Some of the best SaaS companies around are making their blogs unreadable.
I’m on a mission to put an end to this.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever done this …
You discover a great blog post from a SaaS company, and devour it in record time, taking notes as you read because there’s so much value there.
When you reach the end, you hop right over to their blog to find more of this awesome content … only to be met with post after post about product updates and feature releases.
You scroll. And scroll. And scroll … right past all those posts with titles like “Widget Wonder 1.354 Release Details” and “Widget Wonder Is Now Compatible With Google Hangouts!”
By the time you find a post that resonates with you, you’re over it.
Look, new features and updates are cool. They’re worth mentioning in a company blog. BUT, there’s nothing compelling about a product update or feature release blog post.
Too many SaaS companies write these quick, press-release-style posts and hit the publish button – not spending even a second thinking about how these posts are going to impact their target audience.
Individually, are theses posts helpful at all? Probably not.
Collectively, do they create a good user experience for the reader who is looking at the long list of blog posts on your website? Probably not.
So why do these otherwise really savvy companies spend time and resources writing this ineffective content?
Mostly, it’s because they want to let their customers (and prospective customers) know that they care. They care to make the customer experience better. They care to stay in communication about what they’re doing, and how that might impact users.
The intentions are noble, to say the least.
The execution, however …
Well, it’s time to improve things. Because I’m tired of seeing smart companies wasting resources and alienating customers.
There is a HUGE opportunity here – for SaaS companies and the content writers who serve them.
Product Updates Can Be Powerful Relationship-building Tools
With just a few tweaks to the standard product-update blog writing process, SaaS companies can connect with their customers, entice prospects and stand out from their competitors.
1. Start with the customer in mind.
When you sit down to write that “Widget Wonder 1.354 Release Details” blog post, ask yourself this question before you tap a single key:
“Why will the customer care about this?”
This will be the guiding force behind the whole post.
2. Solve a problem
A SaaS company is probably not releasing updates willy-nilly. They’re responding to what customers are saying, right? They’re solving problems that customers have shared. They’re responding to customer feedback.
How does your update make your customer’s life easier? What problem are you solving for them?
Start the blog post here.
Repeat back what customers have said, and then tell them how the product update solves the problem or helps them tackle the challenge.
3. Use “you” language
This may be counter-intuitive, but your product update blog post shouldn’t be about your product. It should be about the user.
As much as possible, avoid “I/we” and use “you.” Because frankly, customers don’t care about the company. They care about what the company can do for them.
A Company That Did This Right
Here is a great example from Showcase Workshop that uses all three of these tips — and has loads of personality, to boot.
This post isn’t about a new feature, per se, but it is a product update post in that it’s letting customers know about available integrations.
(And no, I didn’t write that post. Credit goes to the Showcase team for this helpful article!)
I like what Rindle did here, too — but if I were to get my hands on this post, I’d replace all the “we” language with “you” language.
Don’t Squander the Opportunity
SaaS product update blog posts, as they’re traditionally written, are often a waste of company time and resources. Customers simply don’t read those posts. And worst-case scenario, those unread blog posts clutter up a blog feed enough that customers stop wading through them to find the good stuff.
A product update can be an opportunity, though, with just a few tweaks to the blog writing process. Instead of focusing on what the company has done, focus on what the customer cares about and how the new or improved feature makes their lives better.