If everyone could suddenly mind-read, the content biz would surely fizzle in a sec. Until then, brands and marketers still have to master the art of conveying their needs to creative talent. So developing concepts is a must. Follow the basic outline below, and you’ll be off to a good start.

Fore tips on making your concepts deliver what you want, read Danielle Antosz’s post on How to Flesh Out a Concept to Get a Stellar Piece of Content Back.

Elements of a Concept:

Content Type: What type of content do you want created — a blog post? White paper? Press release? Product description? Let your writer know.

Target Audience: Define who you want to read the piece of content, including age, gender, interests, job title, reading level, income, goals and challenges.

Goal: What’s the purpose of the content? The takeaway? What do you want readers to do when they’re done?

Publishing Location: A URL is ideal, but at least describe the site.

Due Date: No need to explain this one.

Style & Tone: The personality and mood of the piece — e.g., funny, formal, practical, sincere, silly, sarcastic.

Word Count: Minimum and maximum word count.

Formatting Requirements: H2s or H3s? Include internal links? What size should images be?

Detailed Outline: Provide the writer with the points you want covered, including keywords.

Contact Names & Info: Make it easy for writers to get their questions answered quickly.

Links to Important Documents: Link to any reference URLs, separate contributor guidelines, the company style guide and favorite content/sources of inspiration.

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