28 Oct AiroAV Suggest: The Under-Utilized SEO Strategy: Mission-Driven Content Mar…
Here you are again— clicking an article to learn about a shiny, new search engine trick. Maybe you’re hoping this one will be the gamer changer that’ll get you the page one ranking you’ve been working so hard towards. Or, at the very least, that’ll give you some fresh ideas for how to boost your organic traffic, just a smidge.
Well, we can tell you right now that we’ve stumbled upon a winning strategy, but it’s not going to be an instant victory.
Up until now, many of us marketers have treated SEO like a game. We look for ways to outsmart Google… unnaturally stuffing our content with keywords, begging for backlinks from big domains, and feeding the world’s largest search engine precisely what we think it wants.
Somewhere along the path of conquering the SERPs, we’ve lost sight of the reasons we created our products or services in the first place.
We’ve watched our mission and core values get buried beneath our brand manual’s unread pages and started caring more about rankings than our content’s quality and how it serves our audience.
Today, we’re here to challenge your current content marketing strategy. Instead of centering your content generation around search volume, we want you to get back in touch with your company’s “WHY” or the inspiration behind your brand’s existence.
It all starts with a little thing called mission-driven content marketing.
What Exactly is Mission-Driven Content Marketing?
A few members of our team had the pleasure of attending INBOUND2020 this past September. During our favorite marketing conference, we tuned in for Dale Bertrand’s “The End of Technical SEO: How Google’s AI Forces SEO Strategies to be More Human” intriguing session.
The President and Founder of Fire&Spark used his 30 minutes in the INBOUND limelight to urge listeners to take a more “human approach to SEO.”
Oh, here we go… you might have thought. C’mon, we’ve all heard that “be more human” buzz term before, right? Yeah, yeah.
Yet, finally, someone told us what that really means to them.
“Your SEO needs a mission,” Dale said.
Interesting… At face value, that seems obvious. Yet, if you really think about it, how often do you give your content a very different “mission” than your company’s mission statement defines?
All the damn time. Most marketer’s content has the “ranking” mission: it was created to get organic traffic and bring in conversions. But can you tie a recent blog or ebook you created back to how it directly connects to one of your business’ core values?
Mission-driven marketing begs for a new look at content strategy.
It asks for every piece of content you produce to act as a leg beneath the table of your mission, first and foremost— before considering keyword targets.
Mission-driven content marketing is about getting back to our company’s roots… and creating content that is derived from the center of your business’ core. It’s about creating content that matters.
Content that helps to achieve something more than vanity metrics like website traffic.
Content that advocates your mission.
If Not for Website Traffic, then for What?
Why create purpose-driven content? What’s the ROI?, you might posit.
Perhaps the better question is, why would you not create content that supports your business’ purpose? Every blog you write, every podcast or video you record, every ebook you design absolutely needs a worthwhile return on investment or effort.
But if your only metrics for success are page views and SERP positions, you’re missing important KPIs right before your eyes…
Mission-driven content inspires folks who support your same passion and beliefs. Think more…
- Shares. When someone supports your message, they’re more likely to share your content with their audience, both online and off, spreading awareness of or web traffic to your brand. We’re not just talking about social shares here, people. We mean websites backlinking to your content because it makes them feel something. We mean an inspired reader texting a friend, “Hey, you need to read this.” We mean any and every way a person cares to share a story that resonates with them on an emotional or personal level.
- Engagement. Those who support your message will be more willing to react or talk about it, both online and off, flooding more eyes and ears to your brand and cause. This is those vanity metrics we can’t forget like “Likes/Reactions” and “Comments.” These are the untrackable moments, like casual conversations over coffee about an intriguing topic. It’s building a community who talks about your message in a Facebook Group or on a forum. It’s any and every way a person engages in the conversation you’re starting.
- Advocacy. A person who believes in your message equally wishes to advocate your shared cause. This is someone going out and buying your product and giving it a big shout-out on Instagram for how it makes a remarkable difference. It’s someone recommending your service, not because it’s the best out there, but because of the passion they see in your execution and how them supporting a brand that supports their cause connects your big-picture visions. It’s any and every way a you and a brand advocate a similar message.
Examples of Mission-Focused Content
Real-life examples can help nearly everyone to better understand a new concept. Let’s look at a few brands who regularly push out mission-driven content:
The sportswear brand Patagonia is known just as much for its high-quality outdoor jackets as it is for its advocacy towards improving the environment. A world with less pollution, landscape destruction, and manmade influence is a more natural place where outdoor recreationalists can enjoy the beautiful world we live in.
The website has an entire tab on its navigation bar called “Activism” for readers to learn about “The Conflicts” Patagonia strives to change, from oil drilling and element mining to land preservation disputes.