Content & SEO

5 Mistakes Keeping You From Writing Your Best B2B SaaS Content

By jonas ·  May 21, 2020

Writing exceptional content for B2B SaaS companies is unlike any other kind of content. Your audience is not the old-school, jargon-loving B2B types, but it’s also not the Kardashian-crazed, pop-culture B2C audience.

If you do B2B SaaS content right, you get to walk a fine line between being extremely useful and intelligent, while having permission to be human, approachable and even fun in your writing tone and personality.  When you succeed, you will earn your readers’ trust and affection over your competitors.

If you get it wrong, SaaS customers will roll their eyes and often call out poorly-written content in the comments, on Reddit, Twitter, or they will just ignore it entirely.

Today, we are not covering all the secrets to writing amazing B2B SaaS content (that requires a book), but instead, we will cover 5 common mistakes that will hinder you from writing your best and reaching your content goals. 

Mistake #1: Writing for businesses instead of people

Something strange happens when we go to work. For many of us, we start talking differently and using words we would never use with our friends or family. You don’t “touch base” with your wife or give your friends an “FYI” when you have something new to tell them.

In general, customers prefer an informal relationship with their B2B SaaS tools. They trust and respect companies that feel authentic and real, which means talking to them like fellow human beings!

Content best practices will tell you that you need to understand your buyer personas, which is true, but more importantly, you need to know your own company’s persona inside and out. SaaS customers don’t want content that reads like an Ikea manual of your product or a formal business memo, they want you to tell them about your solution as if you were hanging out at lunch together.

In this MailerLite article announcing their new iOS app, they speak to the reader like a friend, which sets a nice tone while they share the functional details of the app.

MailerLife article example

Spend time defining your company’s values and personality, create writing guidelines, and make sure your company’s human side shines in all your content. 

When you complete a piece of content, go through it to ensure it’s enjoyable and jargon-free. Ask yourself, does this sound like a likable person delivering smart insights? Or, does it feel like a data dump of functional features delivered by a robot that doesn’t connect on an emotional level?

Mistake #2: Focusing on information instead of reactions

Each piece of B2B SaaS content should have a specific goal that supports your marketing strategy. Yes, this sounds obvious, but too many times content falls short by delivering lots of good information without persuading the reader to take an action.

What is the one goal for the content piece? Do you want to drive new visitors to your site? Support current customers? Drive product adoption? 

This goes beyond slapping a CTA (call to action) at the end and hoping your reader takes the bait. Instead, approach your content with a single-minded goal where everything you write leads the reader to take an action. 

Think about your buyer’s journey and where your content will fall in the sales funnel. Are you building awareness, growing leads, retaining customers, convincing people to buy after a trial, etc.? 

One piece of content can’t cover everything, so keep it single-minded. 

This article from ProfitWell clearly has a goal to educate people about onboarding and they make it actionable by providing resources (like real examples and a checklist) to help the reader achieve it.

Profit Well article

One technique I like to use is to ask WHY at every phase of my content development. 

  • Why am I writing this? 
  • Why this topic?
  • Why this example?
  • Why this call to action?
  • Why will people care?

At the bare minimum, your content must have high-level information that educates the reader, but without a higher purpose, you are just writing a Wikipedia article disguised as marketing content. 

Mistake #3: Solving pain points the same old way

The most effective way to sell B2B SaaS products is to show potential customers how you solve their pain points with your solution. It sounds clear and straightforward.

The reality is that this simple problem-solution story doesn’t work that well in marketing content. For your readers who are looking for a SaaS solution to their specific business challenge, all of the solutions they read about will seem the same. 

If you are honest, the core idea of your product is probably not that much different than your competitors. You are solving the same pain points, and content that focuses on the same old problem-solution means very little if you want a competitive advantage.

While you need to address the problem-solution within your content, it’s not the interesting part for the reader. They want to know your unique point of view on the problem. How can you approach the problem from a new angle to completely reframe the conversation?

This article from Airtable highlights their advantage over spreadsheets by asking 5 questions that allow the reader to make their own conclusions.

