3 Ways to Minimize Risk When Scaling Your Customer Advocacy Program

Are you getting the most out of your advocacy program? Mary Green, founder of the CMAweekly Slack community discusses pitfalls to avoid and 3 ways to minimize risk when scaling your customer advocacy program.

Interview with Mary Green of CMAweekly

You probably already know that a robust customer advocacy program can be an enormous asset to any B2B SaaS company, but do you know how to scale one?

In my recent interview with Mary Green, founder of the CMAweekly Slack community, we discussed the ins and outs of scaling customer advocacy programs. 

Keep reading to find out how Mary became a customer marketer, why many companies struggle to scale their customer advocacy programs (and the pitfalls to avoid!), how to get executive buy-in, and how to lower the risk when launching or scaling an advocacy program.

Mary Green interview

Name: Mary Green
Job title and company: Community Manager of CMAweekly; CMA Consultant
Previous companies: Hubspot, Forbes, Outreach, Demandbase, Hometown: Oneida, New York, United States

Fun facts about Mary Green:

📺 The show you’re binging right now: New Girl, Parks & Rec
⛸️ Your top 3 hobbies: Learning, helping others and trying new SaaS platforms
👪 You’re a parent to: 4 boys, 4 dogs, 2 cats and a bunny

How has your life’s journey led you to your current role? 

Mary Green: From the time I was 16, I really wanted to work from home and work on the Internet. So I looked for all sorts of possibilities and started doing stuff like answering phones for companies like Pizza Hut and Apple. 

And then I started learning more about online marketing and that people would pay you to write articles for their website. I’d always done well at writing in school, so I just started cold-emailing people and asking if they were looking for writers. And as customers asked for more services or help with different areas, I would just go learn about those things so that I could help them.

And over time I had my own social media agency and then started working for HubSpot as a community manager—that was several years ago. 

Basically, I just fell in love with community management and so I’ve been doing a lot of community building and fixing for a while now.

What kind of consulting projects do you take on?

Mary Green: Because of the CMAweekly community, I regularly talk to companies about what they’re working on and what roadblocks they’re struggling with. 

I’m always looking for ways to help companies build out an advocacy program that can scale and have a degree of connection that isn’t just centered around the advocacy program owner. Because as we all know—in B2B especially—people really want to connect with other customers. 

And because of my community background, I’ve learned so much about marketing and psychology and working with customers and customer success and all of that, so being able to bring that into the advocacy world makes it a little bit easier for the advocacy program owner and gives the advocate something more beneficial for their participation.

What does your typical engagement or project look like?

Mary Green: I normally work on more of a project basis. The first couple of months is generally a bit more intense in terms of figuring out where they are as a company and helping them build goals and figuring out what they need out of their advocacy program, and then launching the program. 

After that, it’s less of an everyday thing and more of checking in once or twice a week to see what support they need to work through different issues that they’re having.

Usually, I’m helping an existing customer marketing or customer success team that has started pulling together reviews and references but is spread too thin to take the time to build a customer advocacy program that brings it all together.

What are the benefits of a robust customer advocacy program?

Mary Green: The biggest benefit of a robust customer advocacy program is being able to scale it and gain access to more people and opportunities to get your advocacy requests filled—and get it done more quickly.  

It’s really beneficial, especially as you learn you need more of these requests filled, but it’s hard for a lot of companies to scale their customer advocacy programs.

Why is it hard for a lot of companies to scale their customer advocacy program?

Mary Green: I think there are two reasons companies struggle to scale their customer advocacy program.

Firstly, a lot of times when you’re scaling your program, you realize you don’t have enough resources, either in terms of people or tools. 

While you can work with the tool side, it’s very difficult to pull people away from things that they’re already working on to make time for this new approach that a) is going to take some time to get moving, and b) means you have to stop what you’re doing right now. 

And that’s hard for anybody because it is a little bit of a risk whenever you stop doing what you’re doing today. 

And secondly, scaling your customer advocacy program is a learning process. Intuitively, most people want to do things they already know. They don’t want to have to look things up or go out there and learn about all these different things while also having the pressure to get it done right now or get it done as soon as possible. 

So yeah, it’s hard. And I think even as we have these advocacy programs out there starting at $20,000 a year, $50,000 a year, it’s hard to get the company to embrace that spend as well. 

So scaling a customer advocacy program can be tough. But there are ways to approach it so that it’s less of a risk and you can take a little bit of time and start making that adjustment to building out your advocacy program and having some community aspect of it.

What are some of the common pitfalls when scaling a customer advocacy program?

Mary Green: I would say one of the biggest pitfalls of scaling a customer advocacy program is unrealistic expectations. 

We always hope and think it’s going to be super awesome—and it will and can be in a lot of ways—but it’s easy to forget that there’s always going to be a certain level of drop-off in customer engagement. Regardless of really focusing on keeping a healthy level of engagement, it’s just how people are. They have to focus on their biggest priorities. 

I think another pitfall is not knowing how to build relationships among the customers and advocates in your space to take some of the pressure off yourself. Basically, not taking the opportunity to help them stay engaged with your company and your customers. 

It’s hard to keep these people engaged if they don’t have somebody they’re regularly talking to, and it can’t always be you.

How can you sell a customer advocacy program to executives?

Mary Green: We have a few people in the CMAweekly community that are phenomenal at driving home the benefits of having a customer advocacy program. 

One community member has a deck he uses to do team planning in his company by showing leadership that this is what we can do with what we already have. These are the business goals and successes we can see from this. This is what we can do with more resources, and this is what happens if you take away our budget.

Playing those scenarios out with the executives really helps to get buy-in. 

Another community member, Ari Hoffman at Influitive, talks about learning what you need to help executives realize that they can’t just stay where they’re at right now and keep doing the things they’re doing, that they have to make a change to be able to reach the goals that you’re going after. 

How can companies lower the risk when scaling a customer advocacy program?

Mary Green: I think some of the ways of lowering the risk when scaling a customer advocacy program are just adopting a few new practices and perspectives.

#1 Collect more data about your existing advocates 

When you’re already having conversations with your most active customers, that just makes your job so much easier.

That way, when somebody says, “Hey, I need somebody that would do a review”, you already know five people off the top of your head—or in your database—who are really active, and who are likely to do a review right now.

#2 Scale the way you communicate with advocates

Instead of sending 1 to 1 request emails to advocates, you want to have a more scalable approach where you can say, “Okay, based on the data that I have here, all of these people have been pretty active in the last month”. 

Send them all the same short, personal message asking them whether they would be interested in doing this thing, whether it’s a reference for a Fortune 500 company, leaving a review on a website, or whatever you need. 

Now you’re doing more 1 to 5 or 1 to 15 communication. Say 7 out of 15 advocates say yes; now you’ve got one person you can match perfectly to this request and six others that are looking for something to do that you can give other tasks to. 

#3 Change your perspective and build community

Just switching your perspective on how you are approaching your advocates right now can help you to make more space and time for new opportunities. 

For instance, if you save an hour a month doing those things, you can spend that hour starting to build a sense of community around your customer advocacy program. You can message your advocates and ask them whether they’d be willing to get together once a month to network and ask questions of other customers.

And having that hour starts to build your community around your customer advocacy program and gives you a ton of information that you can look at to decide what you should do next.

Thanks for spending time with us!

Thanks to Mary for sharing your customer advocacy insights with me—and thank you, reader, for spending part of your day with us. I hope enjoyed my interview with Mary as much as I did. 

Here’s how you can connect with Mary:

Want to read more about customer marketing? 

Check out these related Uplift blog posts: 

P.S. Want more customer marketing insights?

If you’d like access to more customer marketing insights like this, sign up for our newsletter to catch all of our interviews with customer marketing leaders. 

No spam, we promise—just two value-packed newsletters about customer marketing and case studies every second Monday. 

Plus, if you’re also interested in content marketing, you can opt-in to receive two more monthly newsletters on alternating Mondays where we chat with leading content marketers.

And just in case you missed it, check out our 2024 Customer Story Trends & Insights Report, where we surveyed 115 customer marketers to gather their insights and experiences with customer stories.

Here’s a preview:

6 Lead Magnet Landing Page Examples for SaaS [Plus 4 Best Practices]

Without a great landing page, your ebooks and white papers won’t get downloaded. Find out how to create a compelling landing page in 4 easy steps from Uplift Content.

Updated July 2023: A lead magnet landing page helps you gain leads by offering a free resource like an ebook, white paper, guide or checklist in exchange for the lead’s email address. People will typically arrive on your landing page by clicking on an ad or other promotional content.

Importance of a high-converting lead magnet landing page

The best lead magnet landing pages help to drive brand awareness, promote your SaaS company and attract more customers by giving visitors a branded resource they can learn from or use. 

A well-crafted landing page helps to:

  • convert visitors to leads (and eventually, sales)
  • create a targeted email marketing list
  • build brand awareness and rapport

3 lead magnet landing page best practices

1. Capture attention

The best lead magnet landing pages capture a visitor’s attention long enough that they stay on your page to learn about your offer.

2. Valuable resource

The resource on your landing page must be so valuable that your visitor is willing to hand over their email address for it.

3. Compelling

The copy on your landing page needs to be enticing enough that your visitors will complete the form to download your free resource.

4 steps to creating a compelling lead magnet landing page

To create the best lead magnet landing pages, you need a clear and compelling headline, a strong offer and a strategic opt-in form with an irresistibly clickable button.

This 4-part combo locks your visitors into your email list. It may sound like a tall order, but it’s possible to create a compelling landing page in these 4 steps:

Step #1: Check that your landing page has a clear headline

It’s not enough to get eyeballs on your landing page. Potential customers should engage with your brand and take action by signing up for your email list to download your content. The headline on your landing page should concisely answer the question: what’s in it for me?

Attribution’s Lead Magnet landing page example has a clear headline

In this lead magnet landing page example, Attribution nails its headline by clearly communicating to readers that they’ll learn how to generate more revenue with a smaller spend by downloading the CMO’s Playbook.

Lead magnet landing page example from Attribution

Diligent’s landing page example has a vague headline

In contrast, the lead magnet landing page example for Diligent Insights’ toolkit uses a vague headline, “Current Awareness Toolkit,” that doesn’t clearly indicate what the resource is about. The benefits the visitor will get from downloading the content also aren’t apparent from this headline, and are only revealed much further down the page.

Lead magnet landing page example from Diligent

Check the effectiveness of your lead magnet headline

To ensure the headline of your landing page is on point, check out Coschedule’s free headline analyzer. This tool will help you optimize your headline for traffic, sharing and search.

You can make your landing page headline even more powerful by adding a subtitle that includes a statistic, testimonial or some form of social proof to give prestige to your content. 

Step #2: Ensure your lead magnet landing page describes the value of your offer

Your B2B SaaS landing page needs to be focused, and must persuade your visitor to take action by downloading your lead magnet. It’s crucial that your landing page makes a compelling case for the value of the resource you’re offering.

The best lead magnet landing pages identify a relatable problem that your target audience is experiencing, and explain how your lead magnet can help solve that problem, giving a preview of the actionable takeaways that the content includes.

Outreach’s Lead Magnet landing page Example describes the value of the guide

Outreach does this flawlessly on its landing page with body content that clearly and concisely explains how its lead magnet, the Outreach Sales Productivity Index, helps sales leaders gain clarity around their processes, performance and goals.

Landing page for Outreach guide

Step #3: Make it easy to opt in with the form

You’ve attracted a lead and described the value that they’ll gain from downloading your lead magnet. Now it’s time to complete the conversion with your lead magnet opt-in form.

For better conversions:

  • minimize the number of fields on your landing page form
  • avoid requesting sensitive information that deters your B2B SaaS lead from completing the form
  • be transparent about what’s required—if you’ve promised a one-step opt-in, avoid asking your lead for more information once you’ve got their email because this negatively impacts brand trust

The shorter, the better

Creating a shorter opt-in form gives you a higher chance of conversion, but it’s also important to consider your business goals as they relate to quantity versus quality of leads. Longer opt-in forms allow you to qualify the leads, but you’ll get fewer of them. To hit that user-friendly sweet spot, A/B test your form.

Cvent’s Lead Magnet landing page example is short and sweet

In this lead magnet landing page example, Cvent created a form with a clean design that requests only the visitor’s email address, first name and last name to download the company’s Virtual Event Strategy ebook.

Landing page example from Cvent

Zendesk’s landing page is more work than you think

On the other hand, Zendesk’s lead magnet landing page example appears simple at first:

Zendesk download form with 3 fields

But as soon as you add your name and email, 3 additional fields pop up (which definitely left a bad taste in my mouth). It also means you’ll be receiving a sales call, which may make you change your mind about downloading Zendesk’s lead magnet.

Zendesk download form with 6 fields

Step #4: Hook your leads with your CTA button

The call to action (CTA) button on your landing page is a crucial piece of the conversion puzzle. A click of the button after the opt-in form has been filled out is the seal of approval on a well-designed landing page for lead magnets. 

The language on the button should imply positive momentum forward. Avoid anything overly tongue and cheek—it can scare off or confuse your leads. Stick with actionable words that confirm the value of what they’re receiving like “Send me the ultimate guide” or “Start the VIP masterclass now.”

OutSystems’ CTA button is clear

In this lead magnet landing page example, OutSystems’ CTA button is directed at the visitor and encourages them to click to “Download Now”. The focus is on the action the visitor should take.

