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.
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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:
Provide a working title for this piece of content so everyone knows how to refer to the project.
When is the draft due and when will the piece of content be published?
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?
Who is your target audience? Why would they want to read this content? What’s in it for them?
Clearly describe the topic you’d like the piece to cover. Are there any specific angles you’d like the writer to explore?
What type of content is it? For example, blog post or ebook? What’s the word count? Any specific formatting considerations?
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.
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.
Originally published March 3, 2020. Updated December 21, 2021.