Content Creation Brief: 5 Unexpected Elements to Add So You Get Powerful Content

Nobody wants basic content—as SaaS marketers, we all want brilliant content. In this video, learn the 5 essential elements you need to include in your content creation brief to sink a slam dunk with your marketing materials every time.

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 with a content creation brief that covers all of the standard elements, but also includes a few things you may not have considered before.

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

Need a hand writing your B2B SaaS marketing content? Check out our content writing services.


Content Creation Brief: 5 Unexpected Elements to Add (Transcript)

Hi SaaS marketers! Emily Amos here from Uplift Content.

A content creation brief—also known as a writer’s brief—can save you tons of time on your projects. This tool allows you to clearly outline what you expect your writer to include in the content. With some quick prep work, a content brief helps your writer hit the nail on the head the first time, making the review process smoother and helping you produce excellent content that keeps your audience engaged.

Content creation brief: a basic structure 

At its core, a content creation brief should clearly outline the goal of the piece of content, the audience and the topic. The brief should also note any particular angles you want the content to explore, as well as any key marketing messages to touch on. And don’t forget to note the word count, deadline and any sources you have for the content.

How to write a content brief

Here are 8 basic components every content creation brief requires:

1. Title

Provide a working title for this piece of content so everyone knows how to refer to the project.

2. Deadlines

When is the draft due and when will the piece of content be published? 

3. Goal

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

4. Buyer’s journey

What stage in the buyer’s journey is our reader? Awareness, consideration, decision?

5. Audience

Who is your target audience? Why would they want to read this content? What’s in it for them?

6. Topic

Clearly describe the topic you’d like the piece to cover. Are there any specific angles you’d like the writer to explore?

7. Specifications

What type of content is it? For example, blog post or ebook? What’s the word count? Any specific formatting considerations? 

8. Resources

Provide any templates, style guides, key messaging documents or background information that could be helpful to the writer.

Beyond the basics of your content creation brief

5 unexpected elements that will make your content shine

Take your content from basic to brilliant by adding these 5 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 case studies? How about relief or excitement that they’ve found a partner who can solve their problem? 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, or if you’re writing about a specific customer, think about their ‘why’. 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 case studies, white papers, and ebooks. This is one of the best ways to ensure your content stays sharp.

4. Storytelling

The most engaging and effective content tells a story. So, when developing a B2B SaaS writer’s 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 writer’s brief isn’t just a way to outline what content should look like. 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 to give your writer feedback

Get great content with less hand-holding by checking out Uplift Content’s video with 3 examples on how to give your SaaS writer concrete, helpful feedback.

Help your writer ramp up

Now, while the content creation brief gives your SaaS writer everything they need to write one particular piece of content, like a case study or an ebook, what it doesn’t do is provide the background information the writer needs in order to ramp up on your company as a whole.

For your writer to be truly successful, they need to know everything they can about your company, your products, your target market, and your key marketing messages—before they start writing that one particular piece of content.

Download our onboarding tool

That’s where our writer onboarding tool comes in. This customizable tool gives your SaaS writer everything they need to know—so they can hit the ground running. Download it and see for yourself.

If you’d like a hand from one of our seasoned B2B SaaS writers, simply get in touch.

Originally published March 3, 2020. Updated December 21, 2021.

19 Copywriter Interview Questions to Help You Hire the Best SaaS Writer

Excellent B2B SaaS writers are hard to find—and reviewing a couple of writing samples is just not going to cut it. Learn the interview process Uplift Content uses to ensure you find your next rockstar copywriter (and not a dud).

In the past couple of years, we’ve interviewed over 50 writers and reviewed writing samples from hundreds. During this time, we’ve narrowed in on the top copywriter interview questions you need to ask if you’re serious about finding your next writing partner.

Whether you’re looking for an in-house writer, an agency or a freelancer, you need to know how to interview a copywriter effectively. The biggest factor in conducting a successful interview is knowing precisely what questions to ask a copywriter.