Example of lead magnet opt-in page from OutSystems

Databricks’ CTA is not customer-centric

In contrast, the landing page CTA button on Databricks’ website is lackluster. Instead of focusing on the insights into the full data management lifecycle that visitors will receive after they’ve filled out the opt-in form, the “Submit” button calls attention only to what Databricks will gain from the exchange—the lead’s information.

Example of an ebook landing page from Databricks

As a SaaS marketer, you know that high-value b2b lead magnets like ebooks and white papers take a lot of time and effort to create. By using the 4 lead magnet best practices we’ve just covered, you’ll increase your chances of getting more content downloads.

Now, promote!

Once your landing page is optimized for conversions, it’s time to promote your lead magnet to drive traffic to the page. Download our content promotion checklist to discover 20 ways to promote your B2B SaaS lead magnet to its full potential.

Need a hand with your lead magnets?

As a SaaS content marketing agency, we write ebooks, white papers and guides for high-growth SaaS companies like Okta, Lean Data and AWS. Check out our content writing services.

Messaging and Positioning: Practical Tips for B2B Tech Companies

Messaging and positioning are critical aspects of any B2B tech company’s content marketing strategy. However, it can be challenging to talk about tech in a way that’s easy to understand—and connects with customers. Punchy Founder Emma Stratton shares how tech companies can nail their messaging and positioning.

Interview with Emma Stratton, Founder of Punchy

Punchy Founder Emma Stratton is a messaging and positioning expert. In working with B2B tech leaders, she’s found that tech companies often struggle to market their offerings in a way their customers understand. Keep reading to find out why she advises tech companies to bring emotion into their messaging—and how to do just that.

You’ll also learn how she niched down from being a copywriter and storyteller to founding a consultancy that specializes in positioning and messaging strategy. She also busts some jargon and clarifies the differences between positioning and messaging, and shares 5 tips you can start using today to make your content more compelling.

Emma Stratton interview

Emma Stratton, Founder of Punchy

Name: Emma Stratton
Job title: Founder of Punchy
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Degree: BA, English

Fun facts about Emma Stratton:

📺 The show you’re binging right now: Succession 
Tea, coffee, or something else?: I have Yorkshire Tea with milk every morning
If you could have one superpower, it would be: Flight
🐼 What’s your favorite animal? Horses (don’t tell my cat!)
🎞️ Your all-time favorite movie is: Trainspotting
👪 You’re a parent to: Arlo, Wren, and Willa
🗨️ One of your all-time favorite quotes is: “Creativity is intelligence having fun” – Einstein (allegedly)

Sign up for our newsletter to catch all of our interviews with content marketing leaders.

Tell me about yourself and what you do for work

Emma Stratton: I’m Emma Stratton. I’m the founder of Punchy. We are a B2B training and consulting firm that works with fast-moving tech companies on developing great messaging. We also provide training to teach them to develop and hone their messaging and positioning themselves. We’ve been at it for seven years now.

How did you get to where you are today?

Emma Stratton: I kind of fell into tech. I was working as a copywriter at a B2B marketing agency and had this enterprise software company as a client. Back then, I didn’t know anything about tech or software, but I did know bad messaging when I saw it. 

I think because I had that outsider perspective, I asked the client a lot of basic, beginner-level questions. I wanted to know who the customer was, and why it was so hard to understand the product. The client realized their messaging was their biggest problem—their inability to talk about their technology was killing their sales.  

It turns out a lot of companies can’t explain what they do in simple terms, which inspired me to start my consultancy. 

I started offering storytelling, helping founders and startups tell bigger stories about their products. I found it so interesting, so I went deeper. Eventually, I started working with larger companies and realized, oh, you know, positioning and messaging strategy is a thing.

I was very much just following my natural interests and saw the need and kept refining my niche tighter and tighter. These days I don’t use words like “storytelling” or “branding” to describe Punchy’s work. While I work side-by-side with brand communications and content and things like that, we’re very focused on messaging strategy.

How do you define positioning or messaging?

Emma Stratton: To paraphrase product positioning expert, April Dunford, positioning is offering a unique value to a clearly defined audience. 

And that’s exactly what positioning is. 

When I work with clients, I simplify it by saying it’s “planting a stake in the ground”. It’s being intentional and saying, “We are this for this group of people.” 

When you’re defining your positioning, you’re asking “What is the core value of this thing?” For example, are you going to position a pair of glasses as a fashion accessory, or as an eyesight performance enhancer? 

There are a lot of weak positioning statements out there where people are not planting a stake in the ground—they’re essentially trying to say that every person under the sun is their customer. 

Great positioning is strategic. It’s making that decision that we’re going to stand for this in the market. It’s going all-in on the fact that we are the fastest solution for our customers, or we are the easiest solution for IT directors. It should be something very tight. 

Messaging flows from that positioning. So how are we going to communicate our positioning in a message? How are we going to bring this idea of being the fastest solution for IT teams to the market? 

When I do a messaging framework, I lead with a core value proposition, which is usually what you would see at the top of the homepage—that core promise or unique value proposition. 

Messaging is what you’re going to say to bring the positioning to life, and that will vary depending on the channel, medium, audience and goals of each piece of content. But it will always map back to the concepts you’ve outlined in the positioning.

Copywriting refers specifically to how you communicate that message through advertising—it doesn’t apply to all content writing.

I use two definitions for positioning. 

Emma Stratton: When we’re talking about Positioning with a capital P, we’re talking about that central idea or stake in the ground. It’s a strategic process you need to go through to clarify what your product is and who it is for. This is a big exercise that often needs input and alignment across a cross-functional team.

Then there’s also positioning with a lowercase P, which is all the everyday ways we position things as marketing. I define it simply as your stake in the ground. It’s about standing for one thing, not a million things.

Lowercase-P positioning is about asking questions like 

  • “What’s your spin on this?” 
  • “What are you going to highlight?” 
  • “What angle are you going to take?” 
  • “What are you going to lead with?” 

You can even apply it to how you’re going to position an argument in an article. 

And then of course with messaging, you could come up with your key messages for a campaign and take some of that and put it directly on an ad—and then it becomes copywriting.

There is a lot of overlap between these concepts and I think that’s why a lot of people get confused. 

When we’re talking about what B2B tech companies need to do, they need to start with positioning, then translate their positioning into messaging, and then use that messaging to guide all their content creation.

How can B2B content marketers make their content more compelling?

Emma Stratton: There are a couple of principles that I use that probably can be applied to all content. 

#1 Make your content digestible and easy to read 

If you’re looking at a piece of content and it’s just long, never-ending sentences, people aren’t going to read it and they’re not going to understand it. You don’t want them to read a sentence four times and still not know what that says.