Airtable article example

Typeform found a new angle to talk about surveys and built their brand around this idea of turning a list of questions into conversations. By reframing their product, it opens up new content opportunities that will help differentiate them from their competitors.

typeform

If you want your readers to take action or simply remember you, you need to show them that you have a fresh perspective on their issues that nobody else has addressed. This is also an opportunity to state your unique value proposition in a way that makes you stand out.

Mistake #4: Assuming people will read every word

B2B SaaS buyers rely on marketing content to help them research and compare products before they make contact for a demo or trial. Because your readers are inundated with dozens of similar articles while searching, they will almost certainly scan the article first to check for relevance and quality.

According to a recent BizReport survey, 86% of buyers said that they are “overwhelmed” reading more than 10 pieces of content. This means your content should be easy to digest and pleasing to their eyes when they see it for the first time. 

If they like what they see after skimming the article, they will have the confidence to commit to reading the entire article to learn more. So how do you prove your value in less than 8 seconds?

It’s been well-documented that people scan in an F-pattern. You can get an idea by the image below how your content is consumed.

f pattern scanning
F-Pattern Scanning

Design a text hierarchy that is visually pleasing. Are you incorporating design best practices into your article to make them more visually pleasing as well as easier to read? To break up your text, use headers, subheaders, lists, and images to create bite-sized sections of text.

Let your headers tell the story. To gain the reader’s confidence that your article is worth reading, use your title and headers to explain exactly what the article is about and what the reader will learn. If they only read these sections, will they get the main selling point? Will their curiosity pique where they want to read more?

When you realize that people might not read your entire content piece, you will approach it differently. You’ll want to be more concise (less wordy) and call out the benefits in a visual way to hook the reader.

Mistake #5: Skipping your mic-drop ending

One of the biggest missed opportunities in content writing is the lack of effort put into conclusions. You spend so much time and mental energy crafting your perfect argument that by the time you reach the end, you are drained.

As a result, most content ends with a header entitled, Conclusion, which tends to summarize the content by repeating the same text followed by a call to action that falls flat. This is not the way to inspire your readers to take action!

Great stories always have a beginning, middle, and end. An insightful intro can be powerful to entice your readers.  A unique selling point, product benefits, and charismatic personality will keep your reader invested in the body of your content. And, a mic-drop ending (something compelling and inspiring) will make your content memorable with the potential of moving the reader closer to your marketing goal.

This Appcues article entitled, The 9 best upselling prompts for B2B SaaS companies, is a typical listicle article, but they choose to use the conclusion to empower the reader to help their users by offering one last piece of advice that puts the article into perspective.

Appcues article example

Here are some ideas to help you end your articles:

  • Summarize your main points in a way that leads to one strong takeaway 
  • Make a personal connection with a final word of positivity and encouragement
  • Get your reader thinking differently with some thought-provoking questions
  • Persuade the reader to take another action by giving them a compelling reason

Your conclusion will be the last thing people read. Don’t waste it on a dry summary or mediocre call to action. Make it count!

My mic-drop ending (no pressure!)

The truth is that there is no pressure because if you made it this far in the article, you already possess the desire and motivation to write better SaaS content. Although I have outlined 5 mistakes that are keeping you from writing your best, these practices sound much better when you rephrase them as positive and proactive steps.

5 mistakes of writing for b2b saas
  1. Write for humans using a distinct personality
  2. Have a goal in mind to persuade readers to react 
  3. Share a fresh perspective on their business challenges
  4. Show your value within 8-seconds
  5. Make your ending memorable and actionable

B2B SaaS content should inspire the most interesting writing on the web. When you get to mix business, technology, and intelligence with personality and human emotions, the possibilities for truly compelling work are limitless.

About the author

Jonas Fischer Jonas started writing B2B SaaS content way before it was considered cool. He currently manages content marketing at MailerLite and is a big fan of remote work. Jonas is a former New Yorker who now lives in Paris, working from a café where everyone just assumes he’s a novelist. Qu'est-ce que c'est le B2B?
jonas fischer