In this post, we’re going to outline exactly what copywriter interview questions you need to ask writers during the interview process. We’re also going to explain the robust interview process we use here at Uplift Content. [Hint: it includes a writing exercise.] 

This is the fourth post in a 7-part series on how to find your next B2B SaaS writer and work with them successfully.

The top copywriter interview questions you need to ask

The most effective questions to ask a copywriter can be divided into 4 categories:

1. Introductions and icebreakers

Before asking any copywriter interview questions, we take time at Uplift to introduce ourselves and the company. Then we start with a few icebreakers:

  • In a minute or two, tell me a little bit about yourself.
  • How did you hear about this opportunity?
  • What’s your motivation to work with us?

2. Writing experience

Your copywriter interview questions can get more targeted after the icebreakers. Focus on the copywriter’s professional experience. At Uplift, we refer to their resume and writing samples to ask follow-up questions as well. Consider starting with these:

  • Can you tell me about the type of writing you most frequently do?
  • What do you like the customer to provide you with before you start a writing project?
  • Was there ever a time when you were asked to write about a topic you had no prior knowledge of? If so, what did you enjoy? What did you struggle with?

Pick out one of the samples provided by the candidate and ask: 

  • Tell me about the process you used when writing this piece.
  • Did you know anything about this topic beforehand? If not, how did you tackle it?

For people with a journalism background, be sure to inquire: 

  • What’s the difference between marketing content and journalism and how does that affect how you approach writing a piece of content?

3. Professionalism

Your copywriter will be interacting with your team, and possibly with your customers, so it’s really important that they are professional in how they conduct themselves. To gauge their professionalism, consider asking a few of these copywriter interview questions:

  • Tell me about your communication style. What’s your typical response time for emails?
  • Tell me about a time you missed a deadline. What happened?
  • Tell me about a time recently that you received (constructive) feedback from an editor or customer, and felt a knee-jerk reaction against it. How did you handle it? What did you end up doing? How might you handle it differently in the future?
  • How do you like to receive feedback? 

4. Personality

Our interview questions for copywriters can also give us insights into what it might be like to actually work alongside a candidate. Creating B2B SaaS content often involves collaboration, so we try to learn more about a candidate’s personality with copywriter interview questions like these:

  • How would your friends describe your personality? And your colleagues?
  • Tell me about a situation that has stressed you out recently. What were you feeling? How do you handle it? How might you handle it differently in the future?
  • What do you like to do in your free time?

5. Commitment and longevity

Wrap up with some forward-looking copywriter interview questions to get a read on how keen they are, and whether they think they’ll want to stick around for a while: 

  • Ideally, what would you like our relationship to look like? (In your past experience, who has been your best boss or role model and why?)
  • Where do you see yourself a year or two from now?
  • Is there anything you would like to know about our company or the position?

Asking the right copywriter interview questions is just one step in the overall interview process. As we mentioned at the top of the post, we’ve interviewed over 50 copywriters in the past few years. And we know, for certain, that you can’t only rely on an interview to determine if a writer has what you need to be successful at your company.

In this video, we cover what an expanded copywriter interview process should look like for your SaaS company.

Need a hand writing your B2B SaaS marketing content? Check out our content writing services.

How to Interview a Copywriter for Your B2B SaaS (Transcript)

Hi SaaS marketers! Emily Amos here from Uplift Content.

In the past couple of years, we’ve interviewed over 50 writers and reviewed writing samples from hundreds. There are two key things we’ve learned.

  1. Excellent writers are hard to find. Plenty of good writers mean well and put effort into their work, but good writing simply isn’t enough when you need to drive leads and sales for a high-growth SaaS company.
  2. A few writing samples just won’t cut it. You need to see more than a couple of writing samples to determine whether a writer has the chops to create high performing content.