  • Use digestible, simple language and swap all those big words for plainer, shorter alternatives. 
  • Make sure your sentences aren’t too long
  • Break things up

#2 Use stories and anecdotes to engage your audience

I love to start pieces with a story. Using stories or anecdotes to support your point or idea gets people engaged and helps them understand what you’re talking about. 

When you read or hear a story, your brain inserts you into the story. You experience it and feel it, so you remember it

#3 Use analogies to explain complicated concepts

If you can come up with an analogy that’s just really simple to explain, a technical point can go a long way. 

Analogies that compare unfamiliar or technical concepts to familiar things are engaging and help people to grasp and understand what you’re trying to explain.

#4 Put yourself in your customer’s shoes

Effective content isn’t about just marketing your product and telling people about its features—you need to connect the dots between what you know, what you offer, and more importantly, what people want to know and how you can help them. 

People want solutions to their problems. Empathize with your customers and write about what matters to them and what they want to know about. 

#5 Bring emotion into your messaging

So much of product marketing language is like, “increase efficiencies” and “streamline your day”. It’s not wrong, but it doesn’t make people feel anything. 

When you use emotion in your content, it helps you form a connection with your reader. You’re showing that you get them—that you understand how they’re feeling and what life is like for them with their problem. 

You start subconsciously building a bit of trust with your reader, and it makes your brand more human, more personable. 

How can tech companies bring emotion into their content marketing?

Emma Stratton: One really good thing is mirroring people’s problems and reflecting how hard their situation is and how it makes them feel right back at them. You want your messaging to show them you get it.

When you describe an annoying situation in terms of the emotions it evokes,  you’re jogging people’s memories and taking them back to that moment and the sensations they experienced. 

You’re making them feel something. 

It helps to do an exercise where you ask your focus group to talk about their problems and challenges in “real talk”. How might they actually talk about it to their colleagues or their friends at a barbecue? 

Like, okay, you say you’re not organized, but what does that look like? How does it feel? Does it make you crazy?

You get these great stories of how people struggle—before using your software—and if you can use those stories to jog people’s memories and help them connect to that feeling, you might be able to inspire them to make a change and consider a solution.

When I do this exercise with teams, they come up with all this stuff, and I can see that they’re surprised by all the emotion that comes out. It’s awesome.

And I’ll ask them “How much of this is in your messaging at the moment?” And usually, the answer is “None of it.” So I say, “You’ve got to start bringing this into your messaging because this is good stuff.” 

It’s real. It makes you stand out, and it helps you connect with people.

Thanks for spending time with us!

Thanks to Emma for sharing your knowledge—and thank you, reader, for spending part of your day with us. I hope you gained as much as I did from my interview with Emma. 

Here’s how you can connect with Emma:

Want to read more about creating engaging B2B tech content?

Check out these related Uplift blog posts: 

P.S. Want more marketing insights?

If you’d like access to more content marketing insights like this, sign up for our newsletter to catch all of our interviews with content marketing leaders. 

No spam, we promise—just two value-packed content marketing newsletters every second Monday. 

Plus, if you’re interested in customer stories and customer marketing, you can opt-in to receive a two more newsletters on alternating Mondays where we chat with leaders in customer marketing.

Speaking of customer stories, have a look at our 2024 Customer Story Trends & Insights Report, where we surveyed 115 customer marketers to gather their insights and experiences with customer stories.

Here’s a preview:

Sign up for our newsletter to catch all of our interviews with content marketing leaders.

B2B Blog Post Ideas: 5 Ways to Find Engaging Topics

Coming up with B2B blog post ideas doesn’t have to be difficult. In this post, you’ll get 5 strategies to help you identify engaging topics your audience actually wants to read about, plus 8 kinds of blog posts to try—with B2B blog post examples.

Updated July 2023: Coming up with B2B blog post ideas just got a whole lot easier. 

That’s good news, considering the fact that in recent years, blogging has become a crucial marketing tool for just about every industry. 

A B2B blog can help you to establish authority, drive traffic to your website, engage with your target audience—and even make sales. B2B blogs offer a unique opportunity to showcase your industry expertise, establish yourself as a thought leader, and build relationships with customers and prospective business partners. 

So if you’ve ever struggled to come up with fresh and relevant content ideas for your blog, keep reading for 5 ways to come up with more B2B blog post ideas, resources to help you blog like a pro, 8 types of blog content to try and B2B blog post examples.

What you’ll find in this post:

How to get B2B blog post ideas—pronto
1. Balance your business goals with your audience’s needs
2. Listen to your audience
3. Check out the competition
4. Use content tools
5. Build on existing blogs

8 kinds of blog post to try [+ B2B blog post examples]
1. Informative blog posts
2. Thought leadership blog posts
3. Case study blog posts
4. Product and service update blog posts
5. Opinion piece blog posts
6. Infographic blog posts
7. FAQ blog posts
8. Interview blog posts

No time for blogging? Don’t worry.

How to get B2B blog post ideas—pronto

If you’re in charge of creating content for your company’s B2B blog, you know that coming up with new and interesting ideas can be a challenge. To keep your blog fresh and engaging, you need to constantly be generating new topics that will appeal to your target audience. 

But where do you start? How can you come up with ideas that are not only relevant to your industry but also valuable to your readers? 

In this post, we’ll explore 5 strategies for uncovering click-worthy and engaging B2B blog post ideas and 8 types of blog posts you should consider writing. 

1. Balance your business goals with your audience’s needs

When coming up with B2B blog post ideas, it’s important to keep your reader’s interests in mind. While blogging gives you complete control over your messaging, don’t forget you have to provide value to your readers.

We get it: Your blog is ultimately a marketing tool, so it’s only natural that you’re focused on using it to advance your business goals. There’s nothing wrong with that—but if you don’t find a way to balance your content with your audience’s needs, they simply won’t read your content. 

Find the sweet spot for your blog topics

When you’re trying to come up with great ideas for B2B blog posts, start by brainstorming issues facing your industry—that your products or services can solve. Consider your audience’s specific pain points and find ways to address them with your content. 

And remember—you don’t have to (and probably shouldn’t) sell your product in every blog post you publish. In fact, you can build trust (and authority) by providing your readers with value through helpful, informative content that keeps them coming back for more. 

Instead of using a direct (and often offputting) call to action like “talk to our sales team”, you can nudge them into your lead funnel by inviting them to “subscribe to our newsletter for more useful insights” or “we’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic—follow us on Twitter/LinkedIn and tell us what you think”.

Dig Deeper

Mapping your content to your audience’s stage in the buyer journey is an effective way to make sure you’re giving them the right type—and amount—of information for their current needs. 

The buyer’s journey is often described in terms of stages of awareness, moving from “problem aware” (they know what challenge they’re facing) through “solution aware” (they’re considering different solutions to their challenge), to “product/provider aware” (they’re comparing specific solution providers). To learn more, check out this guide to tailoring your blog content to the various stages of the buyer journey by Hubspot.

