Content strategy statement: What is it and why do you need one?

Reading time: About 4 minutes

My husband had surgery on both feet earlier this month.
 
It’s been three weeks, and things are starting to look up.
 
He doesn’t need the wheelchair anymore, he can hobble around the house on his heels, and he has thankfully taken up showering again.
 
But it wasn’t always like this.
 
The first week was rough.
 
He was in pain, frustrated, and couldn’t walk.
 
Not even to the toilet…
 
Now look, I can handle emptying and cleaning a pee bottle. It’s not pleasant, but “for better or worse”, amirite?
 
But that was until day three when his colon finally awoke from the effect of the anaesthetic.
 
He eyes his freshly-rinsed-and-sanitised pee bottle, looks at me, and says,
 
“I need to take a dump.”
 
Now, I’m pretty sure that when Meatloaf said he’d “do anything for love, but he won’t do THAT”, he was talking about cleaning his partner’s poop bucket.
 
Nope. Not happening. Nuh-uh.
 
“Sorry, babe. You’re on your own.”
 
I pivot on my heel, flick my neglected-and-now-too-long fringe, and leave him to figure it out.
 
And you know what? He did!
 
I said no, and he didn’t die or shit the bed!

I set and enforced a boundary, and the world didn’t end!
 
(It was also the last time I cleaned the pee bottle, because if he can do it once, AMIRITE?).
 
And, as an update to this story, it has been 64 days since I’ve had to wipe another person’s butt other than my own, and I am NOT BREAKING THAT STREAK!
 
Some call it tough love. I call it boundaries.

Because when you know what lines you absolutely won’t cross, it’s easy to say no, not feel guilty about it, and take comfort knowing that the world won’t end because of it.
 
Boundaries are good for life and your content strategy.
 
And your content strategy statement lets you enforce a little tough love.

What is a content strategy statement?

In a word, it’s your boundaries.
 
In a sentence, it’s a summary of what you want to accomplish with your content. What do you want to be known for?
 
Saying no becomes easy and automatic – and that alone can be quite satisfying.

Why is a content strategy statement important?

    • It serves as a guide for people who make decisions about content.
    • It’s a basis for brainstorming content ideas that meet your business goals and audience needs.
    • It keeps everyone aligned and focuses your content efforts for the best chance of success.

You can create as many content strategy statements as you like – an overarching one for the business, one for each department or team, and one for each campaign, for example.

What to include in your content strategy statement?

If you’ve stuck with me this far, you will already have the three key elements you need to write your content strategy statement:

    • core audience (Who are you helping? Who is your muse?),
    • goal (The outcome/benefit for your audience. What needs are you meeting?), and
    • reason for each piece of content to exist (Why are you creating it and where does it sit on the content journey map?).

A content strategy template or two

I like this template from Meghan Casey at MadLibs:
 
“The content we produce helps our company accomplish [goal] and [goal] by providing [adjective] and [adjective] content that makes [audience] feel [emotion] or [emotion] so that they can [task] or [task].”
 
Here’s an example:

 

If a content idea doesn’t fit within these boundaries, it’s a quick and easy “no”.

    • Does it educate and engage dog owners? No? Out it goes!
    • Does it give dog owners the skills and confidence to implement the approaches we talk about? No? See ya!
    • Does the content give dog owners ideas about how to strengthen the bond with their dogs or make their dogs smarter? No? Sayonara! 

Too many words? Try this:
 
Our content gives [who] the [what] they need because it [why/how].

Content strategy statement best practices:

    • Short – under 50 words (aim for 30)
    • Flexible – do more of what works, less of what doesn’t
    • Performance-oriented – if it’s not measurable, did it even exist? 🤔

Your action this week:

Write your content strategy statement!
 
Play around with words and phrases until you find what distinguishes your brand and storytelling style from other content competing for your audience’s attention.
 
Even better, get everyone on your team to write their own version and see what comes up.
 
Could be interesting. Surprising. Unexpected.
 
Discuss and finesse the responses into a single statement that resonates with everyone and reflects your business values.
 
These resources might help:

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