Before we dive into why your company needs a content marketing mission statement, I'll share how our digital marketing agency made the realization we needed one for ourselves.
With a rapidly changing industry like digital marketing, our team is always researching how to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to making a difference online. This often leads us to discovering or thinking of what we used to call "really cool ideas". The team would get so wrapped up in the excitement of the initial idea that we didn't always take the time to think about what it meant to our bottom line.
Most always the idea is "cool", but it wasn't always in line with the goals of our agency. We usually discovered this pretty quickly, after the initial enthusiasm died down and we started talking about actual logistics. There were times, however, that we jumped straight into the deep end and poured valuable time and resources into making this idea come to life—only to find out it really didn't fit with our long-term goals or resonate with our ideal client.
To prevent ourselves from continually falling into this type of resource-wasting, we developed a content marketing mission statement to guide the work we did for ourselves that kept both our goals and the needs of our potential clients at the forefront of what we were doing.
Read on to learn why creating your own content marketing mission statement is a worthwhile exercise and learn how to complete the exercise for your own company. If you're having trouble or get stuck, get in touch. We love to help!
What is a company's mission statement?
A mission statement, broadly, is a declaration of why a company exists. “To be the world’s most customer-centric company…” begins that of Amazon. “To be the world’s favorite snack and always within arm’s reach,” states Frito-Lays.
When applied specifically to content marketing, a mission statement simply refers to the reason that company's content exists.
What does a content mission statement look like?
A content marketing mission statement is usually just a sentence (maybe two). A mission statement is written; it’s not some abstract thought to bear in mind. It’s meant to be referenced and shared and should be as concrete as possible.
In a recent blog post for Social Media Examiner, author and founder of The Content Marketing Institute Joe Pulizzi characterizes a quality mission as containing three parts:
1. Audience—who, specifically, your content targets (in short, your reader)
2. Deliverable(s)—what your content provides your audience (tips on healthy living, news, historical information, etc.)
3. Outcome for audience—how your content will help your audience (live a healthy life, stay informed of current events, learn about ages past)
A few superior examples:
“to provide the undergraduate student body of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a chance to publish work in the fields of the humanities and to display some of the school’s best talent”—UW Madison Illumination Journal
to "enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment.”—The New York Times Company
“To speak and connect to women in a way no other publication ever has. To help women see every experience and challenge as an opportunity to grow and discover their best self…”—Oprah magazine.
Why your company needs a content marketing mission statement:
A content marketing mission statement ensures no work is done in vain (as I touched on in the introduction to this post). It makes all activity purposeful and thus saves your company time and money.
Declaring the goal of your content marketing efforts has the added benefit of ensuring consistency. Even though your company likely creates content of several different types (blog posts, eBooks, site copy), they should all echo the same message. You don’t want your blog preaching one thing and your site homepage saying another. It’s important to give your audience an overall understanding of your brand and to reinforce this understanding in all your content.
Pinning down your strategy with a mission statement ensures consistency not only across text type but various writers as well. Without a widely known content marketing mission statement, the personal styles and subjectivity of your writers may confuse your company’s message.
For advice on how to integrate your content marketing strategy into your overall efforts in digital marketing, check out our free Essentials eBook.