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5 Ways a Content Marketing Mission Statement Can Improve Your Strategy

February 11, 2020

I had a few goals for the WordStream blog for 2020, and the biggest one was to formalize a content marketing mission statement. A few weeks ago, I got the rest of the content team together in a room to talk about what it is, exactly, that all of our content does and how we can document this to improve our content strategy. Here’s what we landed on for our content marketing mission statement:

WordStream's content marketing mission statement

Here, I’m going to share why this statement was important enough to spend an afternoon workshopping, and why I think it’s important for your content strategy, too. I’ll share five key ways a content marketing mission statement can improve your content. But first, let’s talk about what a content marketing mission statement is exactly.

What is a content marketing mission statement?

You’re probably familiar with company mission statements. These statements formalize the purpose and goals of an organization, whether that’s to provide exceptional customer support, accessible ecommerce transactions, or to make online advertising easy, like WordStream.

Here’s Warby Parker’s mission statement:

"Warby Parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective: to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses."

This statement summarizes the company’s primary objectives and by doing so, it lets consumers know what to expect doing business with the company.

Warby Parker glasses ad

A content marketing mission statement is similar: It defines the objectives and the scope of content in order to let readers or viewers know what they can expect.

Here’s our content marketing mission statement as a reminder:

WordStream is your go-to resource for digital marketing tips and strategies to help you learn, grow, and succeed.

Like I said earlier, this content marketing mission statement clearly identifies what you can expect from WordStream. But documenting this for your content strategy helps with so much more. Here are five ways that a content marketing mission statement can help you and your content strategy, plus how to get started drafting.

How do you create a content marketing mission statement?

The best way to get started creating a content marketing mission statement is to consider your existing content. When I got the content team here together, we started by reviewing the different language used to talk about our different content streams, including the blog, in-depth guides, WordStream’s YouTube channel, and more. We noticed words that appealed to us and came up in descriptions again and again, like “resource,” “learn,” and “grow.”

Then, when we were ready to start drafting, we used a template to get started:

content marketing mission statement template

Image source

This template gave us a foundation for describing the purpose of our content, and from there we started drafting and workshopping until we arrived at our mission statement.

Now that we’re clear on what a content marketing mission statement is and how you can create one, let’s move on how it can help you.

1. Anchor content across platforms and mediums to a common goal

It’s 2020. You know that your content is not limited to words on a page—it includes video series, social media campaigns, blog posts, guides, and more. Your content marketing strategy should be cross-platform, which means that your content needs to be tailored to each platform or medium to be successful. (You wouldn’t just screenshot a blog post for an Instagram Story, for instance—or, at least, you wouldn’t expect it to perform well.)

content from the blog on Instagram example

When we post blog content to our Instagram Stories, there’s a different format, a distinct style, and WAY less text.

With a content mission statement in place, you can make sure that your content connects to the same overarching goals and brand identity—more on this in a minute—regardless of the platform.

Take CNN, for example. The news company provides updates on its website and on TV, but it also provides coverage on social media, like Instagram and Snapchat. For these shorter, more engaging platforms, the coverage still follows the same journalistic standards, but it’s condensed to highlights and partnered with visual representations.

CNN content

Image via Braze.

A content marketing mission statement provides a clear, connected direction for a multi-platform strategy.

2. Strengthen your cohesive, recognizable brand identity

Creating a recognizable brand identity isn’t easy. That’s why companies carefully tell their own compelling brand story and thoughtfully shape an engaging brand voice. (Pro tip: We recommended documenting this, too, in a content style guide.)

Connecting your content across platforms with a content marketing mission statement also helps foster a cohesive and recognizable brand identity by keeping your company’s messaging consistent in all of its content. 

Take this example from Moz:

content marketing mission statement from Moz

This statement outlines the purpose and scope of Moz’s blog content, and it does so in language that is standard for the industry and typical for Moz. Levelling up and insights are common promises for marketing content. Industry wizards and doctors? That’s recognizable Moz terminology. In fact, we see it across Moz’s content.

