Everybody knows that B2B content is the best.
Seriously, it’s informative, engaging and exciting – when it’s done well. Some of my favourite blogs are in the B2B industry and the same goes for SaaS (Software as a Service).
This is because audiences in the B2B space are both producers and consumers, so this sets the bar pretty high when it comes to producing content.
You’re publishing for a very discerning group of people who will intelligently push back in the comments if your content doesn’t hit the mark!
That’s why you need to make sure your B2B SaaS content is top quality.
At the same time, the industry is not so technically-minded that it’s impenetrable to the casual reader.
How SaaS content is different to most B2B writing
SaaS is a little different to your normal B2B marketing because it actually sits a little closer to B2C content that most B2B content.
The reason for this is that many of the products and tools available in this industry are aimed at both B2B and B2C.
SaaS is so affordable that many laypeople are using the software, without prohibitive costs limiting usage to large enterprises.
Many buyers of SaaS products are running their own businesses (eg startup founders) and will be the only person responsible for making that purchase.
There isn’t as much stakeholder buy-in as in other B2B content marketing. You’re just convincing one person to buy a subscription to your software, which can be canceled at any time.
Prospective customers want to feel a personal connection with your company, and they want you to give them a good reason why they should trust you over your competitor.
For example, social media scheduling software startup Buffer excellently straddles the divide between B2B and B2C content writing.
How to make your content sell itself
There are a few key points to bear in mind when you’re writing SaaS content.
You want to show that you truly understand the industry your customer is in, ideally demonstrate your empathy with them, and show your own commitment to your product.
The SaaS world is young compared to the B2B industry as a whole. You can see this from most of the company’s branding, which is bright, hip and punchy, clearly aimed at a younger market.
Just take a look at knowledge base software vendor Helpjuice:
Then, compare the term ‘SaaS’ to ‘cloud computing’.
They have similar meanings, except one is from the early 2000s and the other is from 2016 (and the cloud admittedly refers more to the wider industry of cloud-based tech including security, storage and so on).
SaaS is cloud computing in new packaging. You could say it’s cloud computing’s younger, hotter friend. Your content should be written accordingly.
For the SaaS customer, the veil of professionality is barely there. It’s even permissible to swear, depending on your brand.
Here are the 6 steps you need to follow to write utterly compelling content for your SaaS company.
1. Strike a light-hearted, friendly tone
SaaS customers don’t want to be lectured or given a sermon. Imagine you’re speaking with a friend down the pub or in a coffee shop, as this is the tone you should be aiming for.
You’re allowed to make references to lighter elements of popular culture and even throw in the odd joke.
Don’t stray too far off-topic but rather try to avoid dry business writing. If you’re reading back over your content and enjoying it, the chances are your customers will too.
Remember, SaaS customers are generally younger, and entered the working world long after corporate speak was fashionable.
You’re speaking as a SaaS brand, not as a robot.
2. Show commitment to corporate responsibility
Your content can’t just be about you and your company. You need to demonstrate a commitment to wider issues if you want to write truly compelling content.
Instead of just pushing your products and services with every blog post, decide which issues are important to you as a brand and sell those as well.
For example, if you sell help desk software, you could also blog about startups or customer service. These are relevant topics that will also interest your blog audience and demonstrate your brand’s personality better than simply posting only tutorials.
3. Demonstrate empathy for your customer
This is a tricky one but you must write your blog content as if you’re empathising directly with your reader. This means that you need to show you understand the context in which your post is being read, and create a verbal rapport with your writing.
Show with a few sentences how you understand their issues and struggles, and the reason why they’re reading your content. Share anecdotes from your own experiences to humanize yourself and show that you’re willing to make yourself vulnerable for your customers.
If you do your keyword topic research properly, you’ll be demonstrating empathy by tackling topics with your content that they’re actively struggling with.
4. Ban jargon from your copy
Like most customers, SaaS customers will soon switch off if you litter your copy with lots of jargon and technical terms. They just want you to communicate your message in the most direct and readable way.
When you’re immersed in an industry, it’s hard to put yourselves in the shoes of others who may not be used to the technical language that you are. Taking a day away from your content writing and then reviewing your writing helps you to gain perspective on how a stranger is going to read it.
With practice, you will get better at writing content that is clear and jargon-free.
A good rule of thumb is to only use what would be considered ‘jargon’ if you cannot find another word to substitute for it, and if you do use a technical term then explain what you mean. Write for the lay reader.
5. Opt for a neutral business stance
You don’t want to come across as too desperate to sell your products. Act like your business is a just a side project to your amazing content.
Blogging is a very soft sell, and is part of inbound marketing. This means that your customers come to you when they are trying to solve an issue or find out some information and they’ve turned to Google.
Your content has come up as the answer, so you don’t want to rudely push products at them as soon as they hit the post.
At a natural point in the post, communicate that your company sells a product that could be the answer to their needs, with a link.
Don’t overdo it!
6. Keep the difficulty of reading low
This doesn’t mean staying away from weighty topics or discussing business matters. It means using language and grammar that is simple and encourages ease of reading.
Imagine the difference between the difficulty of reading an encyclopedia versus a celebrity magazine.
Most B2B writing is somewhere more towards the encyclopedia end of the spectrum, whereas if you want your SaaS content to hit the mark, then it should be further towards the celebrity magazine end.
You want to write in a conversational style, generally using one or two syllable words, maximum two clauses per sentence and avoiding the use of more complex punctuation such as semicolons and brackets.
Writing compelling content for your B2B SaaS company is a little different from other business writing, in a good way. There is a lot more freedom to humanize your business, and it’s much more fun to write content that connects with your customers on a personal level.
From banning jargon and complex sentence structures, to demonstrating empathy and commitment to corporate responsibility, to keeping it light and refraining from the hard sell, writing compelling SaaS content is easily actionable.
If you follow these 6 principles whenever you write content, you’ll be well on your way to engaging your audience, and turning them into, or keeping them as, paying customers.
I’m a freelance SaaS content writer available for hire. Contact me at email@example.com to see how we can work together.
Image: Stefan Bookblock, unsplash.com