Learn how to craft the perfect CTA by checking out our blog post on call-to-action examples.

2. Listen to your audience 

Another option for getting B2B blog post ideas is to listen to your audience. If you know where to look, you’ll find that they’re constantly revealing what they’re interested in, what challenges they’re facing, and which questions they have (that you could be answering in your content). 

So where do you look? Forums like Reddit and Quora can be treasure troves of information about your target market. So can dedicated groups on social media platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn. 

Subscribing to industry newsletters and following thought leaders in your space on Twitter can also help you stay informed on the topics trending in your niche and give you plenty of B2B blog topic ideas.

You can even go straight to the source and ask your audience directly. Whether you ask on one of the forums mentioned above, use a social platform to run a poll or quick survey, or chat to your existing customers, all you have to do is ask.

Here are some examples of questions you could ask them:

  • What types of (industry-related) content do you read? Why?
  • Where do you go to find information? e.g. LinkedIn, Slack groups, industry forums?
  • What topics would you like to learn more about? 
  • What types of blog posts do you find most helpful?
  • What challenges are you currently facing? 

Pro tip: Your website analytics (or CRM, if you have one) can tell you which of your existing blogs get the most traffic, engagement and conversions. And when you know what already works, you can create similar content. 

Dig Deeper 

To learn more about website analytics, check out these resources:

You might also want to explore social listening tools, which allow you to track social media channels for mentions of your brand, competitors or specific keywords to see what people are talking about in your niche. 

Here’s a good primer from Hootsuite on social listening tools with examples of which tools you can try out.

3. Check out the competition

Your competition can be an invaluable resource for coming up with blog ideas. What do other B2B marketers in your industry blog about? Visit your competitors’ blogs, as well as any blogs related to your field, and keep an eye on the kinds of blogs they’re publishing. 

You’ll often find opportunities to address gaps in topic coverage, or even to write a better, more helpful and comprehensive blog on the same topic. Remember, the goal is to provide value—so if your blog can provide more value than your competitor’s, it doesn’t matter if you cover the same topic. 

You can conduct more detailed research, provide more relevant and actionable information, and link to authoritative sources. Then ask other blogs to link to your post instead of the older material. You could even write a rebuttal-style blog if you come across an opinion or perspective you don’t agree with.

And don’t limit your search to your competition’s blogs. Keep an eye on social media channels, too. Popular tweets, Facebook pages, LinkedIn discussions, webinars, industry reports and even news items related to your niche can all spark great B2B blog post ideas. 

Dig Deeper

Want to learn more? Here’s a good resource from Social Media Examiner that will help you get blog post ideas from your competitors

4. Use content tools

There are plenty of online tools that can help you identify the best B2B blog post ideas. Here are a few tools worth trying:

  • Google Trends: You can use Google Trends to see which topics are getting the most Google searches. You can either type a specific search term to see interest over time or use the Explore feature and configure the location, category and time range to identify topics trending in your industry and location.

  • BuzzSumo: BuzzSumo is a tool that helps you identify trending topics and generate content ideas (and even briefs!) with a click. 

  • ChatGPT: ChatGPT is a generative artificial intelligence tool that can be very helpful as a blogging assistant—especially for brainstorming topic ideas. All you need to do is ask it a question like “Give me 10 B2B blog post ideas for XYZ industry” and presto! It spits them out in seconds. Check out the screenshot below for the blog post examples it gave me. 

Screenshot from ChatGPT of a prompt and responses

Dig Deeper

If you want to get serious about using your blog to drive traffic to your website, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with search engine optimization (SEO) tactics and keyword research. 

In a nutshell, SEO is about priming your content to rank as high as possible on search engine results pages, while keyword research is about identifying which keywords have the potential to drive the most search engine traffic to your website. 

There are a number of different tools you can use to do keyword research to identify and prioritize your blog post ideas, including SEMRush, Ahrefs, Moz and Keyword Surfer. 

If you want to learn more, read Search Engine Journal’s very comprehensive introduction to SEO for beginners or take Ahrefs’ free Blogging for Business course. 

5. Build on existing blogs

Ideas for blog post topics don’t all have to be brand new! 

Don’t neglect to update your existing blogs from time to time. You can breathe new life into them by adding new insights, updating statistics and citing new research or adding an interview with a thought leader in your industry. 

Experiment with repurposing content in different formats to get more mileage out of each piece of content. For instance, you could transform a series of tweets into a blog post, turn your blog posts into YouTube videos or publish a series of blog posts based on a survey or report you’ve published. 

You can also read through your existing blog posts to identify opportunities to create new posts in which you dive deeper into topics you mentioned briefly previously, and then link to these new posts from your existing posts. 

Dig Deeper

Use relevant anchor text to build internal links between related blog topics on your website. Creating topic clusters around content pillars is a tried-and-trusted technique for establishing yourself as an authority in your industry or niche.

Need a step-by-step process for generating blog post topics?

Use our Topic Generator Worksheet to get 9 questions to ask yourself when brainstorming blog topics, as well as sample answers from other SaaS marketers. Download the worksheet.

8 kinds of blog posts to try [+ B2B blog post examples] 

Now that you’ve got a toolkit to help you unlock B2B blog post ideas, let’s take a look at some of the different kinds of blog posts you could create. Below, you’ll find 8 kinds of blog posts, each with 3 B2B blog post examples.  

8 kinds of blog posts to try

1. Informative blog posts

Informative blog posts aim to educate readers on a particular topic or concept. They can be how-to guides, listicles or tutorials, and usually contain actionable advice or tips. 

Here are some informative blog post examples:  

  • “10 tips for improving your time management skills”
  • “A beginner’s guide to getting the most from your CMS”
  • “5 ways to improve your product management skills”

2. Thought leadership blog posts

Thought leadership blog posts are posts written by industry experts who share their opinions and insights on current trends, news, and developments in their field. They often provide a unique perspective on issues and offer solutions or recommendations.

Here are some thought leadership blog post examples:

  • “Why AI will revolutionize the healthcare industry”
  • “The future of remote work: Challenges and opportunities”
  • “The impact of social media on modern marketing strategies”

3. Case study blog posts

Case study blog posts highlight a real-life example of a problem or challenge that a company or individual faced and how they solved it. They are often used to demonstrate the effectiveness of a particular product or service.

Here are some case study blog post examples:

  • “How Company X increased sales by 50% using our software”
  • “A successful content marketing campaign: A case study”
  • “The benefits of implementing a CRM system: A case study”

4. Product and service update blog posts

Product and service update blog posts announce new or improved products or services and give the reader information about their features and benefits. These posts can also include information on pricing, availability, how (or where) to purchase them and promotions such as free trial periods.