Moz video example

This Moz YouTube video plays with the industry doctor term with “diagnosing” in the title and the white coat.

By keeping your brand voice consistent in your content across platforms, you make it even easier to foster a strong, recognizable brand identity.

3. Determine what topics aren’t worth pursuing

During brainstorming, all ideas are good ideas. But when it comes to execution, that’s just not the case. Even good ideas can be bad fits for your content strategy. For the WordStream blog, for example, I wouldn’t accept a pitch for a list of underrated lunch options around the Prudential Center that are always quick and never crowded. Do I think that’s useful content? Absolutely. Would I read this to avoid getting the same sad sandwich at Au Bon Pan every time I need to buy lunch? Also, yes. Do I think it’d be quality content for WordStream? Not so much.

It might sound small, but whether you’re running content strategy or creating content, this is key: By determining what your content is supposed to do, you can also determine what it isn’t supposed to do. In other words, a content marketing mission statement can help you figure out which ideas—even good ideas—aren’t worth your time.

Having the documented statement makes this easier, as it makes the decision less subjective and the decision-making process more transparent. This helps not only your content, but your content team. In fact, the Content Marketing Institute found that keeping efforts focused is one of the biggest benefits of a documented content strategy: “B2B marketers say the top benefits of a documented content marketing strategy are that it aligns the teams around a common mission/goal and makes it easier to determine which types of content to develop.”

Even better, in the same survey, the Content Marketing Institute found a correlation between documented content strategies and content marketing success:

document content strategy correlation to content success graph

Image via Content Marketing Institute

I’m not saying that the focus provided by a central, documented content marketing mission statement will make your content more successful, but I’m not not saying that, either.

4. Align your content marketing with your company’s goals

When the WordStream content team got together, we started by looking at existing descriptions of our content. It wasn’t surprising that most of these descriptions promised to help new marketers get better at PPC or provide small businesses the strategies they needed to grow their business. Those are all related to WordStream’s mission: to make online advertising easy.

Let’s consider Warby Parker’s mission statement again:

"Warby Parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective: to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses."

The company’s bottom-line business goal is, I’m sure, to sell glasses and turn a profit. But its mission is to do so “at a revolutionary price” that supports an exemplary commitment to socially conscious business. Less about revenue, more about impact. The mission of your content should be to further this impact—whether that’s through awareness, education, or exploration.

The impact of WordStream’s mission is to make online advertising accessible for everyone interested in learning, so our content marketing mission statement builds on this. Whether it’s our YouTube video series, our learning platform Growth Academy, or our blog, you can expect high-quality content providing tips and strategies.

With a defined and documented content strategy, though, we can make sure that everything we’re producing aligns with this goal, which leads me to my final point.

5. Hold your content marketing accountable to those goals

Connecting cross-platform content, strengthening your brand voice, figuring out what’s not worth your time, and matching your content with your company’s missions—these are all great. But if you’re a content marketer, you know you’re not done after creation and distribution. After your content is out in the world, you need measurement as a follow-through to make sure your content accomplished its goals.

Having a clear mission for all of your content establishes a baseline for this measurement: Does this content further the goal?

Whether you stick to traffic or check backlinks to review which websites are referencing your content or review comments and social shares to measure your audience’s engagement, make sure you’re following through to determine how effective your content is.

Ready to go write your content marketing mission statement?

Here’s a reminder of the five ways a content marketing mission statement can improve your content strategy:

  1. Anchor content across platforms and mediums to a common goal
  2. Create a cohesive, recognizable brand identity
  3. Determine what topics aren’t worth pursuing
  4. Align your content marketing with your business goals
  5. Hold your content marketing accountable to those goals

Now, go work with your team and start drafting—and remember to share your content marketing missions statement once it’s complete!

Céillie Clark-Keane

Céillie Clark-Keane

Ceillie runs content at Unstack, a no-code CMS built for marketers. Previously, she was the managing editor of the WordStream blog.

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