Learn how to interview a copywriter effectively

Here’s a breakdown of the interview process we’ve developed to help ensure we get the best possible writers on our team:

1. Application stage 

The writer completes a simple application (using Google Forms) with questions about their process for researching, writing and editing. We also ask them to provide links to 5 writing samples that demonstrate their ability with specific topics, styles and content types. We ask that at least 1 of the 5 samples be an unedited version so we can see their work before someone else gets their hands on it. If we like what we see, we move forward.

2. Zoom call 

When thinking about how to interview a copywriter, we always recommend video calls rather than phone calls because they’re so much more personal. During these calls, we try to get to know the writer better. We ask about the samples they sent and we dig into their process. We always like to ask how they handle feedback, as their answers tend to be quite insightful. If they seem like someone we could work with, we’re on to step 3.

3. Writing exercise

At Uplift, we create a lot of SaaS case studies, ebooks and white papers, so we designed an exercise to test the writer’s ability to create a powerful case study. For the exercise, we wrote the entire case study but removed the challenge section for the writer to complete (using an interview transcript that we provide).

This exercise shows us whether a writer has the skills we require, including writing style, attention to deadlines and more.

4. References (don’t skip this step!) 

For our last step on how to interview a copywriter, we call 2 references for a short conversation. This provides a useful perspective on what it’s really like to work with the writer. If the writer has moved through each phase of the interview process with flying colors, we’re ready to welcome the writer to the team.

Start off on the right foot

Working with a new writer is always going to be a bit of a leap of faith, but by learning how to interview a copywriter effectively, you give yourself the best possible chance to find your next hero.

To set up your new B2B SaaS writer for success, you need to give them all the information they need to hit the ground running. Download our customizable onboarding tool to get started.

Originally published May 12, 2020. Updated Dec 21, 2021.

B2B Content Marketing Writer: How to Find One

If you’re buried in case studies, white papers or ebooks, it’s time to find an external content marketing writer who can help you with these important yet time consuming projects. In this video, we’ll walk through how to find a writer who can help you save time and deliver quality content.

Working with an external B2B content marketing writer can save you time—and it can save your sanity when you’re overloaded with projects. It can also be a cost-effective way to help your SaaS company produce quality marketing content. These are just 3 reasons why 84% of B2B marketers are outsourcing their content creation to external writers.

In a world where 79% of B2B marketers use content marketing to connect with their audience, you’ll likely need an extra set of hands at some point to help you create case studies, white papers or ebooks.

In this video, learn how to find a B2B content marketing writer who will be a great fit for your team. This is the third post in a 7-part series on how to find your next B2B SaaS writer and work with them successfully.

B2B Content Marketing Writer: How to Find One (Transcript)

Hi SaaS marketers! Emily Amos here from Uplift Content.

Finding an external B2B content marketing writer doesn’t have to be a chore. In this video, we’ll walk through a few of the key places to start your search.

#1: Word of mouth

The benefit of looking for a B2B marketing writer through word of mouth is that it’s personal. You can ask current and former colleagues for referrals, as well as any of your professional networking groups. They’ll likely give you an honest, reliable recommendation, and you can find out about their experience with the writer.

The drawback here? Well, it’s personal. If your experience with the B2B content marketing writer isn’t as positive as your colleague’s was, you may not want to ask for their recommendation a second time.

#2: LinkedIn

You may be able to find a B2B content marketing writer through LinkedIn by simply posting that you’re looking for one. You can join groups for freelance writers and marketers—and share your requirements there. LinkedIn also allows you to find out more about a writer’s experience by viewing their profile.

The disadvantage of LinkedIn is that not all of its features are free to use, so unless you pay for a premium membership, you’ll miss out on detailed profile insights, and the ability to send In-Mails to other LinkedIn members who aren’t in your network.

#3: Google search

One of the simplest ways to find a B2B content marketing writer is through a quick Google search. The writers you’ll want to work with know their way around SEO and the mystical Google algorithm. As such, they should be showing up on the first couple of pages of the search results.

