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AI Content Briefs: Don’t Settle for Just an Outline

5 min read

The content marketing landscape is buzzing with the potential of AI. From content generation to competitor analysis, AI tools are transforming how we create and distribute information. One exciting area is AI content briefs and their promise to streamline the briefing process. But hold on a minute – are these tools truly delivering on their promise?

I researched the top 20 websites related to AI content briefs, according to Google, and here’s what I found. 

A Content Outline is Not A Content Brief

Many AI content brief generators fall short by mistaking outlines for comprehensive briefs. While outlines are an important part of the content creation process, they only represent the skeleton. A well-crafted content brief goes far beyond, providing the flesh and blood that brings your content to life.

So, what’s the difference?

An outline is a roadmap, detailing the flow and structure of your content with headings and subheadings. It serves as a framework for organizing your thoughts.

A content brief is a comprehensive document that acts as a blueprint for your content creation. It includes the outline, but should dive deeper into:

  • Target audience
  • Content goals
  • Tone and style
  • User intent analysis
  • Search intent
  • Competitive analysis
  • And much more

Why does this matter?

A strong content brief ensures everyone involved in the content creation process is on the same page. It eliminates confusion, saves time, and ultimately leads to higher-quality content that achieves its intended purpose. But an outline by itself is not enough.

Generic Outlines Result in Mediocre Content

Interestingly, these content outliners, masquerading as AI content brief generators, focus on creating outlines using headlines and subheadings from the top-ranking search results.

So, where’s the artificial intelligence?

All you get is a recipe on how to make your content indistinguishable from everyone else. That cookie cutter approach is what gives SEO content a bad name.

Limitations of Current AI Content Briefs

While AI content briefs hold promise for streamlining the content creation process, they aren’t perfect yet. Here’s a closer look at some of the limitations I encountered during my research.

Some Content Brief Generators are Non-Functional

Surprisingly, during my research of the top 20 results, I found a couple of instances where the content brief generator was non-functional. One very popular generative AI tool talks about content briefs, but doesn’t appear to offer them. In another case, the software provides SEO data but leaves content brief creation to the user.

Focus on Outlines, Neglecting Strategies

Many AI content brief generators primarily focus on creating outlines based on competitor content or keyword analysis. This is helpful for structuring your content, but it doesn’t delve into the strategic aspects crucial for impactful content. A strong SEO content brief should consider your target audience’s needs, overall marketing goals, SERP competition, and how this specific piece fits into your content strategy. Current AI tools struggle to capture these nuances.

Limited Strategic Insights: AI Content Briefs Haven’t Cracked the Code (Yet)

The allure of AI content briefs lies in their potential to take the guesswork out of content strategy. Imagine a tool that analyzes your brand, target audience, and competitors, then spits out a comprehensive plan for crafting high-impact content. Unfortunately, current AI content briefs haven’t quite reached that level of strategic sophistication.

Content marketing is a strategic game. Effective content doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It should work in concert with other marketing initiatives and contribute to your overall business goals. AI content briefs haven’t yet reached the point where they can analyze your entire marketing ecosystem and suggest content that seamlessly integrates with your broader strategy.

A Gaping Hole: AI Content Briefs Neglect Existing Content

The current landscape of AI content briefs presents a surprising omission – a lack of support for optimizing existing content. While tools readily churn out outlines and suggestions for brand new content, they often fail to address the vast amount of valuable content that already exists.

Optimizing existing content is a strategic and cost-effective way to improve your content marketing performance. It helps improve search performance, can enhance the user experience, and is more efficient than starting from scratch.

Given the potential benefits, it’s surprising that AI hasn’t yet delved into the realm of content optimization briefs. Here’s how AI could revolutionize this process:

  • Data-Driven Analysis: AI could analyze existing content, identify strengths and weaknesses based on user data and search engine metrics. This data could then be used to create targeted recommendations for improvement.
  • Actionable Suggestions: Imagine AI suggesting specific edits like adding internal links, updating statistics, or restructuring paragraphs for better readability. This would save content creators time and ensure optimization efforts are data-driven.
  • Prioritization and Targeting: With AI analysis, you could identify which existing content pieces have the most potential for improvement and generate briefs that prioritize high-impact optimizations. 

AI Content Briefs: A Reality Check – Don’t Be Blinded by the Outline

The content marketing world is abuzz with the promise of AI – from content generation to competitor analysis, AI tools are transforming how we create and distribute information. One exciting area is AI content briefs, supposedly streamlining the briefing process. But hold on a minute! My research into the top 20 AI content brief generators according to Google paints a different picture. Here’s the truth behind the hype.

Many AI content brief generators are outline factories and not content brief powerhouses. They mistake outlines for comprehensive briefs, the bare bones for the beating heart of your content. A well-crafted content brief goes far beyond headings and subheadings — it’s the blueprint that brings your content to life.

These AI “content brief generators” often rely on competitor content analysis, creating outlines that mimic what’s already ranking. This cookie-cutter approach might get your content noticed, but it also risks creating generic, forgettable pieces that blend into the background noise.

The current landscape of AI content briefs ignores a massive opportunity — optimizing existing content. Wouldn’t it be amazing to leverage AI to analyze your existing library, identify areas for improvement, and generate targeted recommendations? This could be a game-changer for content marketing efficiency, but it’s a functionality conspicuously absent from AI content briefs today.

Despite all this, I believe that the future of AI content briefs is promising. For now, embrace them for the efficiencies they offer, but don’t be blinded by the outline.

What you should do now

When you’re ready… here are 3 ways we can help you publish better content, faster:

  1. Book time with MarketMuse Schedule a live demo with one of our strategists to see how MarketMuse can help your team reach their content goals.
  2. If you’d like to learn how to create better content faster, visit our blog. It’s full of resources to help scale content.
  3. If you know another marketer who’d enjoy reading this page, share it with them via email, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

Stephen leads the content strategy blog for MarketMuse, an AI-powered Content Intelligence and Strategy Platform. You can connect with him on social or his personal blog.