Content marketers — like newspaper editors and magazine publishers — must understand why they create content and for whom it is intended. A written, editorial mission statement for a blog or social media channel can help focus content creation and build an audience.

In fact, your editorial mission statement (or statements) should produce at least three benefits for your marketing organization and a given content marketing effort.

  • Consistent focus. A documented editorial mission helps your content marketing stay on course.
  • Unified content producers. If your content team includes several writers, the editorial mission statement can help bring those authors together creatively.
  • Help saying no. When you have a clear editorial mission, it is easier to say no to projects that don’t carry that mission forward.

What Is an Editorial Mission Statement?

Modern retail businesses are really in three industries: retail, software, and publishing. Essentially, content marketing is publishing. To be effective at content marketing, retail marketers should try to emulate successful media companies.

Good content marketers often look to successful media companies to develop an editorial mission statement.
Good content marketers often look to successful media companies to develop an editorial mission statement.

“There is one thing that media companies do with their content planning that nonmedia companies do not. Do you know what it is?” wrote Joe Pulizzi, C.E.O. and founder of Content Marketing Institute, in his book, Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses.

“It’s the editorial mission statement. Media companies start their strategies by developing an editorial mission statement that guides their content creation efforts and serves as a beacon for the overall business.”

At its most basic, an editorial or content marketing mission statement should answer three questions.

  • Who is your core audience?
  • What do you give your core audience?
  • How does your content help your core audience?

In his book, Pulizzi used Inc. magazine’s editorial mission statement as an example.

Welcome to Inc.com, the place where entrepreneurs and business owners find useful information, advice, insights, resources, and inspiration for running and growing their businesses.

The editorial mission statement’s three aims can be picked out easily.