How to write the perfect content brief for content projects

date Dec 8 2020

author Jon Strutt

Are you ordering custom content through a branded content service?

If so, the quality of your brief will directly influence the quality of your content.

A quality brief is the heart of any content campaign, but creating one is easier said than done. While it’s easy to see the best content in your head, distilling that into a brief can be tricky. From the technical aspect of the photos, to the desired mood and theme, it can be tricky to explain your vision to someone else.

But after working with more than 10,000 influencer and content campaigns, and receiving feedback from our network of over 15,000 creators, we can safely say that spending time refining your brief is never time wasted.

More time spent preparing means less time fixing. Or to give a more eloquent adage, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

So, we want to help you create better briefs for your branded content sourcing, as time spent on a great brief will pay off with amazing content from talented creators.

We've seen our fair share of briefs, from the good to the bad (and the ugly). So we've gathered the essential elements of a good brief, and how you can create the best one for your next content campaign.

The best content briefs explain:

  • What is the campaign about

  • What are the campaign objectives

  • The content style you desire and the distribution channels

  • Dos and Don’ts of the product and brand

  • Production timeline

A smooth collaboration always starts from clear communication. The trick is finding the balance between being direct and firm on what you're looking for, while also providing creators with enough creative freedom to do what they do best.

This guide will take you through the best content brief, but you can take this information with you too - just download our template here.

Let’s help you create the best brief possible for your next branded content campaign!

Interested in creating powerful briefs for your influencer campaigns? You're in luck - we have a blog post and template for that too.

A man smiling and enjoying Gold&Green Delikaura in an influencer campaign with Boksi. Photo from our blog about How to write the perfect brief: Boksi Branded Content Campaign.

Boksi Branded Content campaigns produce high quality photos of your product or service. Photo by Rune Kjelseth.

The essential elements of any branded content brief

A perfect branded content brief starts with a well-thought out branded content campaign. Having your goals clear in your head before starting your brief will help you gather your thoughts and make sure you don’t forget anything.

After all, branded content campaigns through branded content platforms are your ticket to high quality photos of your product or service. The easiest way to think of them is as your own bank of authentic stock photos featuring your product! But instead of paying for tons of photos, you only pay for the content you use (and you can use it anywhere and everywhere, forever).

And while the content you desire will dictate how your brief looks, there are essential elements to every content brief. Let's cover these in more detail!

Let’s cover these all in more detail.

1. What is your campaign about?

Before you prepare any brief, first you need a campaign!

Basically, this answers the question why: why do you need content? Branded content platforms can provide you with content for nearly any need, from social media posts, to ad creative, to website images, and so much more.

So define the details of your campaign first. Answer the easy questions:

  • Who is your brand and what do they stand for?

  • What’s the purpose of your campaign?

That will help you clarify the purpose of your campaign.

2. What are the campaign objectives?

After you define what your campaign is about, you need to define how you will measure success. This can be internal, but creators can also benefit from understanding what you hope to achieve with your campaign.

For example, if you want to use this content to promote your products, this will produce different content than spreading awareness about a products capabilities, for example.

So after you define what your campaign is about, make sure you understand how you plan to measure success. If you don’t, you won’t know if you achieved your goals!

With your objectives, you don't need to know the exact amount of content pieces you want, but having a ballpark is always good. Typically content campaigns benefit from having at least 10 different pieces of content, but you can always use more.

And if you're using a branded content platform to source your campaigns, you can create your own content library to store any sourced content for later use. This means you can simply pay for content as you need it!

Curated image of a female social media influencer holding a Blistex lip balm.

With Boksi you can affordably source branded content from various locations, and tap into those real moments in real peoples’ homes. Photo via Fanni Perttola.

3. The content style you desire and the distribution channels

After you’ve decided what your campaign is about and what it hopes to achieve, you are ready to get the content that will achieve those goals.

So now is the time to decide - do you need content for your…

  • Instagram channel?

  • TikTok profile?

  • Upcoming product video?

  • Social ads?

No matter where you need content, a good branded content platform can provide it for you.

Thinking of the content types and the channels is essential, because different channels have recommended formats and technical specifications.

Here are the recommended content formats for different social media channels:


Organic videos: 9:16 or 1:1, 5-60s duration

Video ads: 9:16, 1:1, or 16:9 aspect ratio; 5-60s duration; up to 500mb file size

Spark ads: same as organic videos


Square posts - 1080px by 1080px (1:1)

Landscape posts - 1080px by 566px (1.91:1)

Vertical posts - 1080px by 1350px (4:5)

Reels/Stories: 1080px x 1920px (9:16); thumbnail display 1080px x 1080px (1:1); 4:5 aspect ratio in newsfeed

Newsfeed ads: same as square, landscape and vertical posts; 30MB max file size

Carosel ads: 1080px x 1080px

While you can also edit the photos as you see fit afterwards, it’s much easier to give creators the right dimensions to begin with, especially with video.

Compelling image of a child holding a L.O.L Surprise Hairvibes toy. Branded content photo from Boksi's campaign.

With Boksi content creation, you will naturally see a very diverse selection of models from the real world, but you can influence this by speaking about exactly what your needs are. Photo by Emilia Huttunen.

4. Dos and Don’ts of your product and brand

After you’ve got the technical details out of the way, now it’s time to explain what your brand is all about. Here is a great place to be specific about what you want and don’t want in your content.

For example, it’s generally a good idea to avoid competitor products in your content. However, some brands prefer having no other brands visible in their content. You want your product to shine, after all!

You can also explain what the product should show. Should it be pictured with models or only by itself? Should it be in a specific environment? All of the positives and negatives should be explained to the creator in order to get the best content possible.

Feel free to offer suggestions for what the models or creators should wear as well, so they can better match your brand aesthetic. While creators will bring their own style forward, you can have your say in what you want and what you don't want.

5. Production timeline

Finally, it’s time to plan out the production timeline.

There are two different methods, depending on if you’re sourcing content through a platform or pitching it yourself.

If you’re using a branded content platform, you first need to reserve time for managing creator applications. A huge benefit of branded content platforms is the fact that you don’t need to reach out to creators yourself - they can see your brief, apply themselves, and produce amazing content for you.

And they'll do all this with minimal management from you. Ever heard of ‘good things come to those who wait’? The same applies to your content. By giving creators time to do their best work, you’ll leave with amazing content.

Also, if you didn't mention how much content you are looking for, now is the time to mention it!

Social content with an Instagram influencer pouring a soft drink to a glass in a neon colored setting.

Ask Boksi content creators to show you how they enjoy your product, and you can be positively surprised. Photo via Janne Naakka.

An easier way to create content briefs

A great content brief is essential for amazing content, and we recently made it easier than ever.

Branded content platforms are perfect for sourcing content that’s on-brand and instills desire and devotion in your reader.

Luhta Sportswear Company embraced a branded content platform during the worst parts of the pandemic in order to get high-quality content for their seasonal wear without sending teams abroad during a period of risk. They saved time and money, while boosting their content production.

If you’re interested in how easy a branded content platform can be, we have a video walkthrough here where my colleague takes you through how easy it is to create a content campaign and start sourcing content directly from creators. Take a look!

Jon Strutt

About author

Jon Strutt

Jon is Boksi's Content Marketing Manager. When he's not writing blog posts or guides, he's thinking of the next way to punnify 'Boksi'.