There is an old story of a Rabbi, named Akiva, who walked 7 miles into a village to gather supplies. On his way home he was deep in thought, pondering his life’s purpose, when he turned onto the wrong path, landing him in front of a Roman gate.
A voice boomed down, jolting the Rabbi from his deep thoughts, “WHO ARE YOU and WHY ARE YOU HERE?”
Akiva, being a good Rabbi, answered the question with another question. “How much do you get paid to stand there and ask that?” The guard replied, “Five drachmas a week.” To which Akiva offered, “I would like to pay you twice the amount to come and stand outside my home and ask me these questions each day as I leave.”
This week I want to be the sentry at the gate, asking you “WHO ARE YOU and WHY ARE YOU HERE?” What purpose does your content serve? Let’s create a content mission statement that answers these questions; a mission statement that helps us, as we write any piece of content, to stay on target and to remember who we are writing for.
We started this blog series a few weeks ago, focusing on putting together our content marketing strategy (read: Why Following a Content Marketing Strategy is So Hard ). We were all to look at where we fit into our marketplace. What expertise and knowledge qualifies us to serve our community? What are we passionate about and how does that tie in? The next week we looked at what makes us unique (Content Marketing Strategy: What Makes You So Special ). We are usually not the only one in town doing what we do, so how are we going to stand out and be seen as unique. There are some great examples of people owning their market by putting such a unique twist on the delivery of their content, like Maria Cyza or Jessica Edwards. (read: The Content Marketing Genius of Angie “Watch Me” Castalano )
Now it’s time to hang the sign outside our door, telling the world WHO WE ARE and WHY WE ARE HERE! It’s time to create our content mission statement. Every piece of content we write, whether a whitepaper, an infographic, or a tweet, serves a purpose, and should tie into our overall business plan. So if we break this down, it looks like this: Who you are + Who you are here to serve + What your content is there to do= Your Content Marketing Strategy.
When you start creating content for your website, put your mission statement in front of you to avoid going off on a technical tangent or using language that might sound more like you are writing to impress your competitors than writing to help solve the needs of your target market. This mission statement should help you from writing content that is too “fluffy” and lacking helpful information as well.
Lets’s take a look at a few examples.
If you are the owner of a heating and air-conditioning service, your website and content marketing mission might be:
“We are a team of heating and air-conditioning experts who will provide simple and easy to understand tips and information to homeowners, to help them take care of their homes, especially when it comes to keeping them running more efficiently while using their home heating and air-conditioning systems”
Do you see how this can help when they start creating content for their website and social media channels? They would be reminded to keep it in simple terms for the homeowner. They are not writing content for other HVAC professionals, and will not include jargon that the average homeowner wouldn’t know.
If you are a personal fitness and nutrition trainer, targeting women, your content marketing mission statement might be:
“We are a team of health and wellness experts who will create a website and social media channels filled with content that will help women who don’t make time to take care of themselves. We will provide tips, tools, inspiration and recipes to help them live healthier lifestyles.”
This content mission statement helps you remember that the target audience is women who are busy. It helps you to stay focused on tips and techniques that can be implemented with little time investment or the motivation to make the time investment.
Okay, it’s your turn. WHO ARE YOU and WHY ARE YOU HERE?
I’m Gina Schreck, CEO of SocialKNX and DIY.social, and I am here to help marketers and business owners use today’s content marketing and social media tools to build their business and manage their brands. (Do I get a star for doing my homework?)