To be successful at anything, you first need to know WHY you are doing it. Anyone who blogs for business (and every other organization) needs a content marketing mission statement – an answer to WHY. Do you know why your business exists, why you do what you do?
Last week, my dear friend Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute, wrote a post on content marketing mission statements. He writes:
A mission statement is a company’s reason for existence. It’s why the organization does what it does. Southwest Airlines’ mission statement has always been to democratize the travel experience. The mission statement for CVS is to be the easiest pharmacy retailer for customers to use. So, in simple terms, the mission statement must answer the question, Why do we exist?
What a mission statement isn’t
Joe goes on to give an example of Inc. magazine’s About Us: “Welcome to Inc.com, the place where entrepreneurs and business owners can find useful information, advice, insights, resources and inspiration for running and growing their businesses.”
This is an example of what I dread the most. All blogs and news sites should provide useful information and insights for their readers. It’s their core business. Too many times I’ve seen a description of a magazine or blog or news site that goes something like this: “We publish interesting information, reports from events and news.”
A mission statement is about WHY
I don’t think this is a mission statement. It’s not even close to what Joe says in the beginning; it isn’t an answer to the question WHY.
At this year’s Content Marketing World, Jason Falls from Social Media Explorer was clear; figure out WHY you’re blogging: “Before you do something, ask WHY until you come to a measurable value proposition.”
Therefore, if you don’t have your mission statement yet, I’d suggest that you sit down and figure out why you exist in the first place. Only then you’ll be able to make consistent content, editing, and writing decisions.
What is Zemanta’s mission statement
Zemanta’s core business isn’t to create great content, but to to make blogging easier, faster and better. The latter are their reasons for existence. It is their answer to WHY. It is their solution to a problem.
Content marketing mission statements should have three parts:
- Core audience target
- What will be delivered to the audience
- The outcome for the audience
All of the above should follow the mission statement, i.e. after you have the answer to WHY. This is only the next step that includes all other factors that have to be taken into account, such as what channels will be used, who will do the job, etc.
I learned about WHY by working with some great visionaries and content marketing strategists side by side, as well as following others, like Joe. And now I know that we must always first answer the question WHY, which must not be mistaken for HOW and WHAT – a golden circle of content marketing.