We know that SaaS (especially startups) are always looking for ways to get their product in front of customers. SaaS marketing, right? And one tactic to do that is through content marketing’s SaaS blog writing.
So, if you've ever had an editor or writer for your SaaS company blog, I bet you have noticed that one of the first things he/she will ask for—that includes us in CaaSocio too 😄—is the possibility of your content manager giving a content brief.
Because in reality, even the best writers can screw up a post—and that leads to multiple revisions or worse a total rewrite. Take a look at this editor’s post.
So yep, before we start writing SaaS blog posts, we usually ask clients for content briefs.
In this post, we'll explain why we (and most blog writers) do that. Let’s also talk about the essential information that a brief contains.
First, a quick primer. 🙂
Why do SaaS companies have blogs again?
It's unlikely that you think of blogging when you think of a software company. Software companies develop and sell digital products, not write articles, don't they?
Well, it turns out that there are actually quite a few good reasons for SaaS companies to have blogs. Here are some:
- Blogs are a great way to generate leads. By providing valuable content that solves problems or answers questions, you can attract visitors to your site who may then sign up for your software.
- Long-form SaaS blogs are also good for building trust and credibility. By sharing your expert knowledge on your blog, you can show potential buyers that you're an authority in your field and that they can rely on your software to meet their needs.
- SEO blogging can help to improve search engine visibility and drive traffic to your website. By optimizing your blog posts for relevant keywords, you can attract more visitors from search engines like Google. And the more traffic you have to your site, the more likely you are to generate customers.
- Blogging is an excellent way to keep your existing customers engaged and informed about your software. By sharing new features, tips, or case studies on your blog, you can show customers that you're constantly innovating and that they made a wise decision in choosing your software.
I’m sure you get it—so now, let’s get down to business.
What is content brief when writing blogs?
A content brief is a short document that describes the overall purpose and specific goals for a piece of content. It can be extremely helpful when writing a blog post for SaaS, as it can serve as a roadmap for the post and help keep a writer on track. Briefs are also useful when writing whitepapers, video scripts, web copy or even social media captions.
A typical content brief will include information such as the topic of the SaaS blog post, the target audience, and the desired word count, but we’ll talk about the essential inclusions later in this post. 😉
Here’s an example from the web.
Content brief vs. creative brief
Before diving deeper, let’s be clear. Please don't use content brief and creative brief. Here’s why.
- A content brief is a document that outlines the specific details of a piece of content. Conversely, a creative brief is a document that outlines the overall strategy for a marketing campaign or other project, including the objectives of the campaign and the overall approach.
- While a content brief provides specific instructions for a single piece of content, a creative brief gives an overview of an entire project and how all of the different elements will work together.
So why do content writers need content briefs for SaaS blog writing?
Whenever a content writer can dive into creating content, they need to understand the goals of the article—that’s if you want less revision. That's where content briefs come in handy. They can make the ‘understanding process’ easier.
In SaaS blog writing, content briefs are significant since some SaaS sell a complex product. A well-written content brief will help ensure that all of the necessary information is conveyed to the writer, resulting in a high-quality final product—did you know 71% of users viewed a blog post on their way to making a purchase?
Here are other great reasons to have a content brief.
- It’s essentially a blueprint for the content, laying out the who, what, when, where, and why of writing.
- It can help to keep the SaaS content writer focused and on track and ensure that the final product is something that your readers will find valuable.
- It helps communicate critical messages that need to be conveyed. A content brief will help content writers to pinpoint these messages and make sure they're included in their writing.
- It saves a content writer’s time by providing all of the information they need upfront.
- It provides a reference point for feedback during the editing and revision process.
- It ensures that the blog is aligned with the company's overall marketing strategy.
7 Essential elements of a content brief
So here it is then—whenever you request blog content, it's important to provide a clear and concise brief. This will help to ensure that the final product meets your needs and expectations.
Here are the seven essential elements of a content brief:
- The general information about the article.
This is an overview of the project and usually includes the following:
- The subject of the content
- The word count
- Language/spelling used
- Competitor’s similar articles
- Top SERP of the topic
- Target audience
Who is your ideal reader or customer? What are their pain points or needs? Again, the more specific you can be here, the better.
- Key messaging
What points do you want to communicate through this piece of content? What are the key takeaways?
How do you want this piece of content to make your audience feel? Do you want it to be serious and informative or lighthearted and entertaining?
- Specific requirements
Is there anything specific that needs to be included in the piece? For example, if you're writing a blog post about a new product launch, you'll need to have information about the product (e.g., features, benefits, pricing).
- Internal and external links
A good content brief will provide both internal and external links to help you research the topic. Internal links can take you to other articles on the same website, while external links can take you to websites outside the company's site. This type of research will help you get a well-rounded view of the topic and produce better content.
- SEO Requirements
When it comes to SEO requirements, there are a few things to keep in mind—you'll want to make sure that your content is keyword-rich and that your content is original and informative.
Here are the following SEO requirements included:
- Main keyword
- Secondary keywords
- SEO URL
- Format for meta title and meta description
Content briefs help us write better
To summarize everything we just talked about—content briefs are an essential tool to help you get the most out of your content. By understanding what goes into a good brief and using them consistently, you can make sure that your content is always on point and delivering results.
But don’t get me wrong. You [we] can also write a SaaS blog even WITHOUT content briefs. They just lessen the amount of revision (in my opinion) that writers go through.
If you’re having trouble nailing down your content strategy, we can help. Our team of writers can help craft content that resonates with readers and drives results—with or without content briefs 😉.