Content Marketing Mission Statements Don’t Exist - and it’s a Problem

Marcus SheridanBy Marcus Sheridan, President, The Sales Lion and 2017 Keynote Speaker of the upcoming TMSA Logistics Marketing & Sales Conference June 11-13 at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort near Jacksonville, Fla.

If you’ve seen any talk I’ve given in the last couple of years about content marketing, you’ve probably heard me beat the drum again and again of the biggest problem for content marketing today:

There is a major lack of buy-in.

And because there is a major lack of buy-in, content marketing success is way too often few and far between.

But once someone recognizes this for the problem that it is, the question is how do we fix it? How do we tear down the silos and get teams on the same page when it comes to content, digital, and the ways sales/marketing departments must evolve?

Although there are many, many answers to this “how”—I submit it starts with two critical steps in the beginning:

  1. How does your organization define the phrase content marketing?
  2. What is your organization’s content marketing mission statement?

Fact is, most companies doing content marketing right now can’t answer these two questions. And, even if someone in their marketing department can answer them, the rest of the team—especially the sales department—has no idea as to how to answer them.

The key to all of this comes down to simplicity.

Words matter. And if we choose words that all parties (and departments) can put their arms around, then we have a chance of taking content marketing from a “program” to a “culture”—which of course is the ultimate goal.

The Definition of Content Marketing
If you look up the definition of Content Marketing online, one thing is blatantly obvious: It was written by marketers.

Content Marketing, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Content marketing is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing and distributing content for a targeted audience online. It is often used by businesses in order to:

  • Attract attention and generate leads
  • Expand their customer base
  • Generate or increase online sales
  • Increase brand awareness or credibility
  • Engage an online community of users

Unlike other forms of online marketing, content marketing relies on anticipating and meeting an existing customer need for information, as opposed to creating demand for a new need. As James O’Brien of Contently wrote on Mashable, “The idea central to content marketing is that a brand must give something valuable to get something valuable in return. Instead of the commercial, be the show. Instead of the banner ad, be the feature story.

When businesses pursue content marketing, the main focus should be the needs of the prospect or customer. Once a business has identified the customer’s need, information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, email newsletters, case studies, podcasts, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, blogs, etc.

In and of itself, this is a very flawed definition, at least if you’re wanting to get the buy-in and success you seek.

It is for this reason, our definition of content marketing is so very different here at The Sales Lion:

Content Marketing is your company’s ability to be the best and most helpful teachers in the world at what you do. @thesaleslion

Yes, very simple.

And no, it doesn’t mention traffic, leads, sales, revenue, text, content, video, etc, etc, etc.

But that’s intentional.

It’s also why we’ve had so much success here at TSL getting buy-in with organizations that were struggling so very much to get it.

When things are explained and taught in such a way that everyone can understand them, good things happen.

In this case, most employees, if asked if they wanted to be a good teacher and problem solver, would quickly and resolutely say “yes.”

But if you asked most employees on your team if they wanted to be great content marketers, the majority would give you a look of confusion or disapproval.

Hence, the need for such a simple, and memorable, definition.

Content Marketing Mission Statements

Once content marketing has been defined, then it comes back to the “why” we hear so much about these days—as well it should.

In all of my talks, especially when CMOs are present, rarely do organizations have a content marketing mission statement—even those that are actively doing content marketing.

When they do, again, it’s full of marketing speak and jargon.

This simply doesn’t work—not if you want to create a movement everyone can see and believe in.

This is why we teach that content marketing mission statements should very much align with the (aforementioned) definition of the word itself.

For example, at my company River Fiberglass Pools, our content marketing mission statement is as follows:

“We want to be the best and most helpful teachers in the world when it comes to buying and owning and inground swimming pool.”

In another example, if you look at Jay Baer and his incredible team at Convince and Convert, their content marketing/ company vision statement is:

“We will become North America’s most-trusted source of digital marketing and online customer service advice and counsel.”

I love this. It defines their scope in terms of location as well as subject matter, with the entire focus being on education (most trusted source).

This is a statement their team can easily put their arms around and work together to achieve such a goal.

Take Action
Hopefully, upon reading this, you’re saying to yourself, “It’s time to take a couple of steps back and knock out these basic yet essential steps.”

Although it requires a small bit of work, taking these steps is worth it. And without question, it will help you achieve the content marketing success and buy-in we all seek.

Share this post:

Comments on "Content Marketing Mission Statements Don’t Exist - and it’s a Problem"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment