It’s likely that every brand you can think of has a vision and a mission that they’re working towards, and core values that underpin the business. It’s also likely that they’re investing in some kind of content marketing to promote their business. What’s not so likely is that they’re able to connect the dots…
No matter the size of the business, the brands that resonate with consumers are the ones who are using their content to ‘connect’.
Let’s think about this in the context of dating. Imagine your business is a human being, and the internet is a dating app. People are always searching for a match, trying to find a good fit.
Your content is your profile – it’s how you tell people who you are. In the beginning of a relationship, we’re looking to connect over what we have in common. Do we share any interests? Do we have similar goals or priorities? Do we share the same values?
Content catfishing is a big no-no
People don’t want to waste their time and energy on bad matches. But that’s exactly what happens when a company isn’t authentic – when they aren’t honest about who they really are.
When it comes to content marketing, authenticity is really important.
Your content should be the external demonstration of your internal vision, mission, and values. Your brand vision, mission, and values outline who you are, what you do, and what you stand for, and your content marketing delivers and reinforces that message.
Customers can very easily see through a brand that doesn’t ‘walk the talk’.
Let’s look at an example – you may have heard of the UK dating app, Thursday. It launched in 2021 and has achieved great success despite operating under a very different premise from most dating apps – it only works one day a week. No prizes for guessing that day is Thursday.
Swipe right on authenticity
The app’s creators wanted to make dating less complicated (their mission).
You can only match and chat with potential love interests once a week, which simplifies the dating process (their vision), reducing the overwhelm of constant conversations that can make dating feel more like work.
This is a company that cares about its customers’ time and believes there’s more to life than dating apps (their values).
Thursday doesn’t want its product (the app) to take over people’s lives. Whereas the aim of most dating apps is to keep users logged in and using the app for as long as possible, Thursday aims for the complete opposite: to get people off the app and on a date as quickly as possible. And people love them for it.
Instead of investing loads of time and effort in conversations that never go anywhere, Thursday gives users a sense of urgency to ‘act now’, and one day in which to do it. And they walk the talk: there are no loopholes – you only have 24 hours once a week to use the app. It’s not just a marketing tactic.
Relationship status: it’s [not] complicated
Thursday connects with and engages users because of their relatable vision, mission, and values.
People who are tired of the traditional apps have somewhere to turn where they feel ‘seen’ and where their needs are met. Thursday has taken a stand, and the customers who use the app are taking a stand alongside them.
Thursday sets itself apart by creating content that amplifies the message of who they are, what they do, and what they stand for. They know their product isn’t for everyone – they appeal to a very specific group of people who buy into the brand’s vision, mission, and values.
So, how do you apply this to your brand?
Start by defining your vision, mission, and values. Next, work through the following exercise to start connecting the dots…
- How do we align our actions to our vision, mission, and values, i.e., how do we ‘walk the talk’?
It might help to create a list of actions and behaviours that align with what you want to say, i.e., “If we say this, then we should do that.”
- What do we want to be held accountable for?
Maybe make a list of your ‘non-negotiables’ – the things that your business does and believes that will never change.
- Create a profile of your ideal customer – describe the type of person who relates to your vision and mission, and shares your values. What do you both have in common?
Hint: the ideal customer is not ‘everyone’ – get specific.
- What promises do you make that you also deliver on?
What are the things you do that help to build trust in your business? What are the things you might do that could break that trust?
Laying it out on paper gives you a very clear picture of ‘what not to do’.
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Your vision, mission, and values won’t resonate with everyone, but the people who do connect with your message are more likely to trust you, recommend you, and remain loyal.
If you’re not sure how to connect the dots between your internal values and your external marketing on your own, sign up for our 1-2-1 guided coaching sessions. Alternatively, why not take our content marketing challenge? You’ll soon be making matches with your target audience.