Think about it: if a content marketing writer appears among your top search results, you can bet they know how to make themselves found. That means they’ll know how to help you get found, too.

#4: Freelance writer websites and job boards

There are lots of places online to post job opportunities or to search for a B2B content marketing writer who’s accepting new work. A few examples include Contently, Scripted, WriterAccess, FreelanceWriting, ProBlogger and Indeed.

One upside to looking for a B2B marketing writer this way is that many of the platforms are free or low cost, and some offer multiple pricing options. Using these websites also allows you to find writers who may not be on LinkedIn. 

The downside here? Some of these websites have pricey subscription fees, such as Contently. On other sites, like Indeed, where anyone can apply for your job posting, the quality of the applicants may be lower than what you’re looking for.

These websites also don’t give you the benefit of a trustworthy personal recommendation. Be sure to ask any writers that you connect with for writing samples. Also interview them and call a few of their references.

Nail the writer interview

Hiring the best in-house writer or freelancer comes down to a successful interview. Find out EXACTLY which questions you need to ask.

Easily onboard your B2B content marketing writer

Now that you know how to find a writer, the next step is to learn how to onboard them quickly and painlessly. Getting this step right is essential to help you avoid ending up with off-brand content, excessive revisions and lacklustre results.

Download our customizable writer onboarding tool to help your new writer hit the ground running—with less hand-holding from you. 

Until next time, SaaS marketers!

Originally published February 18, 2020. Updated December 15, 2021.


Our B2B content marketing writers have you covered

If you need a hand with your SaaS content, check out our experienced B2B content marketing writers.

3 Content Feedback Examples to Shorten Review Cycles

“This doesn’t work, please fix.” Ugh. We’ve all been on the receiving end of feedback that just isn’t helpful. Check out these 3 writing feedback examples to ensure you get great B2B SaaS marketing content from your writer—with less hand-holding.

“This doesn’t work, please fix.” Ugh. Of all the content feedback examples, this one really takes the cake. We’ve all been on the receiving end of writing feedback that just isn’t helpful. All good content marketing writers aim to produce content that needs minimal fixes, but they can only do that if they know what their client is looking for. 

This is the last post in a 7-part series on how to find your next B2B SaaS writer and successfully work with them.

Need a hand writing your B2B SaaS marketing content? Check out our content writing services.


3 Content Feedback Examples to Shorten Review Cycles (Transcript)

Hi SaaS marketers! Emily Amos here from Uplift Content.

“This doesn’t work, please fix.” Ugh. Of all the content feedback examples, this one really takes the cake. We’ve all been on the receiving end of writing feedback that just isn’t helpful. All good content marketing writers aim to produce content that needs minimal fixes, but they can only do that if they know what their client is looking for. 

You already know that working with a B2B SaaS content writer can be a lifesaver when you’re slammed with projects. A surefire way to fast-track their success is by providing clear, helpful feedback on their content. 

This is a win-win because it strengthens the quality of your content and will save you time as your writer gains a better understanding of your business. Today, I’m going to give you 3 content feedback examples to ensure you get great B2B SaaS marketing content from your writer—with less hand-holding. 


Content feedback examples

#1: Organize your feedback by theme

Keep your content feedback clean and organized. The more marked up and cluttered a document gets, the more likely it is your writer may miss a piece of feedback. Rather than noting every single instance of an error or area for improvement, address these issues as themes.

For example, if your writer has used incorrect punctuation in a few places, you can make one comment that says, “Please comb through this document again to remove any Oxford commas.” This can also apply if your writer has started several sentences in passive voice or if they’ve used a particular formatting style that isn’t working well. 

This content feedback example is worth the effort because it will prompt your writer to read their work carefully before submitting their next draft. This will save you time, too.

#2: Deliver positive and negative feedback separately

It’s important to provide content feedback on both the things that worked in the content and the things that didn’t. That said, you should keep these types of feedback separate.

For example, don’t comment, “I really like how you told the story in this case study, but the quotes you used fell flat.” This is confusing because it’s not clear what worked in the story. Instead, you can say, “I really like how you told the story in this case study—it flows well because the sentences are concise and the language is interesting.” Then in a separate comment, ask, “Could you edit the quotes so they speak more directly to the impact the customer got from the solution?”

This content feedback example is worth your time because the more clarity your content marketing writer has on how they can improve, the faster they can take action to deliver marketing content that converts.

#3: Ask questions that lead the writer where you want them to go

Another way you can help hone your writer’s skills is by giving them feedback that’s clear on the direction you want them to go in, rather than simply rewriting their copy yourself.

For example, instead of taking the proverbial red pen to your B2B SaaS writer’s work, you can ask, “Do you think this paragraph could be more engaging with more active language?” A good writer will revisit the text and make it more dynamic. You could also ask, “Do you think this quote explains the point clearly, or could it be paraphrased?”.

This content feedback example will help build your writer’s skills in a way that gets them to do the thinking themselves. They’ll become more familiar with your preferences and will be better equipped to get you the results you’re looking for.

Content feedback examples: a recap

We just went through 3 content feedback examples to help drive high-performing marketing content in your business. Remember to organize your feedback by theme, deliver positive and negative feedback separately, and ask questions that lead your writer where you want them to go.

How to deliver your content feedback

You’ve just seen 3 content feedback examples, so now you’re ready to learn how to deliver your feedback so it’s thoughtful, clear and constructive.

Business benefits of good content feedback

When you give your writer feedback that’s direct, and highlights both positives and negatives, it makes communication smoother and saves time on revisions. Good feedback helps your B2B SaaS writer hone their skills quickly, which in turn gets you the results you’re looking for faster. Follow these 4 tips on how to give constructive feedback on content:

Tip #1: Read the entire piece of content before you provide feedback

It can be tempting to edit enthusiastically from the get-go when you’re reviewing copy, but a little restraint goes a long way. Before you give your writer feedback on their content, read until the end of the piece. Your writer may address your comment or question further along in the copy.

Saving yourself time isn’t the only benefit to this tip. Reading a draft in its entirety before editing gives you the context you need to ensure your feedback is useful. This is also how you get a high-level picture of whether the piece makes sense, hits on all the key points and tells a compelling story.

Tip #2: Get your team on the same page with their edits

When you have feedback from multiple team members on a piece of content, try to filter all comments through one person. This is important to ensure none of the feedback is contradictory. After all, you want your writer to focus on crafting a great story, not on trying to figure out whether to listen to Michelle or Dan. This may require a quick internal sync before each document gets sent to your writer, but it’s worth your time.

Part of giving your writer feedback that’s clear includes establishing who has the final say on revisions, and communicating this information to your writer. Getting on the same page internally leads to efficiencies during the review process.

If you’re not sure how to implement a review process, try using Google Docs. This will ensure all content feedback is captured in one place, and you’ll avoid having individual versions of documents floating around.

Tip #3: Be specific about what needs to change

It’s okay to tell your B2B SaaS content writer when something isn’t working for you (an experienced writer knows that critical feedback isn’t personal), but you need to tell them why so that they can fix the problem. The more specific you can be when you give your writer feedback, the faster they’ll be able to address issues and deliver high-performing marketing content.

Confusion due to unclear communication leads to more time spent in the editing phase, which is not only inefficient, but totally avoidable. One way to avoid this is to properly onboard your writer to set them up for success.

Tip #4: Make a point to give positive feedback, too

We’re all strapped for time, so it might seem easiest to point out the problems with a piece of content and move on to your next task. However, it’s worth your time to highlight what your content marketing writer has done well. It’ll make them feel good, but more importantly, giving your writer feedback that’s positive will help them learn your preferences.

Get ready for your marketing content to shine

Now you know how to give constructive content feedback to your writer. Remember to always read their work in its entirety before you start editing, get your team on the same page, be specific about what needs to change and highlight what worked. Let your writer know they can voice their ideas, too, and you’ll have open communication and stellar marketing content in no time.

