This is the first step on the long road to relevance. We declare our mission. We’re going to document the overlap between our business goals and the needs of our audience. This little bit of text is our content marketing mission statement.
This is where we’ll take our stand.
It’s the cornerstone of our content strategy. It states what we’ll be publishing, who it’s for and why they’ll care.
Our content mission will support (or reject) every action we take in our content. Not sure about something? Check the mission. If it doesn’t fit, leave it out.
Documenting our mission statement is surprisingly simple, but most content marketers haven’t done it. To make it easy, here’s our content mission template. All you have to do is fill in the blanks.
Fill in these blanks before creating any content.
Note: By “our company” we are referring to everything we create, publish and share, including:
Let’s take a closer look at X, Y and Z. Then we’ll review mission statement examples and two other templates for marketing statements.
Unlike the audience for a targeted marketing positioning statement, our audience here is very broad. In content marketing, there are two types of visitors:
That larger audience of people who are interested in our content can drive huge, indirect benefits. This includes a world of potential visitors, followers, subscribers and influencers. Without this second audience, we are unlikely to attract enough of that first audience to create steady demand.
These are the topics and formats that we will publish. It is the overlap between the topics that we know and can teach, and the topics that our audience wants. When we share this expert knowledge, we pull our audience toward us.
Although it may not be documented in the mission, keep in mind that the types of content will go beyond the topics, and include the formats for content, such as:
Great content marketers publish an endless stream of blog posts.
It has to be helpful. Our content will be useful, or, at least, entertaining. Our mission must name the specific benefits that our content offers our audience. If there is no benefit to them, we won’t win their attention, we won’t attract visitors and we won’t generate any demand.
“To work, your mission statement has to be all about the pain points of your readers.” – Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute
So our mission and every piece of content within it must answer this question:
This is the core of our mission.
Yes. This is the promise we are making to our audience. There’s no reason not to share it publicly. The Orbit content mission is right there at the top of this blog.
Just having a documented mission makes a difference. According to the 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends, marketers who document their editorial mission statement are much more likely to consider themselves effective in their content marketing.
Here’s how it correlates with marketing success.
Brands that have a documented content mission statement are three times as likely to say they’re effective at marketing. Still, only 28% of marketers have theirs written down.
Here are some examples of content marketing mission statements for both B2B and B2C companies. Notice that although they don’t all follow the template exactly, each mission names the audience and the benefits they receive when they consume the content.
Here are three more statement templates we can use to keep our marketing on track, from the big picture to the small picture.
Our content marketing mission statement is specific to our audience and our content.
But what about the bigger picture?
Our marketing positioning statement (also known as a value proposition) describes our place in the market. I highly recommend using Susan Silver’s marketing positioning template to sharpen the focus of your marketing in general.
Put simply, this describes why we are in business. How we fit into our market.
Fill in these blanks before doing any marketing.
The target audience should be as specific as possible. The unique point of difference explains how we are unique from the other businesses in our competitive set. The brilliance of this template is that it forces us to name the unmet need our business fulfills and how we are uniquely position to do it.
Then we have to back it up with evidence. These are the reasons they should believe our claims. Don’t go to market without evidence.
To people who have friends with cancer, who are in financial need, who want to help them in a meaningful way, GiveForward is the online medical fundraising tool that empowers people to help their ill friends financially. It has an easy-to-use process, real fundraising coaches to help and has helped people raise over $170M since 2008.
Here it is broken down:
The marketing position statement is general to the entire business, not specific to content. And it’s typically an internal document; it isn’t made public or posted online.
Here is a mission statement template that goes one level deeper. Meghan is pushing us to define our content and outcomes more specifically. The final step in this template is very powerful since it forces us to name the actual tasks that our content will enable our audience to complete.
Fill in these blanks before going deeper into content marketing.
At this level, it gets easier. Social media falls under content marketing, so this template will look familiar. Our social media mission is a subset of your content marketing mission.
Laura encourages marketers to document their mission for each social network since different content may be shared on different networks.
Filling in these two simple blanks for each social network you use will guide us in what to share and how to engage with each community. Is it inspiration? Share quotes. Is it educational? Share links. Documenting this will help us stay on topic.
Fill in these blanks before becoming active within a social network.
The road to success is littered with burning wrecks of marketing campaigns that targeted the wrong audience, created the wrong content or tried to build relevance in an irrelevant social network.
It takes less than an hour, it correlates with success and it’s the best way to avoid a marketing disaster. So before we start a blog, let’s put ourselves on a mission!