We’ve all been guilty of “putting the cart before the horse” at one time or another. It’s especially easy to
do when we get excited about a new idea or project.
When it comes to creating a content marketing strategy, this cart/horse debacle happens when you only
define the “what,” as in what channels you use, and not the “why,” as in why you’re creating the
content in the first place. It’s great that your business might be writing a blog, recording a podcast,
producing videos, posting to social media, sending out news releases, and publishing ebooks- but is all
that content relevant for your brand and helpful to your audience? If you’re producing content without
a “why” driving your strategy, your content library is likely a bit disjointed.
So how do you define the “why” for your brand’s content marketing strategy? Enter the content mission
statement. It’s similar to your organization’s mission statement that explains why it exists and its
overarching goal, but for content specifically. It includes these three components:
1. Core Audience
2. What Content Will Be Delivered to the Audience
3. Outcome for the Audience
Notice how each component contains the word, “audience.” Content marketing at its core is about the
readers/viewers/consumers, not about the product/service. It’s about providing value to them, not
selling to them. A great content mission statement keeps business goals and objectives in mind, but
doesn’t speak to them. Think of your statement as the qualitative aspect that supports the quantitative
Let’s look at two quick examples from online brands.
Refinery29 is a digital media and entertainment company. A content mission statement is found right in
its Google result, as well as on its About Us page.
We can clearly see the three components:
1. Core Audience: Modern women
2. What Content Will Be Delivered to the Audience: entertainment news, fashion and beauty tips,
health information, work and money advice
3. Outcome for the Audience: More stylish, well-rounded life
The Dogist is a “happy place on the internet for dog lovers.” The website provides a high-level mission
statement, “to tell the story of dogs,” from which we can easily deduce the three components.
1. Core Audience: Dog people
2. What Content Will Be Delivered to the Audience: Stories about dogs, collections of dog photos,
tips for puppy pawrents
3. Outcome for the Audience: An online community in which to share their own stories/photos;
Once you arrive at a solid content mission statement, make sure the entire content team buys in.
Anyone who creates content for your brand needs to understand the statement’s purpose and should
use it as a litmus test by which everything must pass. Using it as a filter helps you weed out mediocre
ideas and focus your time and resources on producing content that truly inspires your audience.