Purpose-Driven Content Marketing: Show the Heart of Your Company

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By Erin Pittman

There’s no denying that content marketing is the way of the business world today. Nearly all successful brands work content marketing into their overall marketing plan. Ask around, and you’ll likely get a “Yes. We do content marketing.” But are they, and you, on board with the latest trend — purpose-driven content marketing?

What Is Purpose-Driven Content Marketing?

Purpose-driven content marketing means developing content based upon support for a worthy cause or taking a stand on an issue.

To achieve success with this type of marketing, you need to answer “yes” to these four questions:

  1. Does my purpose logically align with my business?
  2. Do my customers relate to my purpose?
  3. Am I able to deliver content about my purpose in an authentic way and one that benefits everyone involved?
  4. Does my purpose align with my long-term goals?

Why Use Purpose-Driven Content Marketing?

Nearly eight in 10 Americans say they are more loyal to purpose-driven brands according to a 2018 study from Cone/Porter Novelli. The study also shows that 68 percent of responders are more willing to share content from purpose-driven brands.

How Do Businesses Tap Into the Power of Purpose-Driven Content Marketing?

  1. Begin by defining your purpose, or the positive impact you intend to have on the world. (This should not reference your profits!) Your purpose speaks to the difference you want to make. If you’re unsure of your purpose, look at other businesses in your industry. If you’re a baker, perhaps you want your baked goods to feed everyone, including the homeless. Ride-service company Lyft partnered with voting-advocate organizations to encourage voting. They gave out fliers and information to riders and offered free rides to the polls in low-income communities. What fits naturally with your business? Many small businesses choose to support an existing charity or movement, while larger companies may start their own organization.
  2. Once you determine your purpose, you need to put it to the test. Will your customers relate to it? Will they be on board and interested? Content must always be audience-centric, so it’s essential your customers feel connected to your purpose.
  3. How will you deliver content about your purpose in an authentic way? Your purpose and your content marketing must always be genuine, never forced. Take REI, for example. In 2015 they launched their #OptOutside campaign with the mission of getting people outside. To show they are just like their customers, they closed all stores on Black Friday and paid their employees to get outside in nature. They practiced what they preached and naturally fit their purpose into their company culture and content marketing, resonating with their target market and employees.
  4. Your purpose should withstand the test of time and make it through the long haul — make it evergreen. Use your founding story if it fits. Share goals for the long-term in your content marketing. Tell inspiring stories and stir emotions in your audience. Talk about how your purpose impacts the world around you, your audience and your employees. And be sure to do so with a multimedia approach — videos, social media posts, blogs, live events and more. Build trust with your target market, and help them feel like you are in this together.

You can’t just sell a product these days. People want to know who you are as a company and what you contribute to our world. Show them what you stand for through your creative approach to purpose-driven content marketing.

“Your Words Mean Business” provides insights and tips to business owners, organizations and professionals seeking to better their performance and increase their bottom line through sharpening written and marketing communication skills.

Erin Pittman (epittman@princewilliamliving.com) is Lead Content Marketing Developer for Prince William Living.


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