Last year, content marketing evangelist, Joe Pulizzi, released his latest book, “Epic Content Marketing”. In ‘The Content Marketing Mission’ chapter which you can read below, Joe connects the mission statement of the Pulizzi family to the need of a mission statement as a company’s reason for existence and more than that.
Indeed: the brand dimension of what a company and the content it creates stands for. The narrative, the promise, the story, the positioning, the perception, etc.
It’s comparable with what B2B content marketing and buyer persona expert Ardath Albee says when linking company positioning and company storytelling by looking at “the company’s distinct value, defined as the intersection of a company’s strengths with customer needs“.
Examples of such brand promises and missions: Volvo is about safety, Apple is about – well – many things but most of all ease-of-use and ‘us, the other guys’, Google is about finding anything fast, etc. In Epic Content Marketing‘, (full title: “Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less”), Pulizzi uses the example of Southwest Airlines: to democratize the travel experience. You can probably find some more yourself.
The content marketing mission statement: the WHY of content marketing
The company mission statement matters. The marketing mission statement matters. And, indeed, the content marketing mission statement matters, Pulizzi writes.
As we often say, Joe Pulizzi emphasizes we focus far too much on channels first : from blogs and Facebook to Pinterest and all the other channels out there today. Or in other words: Pulizzi urges content marketers to not fall into the trap many already have fallen into (including other marketing ‘tactics and views’): put tactics, noise etc. above a sound strategy whereby – should we say it – an integrated marketing approach more than ever matters, regardless of channels. It’s all about touchpoints, customer needs, customer experiences and of course business goals first and then about filling the gaps to achieve all this, whether it’s channels or content as such.
Don’t get me wrong: channels are important. You need people who know and understand them the ones you add to your mix and at least understand the reasons and ways people use them. But they don’t matter first, nor do tactics. Channels are about the WHAT of content marketing (just as they are about the WHAT of marketing automation, social media marketing and so much more). What matters most though is the WHY of content marketing.
And, without what Joe calls a ‘formidable’ why, ‘epic content marketing is impossible’. Without a WHY and by putting the WHAT before the WHY, de facto any form of epic or let’s say darn efficient, relevant and good marketing is possible.
Epic content marketing does not equal epic content
I invite you to discover the rest of chapter 13 of ‘Epic Content Marketing’ below. It provides some examples of content marketing statements of some companies and how to make those statements right (essentially referring to the good old content marketing strategy basics such as target audience, outcome, etc.).
Make no mistake: epic content marketing is not about epic content. It’s the context, customer and relevance that matters or as Content Marketing Conference Europe keynote speaker Jay Baer would say: the usefulness, as he explains in it in both a content marketing and broader marketing context in his latest book, Youtility.
Key takeaway: the WHY first, always. But that applies for any form of marketing and it starts with knowing what your customers want, need, value and l-o-v-e.