Here are some product and service update blog post examples:

  • “How we’re reducing our carbon footprint—one employee at a time”
  • “We’ve updated our app with new features to improve user experience”
  • “Our service now offers same-day delivery

5. Opinion piece blog posts

Opinion piece blog posts express the author’s views on a particular topic, issue or news story. They can be controversial or galvanizing, and are often used to spark discussion and debate.

Here are some opinion piece blog post examples:

  • “Why the gig economy is exploitative—and what you should do instead”
  • “AI is going to ruin the workplace—here’s why”
  • “Why the education system needs to be reformed”

6. Infographic blog posts 

Infographic blog posts use visuals such as graphs, charts and diagrams to present complex information in an easy-to-understand format. They can be used to illustrate statistics, trends or comparisons—and they can also tell a story.

Here are some infographic blog post examples:

  • “Low code vs. no code: An infographic”
  • “The evolution of social media: A timeline”
  • “The most popular programming languages: A visual comparison”

7. FAQ blog posts

FAQ blog posts answer frequently asked questions about a particular topic, product or service. They can be used to provide clarification and reduce confusion—and lower the burden on your support staff.

Here are some FAQ blog post examples:

  • “FAQs about our new software update”
  • “Answers to common questions about our app”
  • “Everything you need to know about our new membership program”

8. Interview blog posts

Interview blog posts feature an interview with an expert or influencer in a particular field. Interviews provide insights into the person’s experience—and opinions and can be powerful one-of-a-kind content assets and link magnets. 

Here are some interview blog post examples:

  • “An interview with [marketing influencer] on product marketing”
  • “A conversation with [well-known founder] on their creative process”
  • “[Industry expert]’s advice on successful hybrid workplaces”

No time for blogging? Don’t worry.

We can help. Check out our professional B2B SaaS blog writing services to help your business expand brand awareness, build thought leadership, boost conversions and increase revenue. 

How To Create a Content Brief Template [5 Examples & Free Download]

Having a robust content brief template is the only way you’ll get the high quality content you need to knock it out of the park every time. Download the content brief template Uplift Content uses.

Updated July 2023: You need to knock it out of the park with every piece of B2B SaaS marketing content you create. The best way to get the results you want is to kick off each project by filling out a content brief template that covers all of the standard elements, but also includes a few things you may not have considered before.

Here’s what we cover in this post:

Download our free content brief template

Want a great content brief template without reading the full post?

Grab your free copy of our content brief template (Google Doc)


What is a content brief?

A content brief is a document that outlines all of the expectations, requirements and suggestions for a writer before they set out to write a piece of content. 

The brief typically includes basic information like word count, topic and keywords to use, but it can also include more in-depth information like the goal of the content, who the audience is and a rough outline. A helpful content brief might also include links to resources that will help the writer get started in their research.

Unlike a quick conversation or messy meeting notes, a content brief is important because it provides a written record of what is expected from the content. It helps ensure everyone on your team is on the same page—especially if you’re working with an extended team via an agency or a freelance writer.

A content brief also helps align expectations between a writer and a client or content manager. By providing an agreed framework or structure to your writer before they start, you can ensure the final piece of content meets your needs—especially on topics covered, keywords used and tone.

In particular, this is important when you’re working with different writers and content agencies at the same time since detailed briefs help make sure your brand messaging and voice remain constant.

What is a content brief template?

A content brief template is a reusable document that has predetermined sections outlining all of the pieces of information you need to include when creating a content brief. 

Having a template for your content brief will not only save you time, but it will also ensure you don’t forget to include any essential important elements.

A well-thought-out template is also part of systematizing the writing process to ensure consistent outcomes over time. It makes it easy to reuse components that appear regularly in your briefs. This is useful if you produce content on an ongoing basis because creating briefs from scratch can cause delays in your content calendar. 

Who should use a content brief template?

A content creation brief template is an invaluable tool for anyone involved in content creation. From the product marketer tasked with writing a post on the newest functionality to the vice president of marketing charged with creating an entire content strategy, content writing brief templates are useful at any level of your B2B SaaS business. 

Here are two roles that typically fill out content brief templates:

Marketing strategists

Marketing strategists are well-versed in keyword research, content strategy and planning. But their real superpower is understanding how to connect all the pieces of the content puzzle together to achieve specific business goals.

Using a content brief template allows marketing strategists to communicate all of their insights to the writer in a way that is easily digestible and actionable. It also provides the writer with a better understanding of how this particular piece of content fits into the broader strategy.

With a detailed and fully completed content marketing brief template to work from, the writer can create content that aligns with the content marketing strategy, performs better and requires less back-and-forth time with the editor.

Writers

Sometimes content projects don’t have dedicated strategists. And sometimes the only information provided to the writer is high-level information like “we need a blog post on the benefits of our product.”

In these cases, the writer should fill out the content marketing brief template and run the brief past the stakeholders to ensure everyone’s on the same page. Content brief templates also help set clear expectations for the piece of content and save a lot of time (and headaches) down the road.


Why are content brief templates so important?

Jumping into a content project without a fully fleshed out content brief template is a bit like baking a cake with no recipe. You might get lucky and end up with a great tasting cake, or you may end up with a hot mess.

From a writer’s point of view, inconsistent content briefs can make it hard to understand what the company actually wants from their blog posts and articles. 

Filling out a content writing brief template is critical to the content’s success for 3 reasons:

1. Prevent rewrites and reduce revisions

Detailed content briefs help the whole content team align on what’s important. With a completed content marketing brief template, everyone can clearly see what’s expected, which is crucial for avoiding rewrites and multiple rounds of revisions, as well as getting content approved and published quickly.

By using a robust template, content planners can make sure they’re providing writers with all the information they need to produce excellent content. 

If you’re working with a new writer or agency, bundling important contextual information like your target audience, brand positioning and competitor analysis helps them start on the right foot. It’s these seemingly minor nuggets of information that elevate content to match your expectations—don’t leave them out.

2. Ensure all requirements are met

A content creation brief template acts as a checklist for the content you’ll be creating, ensuring the writer doesn’t forget to include anything that’s needed for a comprehensive and useful piece of content.

A brief must include all the necessary SEO information for that piece of content to perform well, including targeted keywords, section headings and recommended links. However, editorial guidelines are just as important. A writer must know who they are writing for, and for what purpose.

That’s precisely why we recommend using a template to make sure you don’t forget these important elements. 

3. Save time

Creating a content brief without using a template is a time-consuming task. As we’ve discussed earlier, the more detailed a brief is, the better the content will be. However, this creates a time burden for the content planner.

By making use of reusable components and structures, you can cut the time it takes to generate briefs dramatically. 

Higher-quality briefs will also save time for writers and editors. With email, Slack, Trello, meetings and Google Docs, we have so many ways of communicating about our next piece of content that it can be difficult and time-consuming to find a specific piece of information. 

By collecting all the information into a content writing brief template, writers know where to easily and quickly find the information—helping them write content faster and more accurately.

A brief can be used by editors to check that a writer has taken the content requirements into account. If elements are missed, editors can refer to the brief when asking writers to make changes, cutting revision lead times too. 


How do content brief templates fit into content marketing workflows?

Content briefs can help streamline your content marketing workflow by ensuring writers have all the necessary information to get started. With a template, there’s no need to build each content brief from scratch. 

The content marketing workflow is cyclical, and the content writing brief template is arguably at the center of it all. 

Let’s explore how content brief templates fit into a typical content marketing workflow: 

1. Research

The first step in the content marketing workflow is to conduct research to figure out how content fits into the big picture and identify what the strategy should focus on.

Here, you should: 

  • Use keyword research to see which topics and keywords have the greatest chance of making an impact. 
  • Conduct competitor analysis to find insights into what other companies are doing well, and identifying how your company can outperform them.
  • Find out what queries and pain points your potential users are searching for. Tailoring content to solve these problems increases your chances for successful conversions. 


2. Mapping

The next stage is to map out how specific pieces of content fit into the overall content plan and editorial calendar.

During the mapping stage, you should: 

  • Identify the specific purpose of each piece of content. Who are individual posts for? What problems should the piece solve? What should users do after reading the post? 
  • Plan out when content should be written, edited and published. This is an important step for maintaining a consistent editorial calendar.


3. Content brief template

Next, to ensure that the written content matches the requirements identified in the last two steps, you’ll need to fill out a content brief template for every content item in your content calendar. Clearly, the brief is the critical link between your research and planning—and the actual content creation.

Using a template helps make sure you’re not missing out anything—reducing back-and-forth between writers and avoiding the need for time-consuming revisions. 


4. Writing

Next, a writer will use a detailed  content brief to write the piece. A brief should be their primary port-of-call to find out the requirements of that specific piece. 

If they need to look elsewhere—for example, a different document, a Slack message or an email—to find missing information, this will inevitably slow them down. 


5. Editing

Once the piece has been submitted, your editor can use the content brief as a checklist to make sure all critical information has been included.

If revisions are needed, you can easily point out the areas of the brief that a writer needs to work on. This helps reduce the time it takes for a writer to complete revisions.

6. Publishing

Once a piece of content has cleared the editing and approval process, it’s time for it to go live! 

You should keep an eye on the content brief when publishing the content to ensure that the keywords are fully optimized. 

The brief will also contain other SEO requirements—such as title tags, meta descriptions, alt tags and more—that should be followed when publishing the content on your website. 


Grab a copy of our free content brief template (Google Doc)


How to write an effective content brief template

An effective content brief helps ensure each and every piece of content matches your requirements. To do this, you’ll need to build the right content brief template for your company. 

Let’s discuss how you can approach this and what you’ll need to include in the ideal content brief template.

What should you include in a content brief template?

To give writers all the information they need to craft great content, you’ll need to include all the basic elements of content creation in the writer’s brief template. 

Essentially, a content brief should answer all the questions a writer has before they ask them. 

Here are 8 basic components every content brief template needs:

1. Working title

You should provide a working title for the piece of content so everyone knows how to refer to the project.

We recommend including the target keyword or topic in the working title. Experienced writers and agencies will know when to change or adapt a working title, but including one provides a great jumping-off point. 

A working title is an easy way to guide the format of your content. For example, a working title of “5 Reasons a SaaS Business Needs a CRM” will instantly pivot your writer to talk about the benefits of the technology in the context of your target customer.


2. Deadlines

Being transparent with deadlines and due dates helps keep your content calendar on track. Your brief should clearly set out when the draft is due and when the content will be published.

Displaying deadlines clearly on briefs gives writers the opportunity to query tight due dates and iron on problems at the earliest possible time.


3. Goal

What is the goal of the content? What are you hoping this content will achieve?

By setting out clear goals, your writer can tailor the content to suit your needs. 

For instance, if your goal is to build brand awareness through thought leadership, your writer can be sure to include quotes from influential leaders in your company. 


4. Buyer’s journey

To create content that converts prospects into customers, you need to tailor the content to a specific stage of the buyer’s journey. How can you identify this? 

Ask yourself: at what point do buyers usually face the problem or pain point you’re trying to solve? There are three main stages: awareness, consideration and decision. 

Understanding which stage you should be targeting ensures your writer is tailoring calls-to-action (CTAs) that match the intended purpose of the content.


5. Audience

Content written specifically for your target audience is more likely to convert your target audience. But who is your target audience? Why would they want to read this content? What’s in it for them?

Many B2B SaaS companies will tailor blog posts for specific use cases, industries, company sizes or job titles. Content planners may look at which customers are more valuable in that they have a high CLV or high ROI. Do companies from a particular sector tend to spend more on your product or stay for longer? How about targeting them in your marketing content?


6. Topic

A brief should clearly describe the topic you’d like the content to cover. Are there any specific angles you’d like the writer to explore? What is it about this topic that is particularly interesting or valuable to your target audience? 

Do you have any subtopics you’d like the writer to touch on? Do you have a sense of what you’d like the structure of the post to be? Do you have any resources the writer should check out? Be sure to list any of this in the brief. 


7. Specifications

Next, it’s useful to discuss the desired format of the blog post. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Should it be a straight-forward discussion? 
  • Would a listicle work better here? 
  • How about a complete guide of the topic to provide a deeper level of insight to a reader? 
  • Are there any specific formatting considerations?

You should also consider how long the text should be. The length of a blog post can have a pretty big impact on how useful readers find your content. 

For guides and how-tos, users tend to prefer longer content with more detailed insights. In fact, according to SEMRush, articles of 3000–7000 words get 2X the page views and 24% more shares when compared to shorter-length posts.

However, it’s important to note that longer articles take more time to write and not everyone wants to read a novela. 

8. Resources

Finally, a brief should provide any templates, style guides, key messaging documents or background information that could be helpful to the writer.

The accuracy of your content plays a significant role in whether customers trust your brand and your products. That’s why research and fact-checking is key. We recommend providing some relevant research links and jumping-off points to help your writers get started. 

How to include an SEO focus in a content brief template?

SEO is an important part of writing B2B content because tailoring your blog posts and articles to perform well in search engine results will help improve your brand visibility and get you clicks. 

Despite this, many content managers don’t focus on SEO requirements when writing content briefs. While experienced writers will know a lot about SEO, it’s still important to provide them with guidance to boost the performance of the post (and make their lives easier).

What SEO considerations and elements should you include in your content brief template to ensure your writer is optimizing content for search engines? 

