Once you have created a core strategy for your brand, it is time to boil it all down to a succinct and memorable statement. Yep, you heard that right. You have to take all that information and sum it up into one powerful sentence, which is much easier said than done.
But, by packing all that information into a single sentence, you give your team a guiding light to look to as they make content decisions. With that, they can move forward with purpose in creating, distributing, and managing your content without a need for extensive oversight and feedback.
So, without a doubt, it is well worth the time and effort it takes to create your core strategy statement. To help you get started, here’s what you need to know about taking your core strategy and transforming it into a single memorable sentence.
What is a Core Strategy Statement?
Your core strategy statement should reflect why you create your content, who your audience is, and what they stand to get out of reading your works. Although there is a lot to pack into that sentence, it should only hover around 30 words or less to keep your message on point.
(Side note: There is one exception, however. Brands with multiple websites, audiences, or other such complexities may need to go beyond a solitary sentence and create a full vision statement instead.)
For some brands, only a few words are needed to convey this message in full. Southwest Airlines, for example, centers everything they do around being “THE low fare airline,” as explored in Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath. Using that sentence as their guide, content creators may center their works around helping adjust customers’ expectations and prepare them for their minimalistic approach.
Most will need to use all 30 words (and sometimes more) to build out a sentence that provides long-term direction for their team. The statement should highlight all the possibilities while setting constraints, keeping your team on the right path. If anything and everything under the sun works with the statement, you likely need to tighten up the reins to keep your content aligned with your goals.
Methods to Follow in Crafting This Statement
There are many methods to follow in creating your core strategy statement. Lee Thomas with Brain Traffic uses the “Achieve-Be-Do” approach, as detailed in Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach. This method centers around asking what the overarching goal of your strategy is, what content you will create, and how you will support the success of your works. As you answer all these questions, your core strategy statement will start to come into focus.
On the other side of the coin is the Mad-Libs approach dreamed up by content strategy consultant, Sara Watcher-Boettcher. This method allows you and all involved stakeholders to fill in the blanks on a template, personalizing a generalized statement for your brand. You can then finetune the generalized statement to better fit your brand and provide the guidance everyone needs to create useful content.
Key Questions to Ask
With either approach, or if you create your own, there are some key questions to keep in mind, such as:
- Exactly who is our target audience?
- What does our audience need from our brand?
- What content will benefit our audience most?
- How do we stand apart from our main competitors?
- How can content help us achieve our business goals?
- What are we willing to do to ensure the success of our content?
In addition, you will need to reflect on why you are running your business and the value you aim to offer your customers. Also, think about how your content can help improve the value of your products and services. If you create adhesives for the hobby industry, for example, project ideas and how-to guides can help your customers make the most of your products.
All of these questions were likely answered in creating your core strategy. So, look back to see what your brand is all about to create a succinct, memorable statement that sums up all that information.
Start Crafting Statements and Edit Ruthlessly
With your ideal methods selected and all the most important questions answered, all that is left to do is start writing up your findings. Focus on creating sentences that sum up all that information without worrying about length at first. Then, edit like your life depends on it, breaking everything down into a short but sweet summary of it all. You can take your statement to your stakeholders for key insights and help breaking it down further if needed.
Once you are finished with that process, test it out on a few pieces of your current content. If the statement helps eliminate at least one piece from the running, you know you are on the right path. Otherwise, keep editing to polish the statement and make sure it not only highlights the possibilities, but adds constraints. This will ensure it provides all the guidance your team needs to create on-brand content that serves your audience well through the years.
For help navigating this process, look to our team at WriterAccess. We can help craft your content strategy, core statement, and more, so contact us today.
Marie A. is a talented copywriter and content strategist who can help you achieve great success with all your digital marketing campaigns. She can write up all the web content you need to promote your company and build a loyal following. She also provides content strategy services to help you establish and follow an effective inbound marketing plan. She writes shareable copy with a clear call to action that inspires your readers to move forward in their purchase journey. Her content will always reflects your company voice and mission while adhering to your preferred style guide. Through the creation of optimized webpages, blog posts, whitepapers, and other works, she can help you speak directly to your target audience and build brand loyalty.