to boost your page rank while avoiding the SEO monkey trap.
2. What is the product/service to be promoted?
As a blogger, the answer to this question is most commonly **YOU**. In other words, you’re promoting yourself, your writing, and YOU. You’re the brand. It’s a hard pill to swallow when you realize you’ve gotta promote yourself. But once you recognize and accept that, it’s a little bit easier to do so. And you know what makes that easier? Having a brand that’s defined. So go do that. Define yourself – but don’t let that limit you.
3. What is the general price range of the product/service?
As a blogger, it can be intimidating to put a price on your ad space. But you know what? There’s gonna be someone, somewhere, who’s dying to reach your audience. So don’t feel bad charging them to reach your audience! That’s what their advertising budget is for, after all!
4. Who is the audience?
If you’re a blogger, you need to know who your audience is. Me? I’m usually writing to make my village (or tribe) laugh like crazy or give them some good health pointers from my experience as a nurse. (And yes, you’re totally welcome to come join us!)
Now, if you’re *not* a blogger, you still need to know who your audience is. You’ll also need to know how you’re reaching them. Because if you’re going to just send annoying emails pestering everyone about your product, you need to know that (eventually) you’re gonna get labeled a spammer. So market smart, okay?
5. Why would they be interested in the product/service?
What makes your blog, or your product or service, unique? What makes you stand out?
For my blog, it’s that I’m a ginger with an awesomely dry sense of humor and loads of experience as a nurse in an emergency room.
On the business end of things, I also sell specially designed striped compression socks – and if you must know, my favorites are the pink and gray striped compression socks. They stand out because of their simple, stylish, and comfortable designs.
6. What would be their psychological motivation for buying your product/service?
Now we’re getting into the nitty, gritty, psychology of sales. Why do people want to buy from you, or read your blog? What do you have to offer them?
From the psychological standpoint, the main motivators are guilt, salvation, anger, exclusivity, ego, greed, fear, pain, and curiosity. They’re powerful emotions, and therefore powerful motivators. But only if you harness them correctly, so it’s vital that you dig deep to figure out why people are looking to you for whatever answer you’ve got for them.
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7. What are the benefits of your product/service that would be attractive to your prospect?
This is so much more than features, Y’all. Features focus on what you have to offer. Benefits focus on what your reader (or client) stands to gain from working with you.
For this particular aspect of the creative brief, I find it’s easiest if you start by listing all of the features. Then, transform your list into a statement of the benefits you’re offering. And remember – keep those benefits client-centric.
8. What is unique about your product/service that makes it better than what the competition offers?
This ties heavily back into #5, but now that we’ve bulleted out a list of benefits, it should be a lot easier to really truly define this. What makes your blog different? There are billions of articles to read. Why should they read this one?
9. Address buying objections.
There are always buying objections (like price, etc.). These are the hangups as to why people aren’t working with you or buying what you’ve got to sell. So dig deep, Y’all.
What possible buying objections will you have to overcome in your copy or blog posts? The most commonly used buying objects are:
- No Time
- No Interest
- I don’t have enough Money
- No Perceived Difference
- No Belief
- It Won’t Work for Me
- No Decision
- Or I don’t Need It
10. What marketing tool will you use in your campaign?
All right, let’s go back to our campaign again for a minute, shall we? We already know the objective of question #1. Now, let’s decide how we’re gonna achieve those objectives. Are we going to use blog posts, landing pages, an updated home page, or a social media campaign? There are so many options – and you can use more than one. But as each platform has a different audience, be sure to adjust each marketing tool for its designated audience.
11. What is your Call To Action?
Translation: what do you want people to do after they’ve read your blog or interacted with your products and services? If you’re in the selling-stuff industry, the answer is usually this: get them to buy more of your products and services!
As a blogger, there’s a lot of options. Maybe you want to get them to read one more article or download a free printout. Or maybe you want them to click over to your affiliate store and spend big bucks. Or maybe you want them to share your meme with their closest 2,385 friends. No matter what you want them to do, you’re going to need to know what that is before you start writing your campaign.
12. What does the prospect get for responding or taking your preferred action?
The answer to this should be more than just “Oh, well, they get my products and services!” This is where you can do some creative thinking to do some serious upselling (getting them to buy a related product that goes great with the first) and giving your audience extra value.
Common responses or offer types include:
- Membership in an exclusive club
- A premium with an offer
- A trial or sample offer
- An introductory offer
- Fundraising offer
- A money saving offer
There are tons of options out there, so feel free to put that thinking cap on again.
13. What happens after the prospect responds?
Finally, it’s important to think about what happens after the response. So your ideal reader read that article you wrote – and then they downloaded the free printable to make their life easier. What now? Did you include a sign-up form on that last “thanks for downloading this printable!” page so they can also get your newsletter? How about a share button so that they can encourage others to download it, too?
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Now, you see how valuable this document is, don’t you? This thing is the secret to almost any campaign you could dream up. But is this all you need to set up a successful campaign? Unfortunately, no. You’re going to need a ton of other things – like SMART goals and measurable metrics to see if you’re even achieving success. However, with this document under your belt, you’re going to be well on your way towards creating a successful campaign – whether that’s a landing page, a blog article, or whatever else.