Let’s discuss how to instill an SEO focus into your briefs:

1. Include primary and secondary keywords in your brief

We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again. Let your writer know what keyword you’re targetting. This helps them tailor the focus of the article to best answer your target query. It’s important to note that a great SEO writer will know how to weave keywords into the text – as they’ll know keyword stuffing doesn’t work in modern SEO. It’s not as simple as scattering keywords yourself after your writer delivers the content.

2. Identify opportunities to target featured snippets

Featured snippets are the section on search engine result pages (SERPs) tagged as “People also ask…”. Google (and other search engines!) collate snippets from webpages to display common answers to questions. If your article aims to solve a frequently asked question, let your writer know where to target it in your brief. The best strategy for this is to answer the question clearly and concisely.

3. Make your desired goal or action clear in your brief

Finally, your brief should answer: what do you want your reader to do after they’re done with the article? Call-to-actions (CTAs) are important for converting customers, but they are also important for SEO. By having a clear user flow and encouraging readers to read more, check out a landing page or get in touch, visitors will stay longer on your site. From Google’s point of view, this signals that your blog post (and by extension, your site) is worth sticking around for – boosting your rankings in search results. Neat, isn’t it?

4. Include an SEO cheat sheet or list of best practices

Even experienced writers will need a reminder of SEO rules from time to time. We recommend including a cheat sheet for SEO requirements for writers to keep in mind when writing the piece of content.

What sort of rules could you include in this? We recommend adding some guidance on H1-H2-H3 tag hierarchies, paragraph length, style pointers, meta descriptions, etc.

Remember, a content brief should align with your overall SEO strategy to ensure your content matches your SEO goals.

Grab a copy of our free content brief template (Google Doc)


What do most people fail to include in a content brief template, but should?

A bad content brief will lead to incomplete or unsuitable content. If you don’t provide all the information a writer needs to craft a great post, you risk costly revisions and delays to your content calendar. 

This problem can be alleviated by ensuring your template has every relevant component in it. Take your content from basic to brilliant by adding these 5 unexpected elements to your content creation brief:

1. Emotional outcome

As a B2B SaaS marketer, you already know the aim of your content, but do you know how you want people to feel after they read one of your blog posts? How about relief or excitement that they finally have a solution to a problem that’s been nagging them? This is the emotional outcome. Get clear on this in your content creation brief and you’ll forge a strong connection with your audience.

2. Big picture

Craft your content brief with your company’s greater purpose in mind. The well known example from author Simon Sinek explains how Apple markets its products—not as user-friendly computers or smartphones, but as part of a bigger picture that centers around challenging the status quo.

For many SaaS companies, their ‘why’ could involve disrupting old patterns and breaking down barriers so people can work more efficiently and with greater impact. Make sure your content creation brief reflects your company’s ‘why’.

3. Competitive analysis

Include a few links to your competitors’ content in your writer’s brief to give a sense of what other companies in your industry are doing well—and not so well—in their blog posts and ebooks. This is one of the best ways to ensure your content stays sharp and fills in any missing gaps in information.

4. Storytelling

The most engaging and effective content tells a story. So, when developing a content brief, plot out the story that you want the content to tell. Like any good narrative, it should have a beginning, middle and end. For example, highlight a problem and describe how it’s challenging an industry. Then provide thought leadership on how to solve the problem.

5. Performance expectations

The content brief isn’t just a way to outline what information the content should include. It’s also a chance to share your enthusiasm and ambition for the content—and inspire the writer. Is the goal to publish the definitive guide to a subject? Spell that out. Let the writer know you’re confident that you can achieve this together.

How should you fill out a content brief template?

Now that you know what sections to include in your content marketing brief template, you’re ready to fill it out. Here are 4 things to keep in mind as you fill out a content brief template:

1. Be clear and concise

The goal of the content brief is to provide clear instructions to the writer so that they can produce content that meets your expectations. For this to happen, you need to be as specific as possible about what you want—and just as importantly, what you don’t want.

A related point here is to not be too overbearing in your brief. The idea is to give the writer the tools they need to write a good post, not tell your writer exactly what to write. 


2. Know your audience

Your target audience should be at the front of your mind when you’re filling out the content brief template. Every decision you make, from the topic to the tone of voice, should be based on what will resonate with them.

Remember, the audience you target should be tied directly to the customers you’re looking to attract. It’s important to keep in mind which stage of the buyer journey you’re targeting since this will affect how your writer approaches CTAs.


3. Set realistic expectations

It’s important to set realistic expectations for both you and the writer. If you’re unrealistic about deadlines, word counts or the level of detail you expect in the final piece, it will only lead to frustration on both sides.

4. Be flexible

While it’s important to be specific about what you want, it’s also important to be open to new ideas and perspectives. 

The best content is often the result of a collaborative effort between you and the writer, so be prepared to put your own preconceptions aside and let the writer take the lead.

Once you build a working relationship with your writer, it should become fairly clear what aspects of a brief they can take some creative license with. However, to begin with, we recommend making non-negotiable parts of a content brief clear. It’s best practice to keep these to a minimum, however, as a writer’s input can lead to a better overall post.


5 content brief template examples and 1 free download

Need some help creating your content outline template? Here are 5 content writing brief template examples to refer to:

Content Brief Template Example 1:

Zapier

It doesn’t get much more straight-forward than this content brief template. We like the clarity around SEO—and the nice addition of “Competitor articles.”

Content Brief Template Example 2:

Agency Analytics

We like how Agency Analytics includes “Product tie-in” and “Internal links”. These 2 components are really helpful for the writer.

Content Brief Template Example 3:

Meta Blog

Shout out to Mega Blog for including “Content goal” in their brief. And it’s great that they’ve got a big section for the “Outline.” The clearer you can get on your goals and your outline, the better the chance that your writer will produce the kind of content you’re looking for.

Content Brief Template Example 4:

PandaDoc

This brief is one of the more robust content brief templates we’ve seen. Below is just a small snippet of the full brief, which we’d encourage you to check out. A brief like this might be appropriate for an ebook or white paper that’s more robust than a blog post.

Content Brief Template Example 5:

Wrike

We love that Wrike has a section for “Inflexible H2s and H3s”. This ensures that the writer is clear on which headers they must use versus which headers they can choose to use or modify. We also appreciate how they provide a section for internal link options to commercial and supporting pages–very handy!

Download our free content brief template

Here’s the free content brief template we use with our customers. Make a copy and tweak it for your own needs.

Download the Google Docs template 

Start using a content brief template for your next project

Having a clear and concise content brief will save you time and frustration in the long run—and ensure that the final product is exactly what your team wants. 

Once you’ve created a content brief template that works for your team, you can use it over and over again for all your future projects. Fill in the blanks with the specific details of each project, and you’ll be well on your way to producing great content that achieves your goals every time.

This is the sixth post in a 7-part series on how to find and work successfully with your next SaaS writer.

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If you need a hand writing high-quality posts that drive traffic and conversions, check out our blog writing service.

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