Nurture leads and accelerate sales

Too much on your plate? We create done-for-you case studies, ebooks and white papers for B2B SaaS companies. Check out our content writing services.

Originally published December 3, 2019. Updated December 15, 2021.

Outsource Writing Services or Use In-House Writers?

Whether you hire an in-house B2B SaaS writer or you choose to outsource, it’s essential to produce compelling content that generates leads and sales. Watch this video to explore the benefits of working with an in-house writer vs outsourcing so you can make the right move for your company.

Your marketing efforts rely largely on your ability to share useful, compelling information about your products. To do this effectively, you need a strong B2B SaaS writer to help get the job done. It’s up to you whether you outsource writing services or keep the writing in-house.

In this video, we’ll cover the pros and cons of outsourced writers and in-house writers. This is the second post in a 7-part series on how to find and work with your next SaaS writer successfully.

Outsource your writing services to Uplift Content

We write high quality case studies, ebooks and blog posts for B2B SaaS companies like Okta, WalkMe and LeanData.

Check out our outsource writing services.


Outsource Writing Services or Use In-House Writers? (Transcript)

Hi SaaS marketers! Emily Amos here from Uplift Content.

It’s essential to have valuable, high quality content for your prospects and customers. To create this content, you either need to use outsourced writers or in-house writers.

In this post, let’s dive into the debate of whether writer outsourcing or in-house writers are your best bet.

Pros of hiring an in-house B2B SaaS writer

There are many benefits of hiring an in-house B2B SaaS writer over outsourced writers. First, they develop a depth of knowledge about your audience, products and marketing messages by virtue of being an employee. Secondly, an in-house writer participates in strategy meetings and engages in break-time chats that can be surprisingly valuable.

If you have the budget, it’s great to hire a B2B SaaS writer who is 100% dedicated to creating content for your products. This allows you to plan and execute a robust content strategy knowing your team member has no competing priorities. 

More realistically, though, you’ll be hiring someone for a marketing role. And this new team member will also need the skills to write valuable and engaging content. Unfortunately, they’ll likely struggle to find time to dedicate to writing projects with all of the other tasks on their plate.

Pros of using outsourced writing services

Outsourced writers are great when internal marketing team don’t have time to take on writing tasks. Or the marketing team may not have the specific writing experience needed. Outsourced writers, on the other hand, have been honing their writing skills for years. 

Writer outsourcing allows busy marketing teams to delegate tasks. This frees up time for them to work on high priority strategic initiatives. It also eliminates the cost of another full-time employee on payroll—and the high overhead and employee benefit expenses associated with it.

Using outsourced content writing services is a great option if you need flexibility. Writer outsourcing gives you a resource that can hop on projects when needed. This is especially ideal if you don’t require 40 hours of content creation per week.

Your writing projects will be the primary focus of the outsourced writers. This means they’ll be able to get the work done in a timely manner rather than off the side of their desk during a rare moment of downtime.

How to find your next writer

Fast-track your search. Find out which 4 places to look for your next B2B content marketing writer.

Nail the writer interview

Whether you outsource or hire in-house, selecting the right person comes down to a successful interview. Find out what interview questions you need to ask.

Have you had a frustrating experience with a writer?

Whether you use outsourced writers or in-house writers, you’ve likely all had experience working with a writer who just didn’t get it. They didn’t ask questions or take the initiative to do the necessary research to understand your company, audience, products and key messages.

Unfortunately, these kinds of situations lead to off-brand content that misses the mark. It also leads to frustrated marketing teams that have to spend way too much time editing the content—and a lack of results.

Set yourself (and your writer) up for success

To ensure your next experience is positive, help your new B2B SaaS writer get onboarded quickly and efficiently by downloading our customizable onboarding tool. This tool will give them all the information they need to hit the ground running.

Originally published April 28, 2020. Updated December 14, 2021.

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