Every killer content plan is backed by a tactical execution and strategic plan to keep your content aligned… but is it aligned to the right mission?
Your content core aims to tell a strategic story that either makes an impact on your revenue/business growth and or thought-leadership/community awareness. But chances are your content is cluttered. But not because your content is lackluster or not worth listening to. It’s probably just not aligned with your overall content mission.
A common mistake content creators make when producing is that while your content programs are tied to a strategy, there’s often a lack of reasoning behind why this content and not that content.
What’s keeping ideation, content goals, and the progression of your content from mediocre to a revenue-making machine is the lack of a core content mission.
Your content mission keeps your entire marketing teams’ efforts aligned back to the core of why you’re creating content in the first place.
A content mission is how you bring together your entire content team to work towards your objectives without misalignment of your brand story.
The content mission embodies the story you’re telling, provides your target audience a purpose to engage with you, and aspires to swiftly attract your ideal buyer. A content mission tells your team now what you’ll be creating, but why it’s important and what actions you know will help drive return-on-investment on your content.
Creating your own content mission
What is the action you want your audience to receive and how does your content help move someone from point A to the finish line, the action you want them to take? Once you’ve defined what you want your target audience to learn, discover, or act on, you have a content mission.
Think of your content mission as the legs of your brand story.
Every piece of content you create has “legs” that help move content to your customer, and help them move from initial awareness through to conversion (or the action you want them to take). If you can connect content to your strategy, to an objective, and further to your target audience, but not to a content mission your efforts can be wasted.
You may be working towards multiple end goals, which means you’ll have multiple missions. However, content that can’t be directly linked to a content mission might not have return-on-investment.
Here’s a simple model to help outline to follow when creating your own content mission curtesy of Orbit Media Solutions:
This is where we’ll take our stand.
It’s the cornerstone of our content strategy. It states what we’ll be publishing, who it’s for and why they’ll care.
Don’t think you’re just tactical, you could be thinking strategically and not even realize it.
I often hear from marketing professionals say that when creating content, there’s often this “forget the strategy we need to just produce and get it done!” mentality that creeps into most projects. However subconsciously, if you’ve defined a goal or content mission, you’re always keeping that strategy top-of-mind without realizing it.
With a written content mission it’s easy to accept or reject ideas/proposals based on whether they move your marketing efforts forward.
Naturally, you filter through ideas and tasks discarding those that don’t fit because you’ve already identifying a commitment to a particular goal. While there might be the odd idea or project that creeps in that shouldn’t have been there, a written content mission will naturally guide your team towards a more compelling story 8 times out of 10.
Here’s one of my favorite goal-centric templates for creating a compelling content mission curtesy of Meghan Casey from the Content Marketing Institute:
Tips to ensure no content gets abandoned or accidentally sneaks past your mission
Before drafting, define if your content is meant to have a follow-up:
What action are we asking our customer to take/do once they become aware and consume this content?
Once answered, then define how that action helps your business move forward (or at the very least, your objective)
All follow-ups and actions your content is aiming to make happen should be timely.
No action should have to happen hours or days after your content is consumed. This means your content program has gaps and opportunities. Your brand story should be consumable in bit-sized chunks.
Don’t treat strategy, creation, content performance, and goals for your content as separate or silo’d initiatives.
Everything you do overlaps and influences the other, like dominoes. Your strategy informs your execution, your execution is influenced by analyzing your performance, and your goals help keep you focused. Here’s a snippet from our upcoming resource on strategic content marketing to visualize the impact each has on the other:
Snippet from one of our content resources, “Levelling up your Content Marketing Strategy”
Accept that no roadmap is perfect.
You’re going to have to iterate on your content mission, and ideally do that iteration in real-time. Meet weekly to assess whether your content is moving in the right direction. Tweak headlines, core messaging, layout, or channel delivery against what actions and follow-up steps you’ve defined as the ideal next step for someone consuming that content.
And lastly, embody your brand identity in everything.
Kane Jamison at Content Harmony summarizes one of our favorite content best practices:
Embodying your brand identity goes so much deeper than slapping an adjective (funny, down-to-earth, irreverent, etc.) onto your company or your copy. Brand identity means that every piece of content should contribute to this core image and reflect the truest picture of your company.
What others are saying about crafting a content mission
Our mission is to help you grow professionally as a marketing expert. Part of that mission is sharing the knowledge of those that think like-minded. Here’s a few of our favorite articles that inspired our thoughts on content missions: