Why Your Content Marketing will Stink without a Clear Business Identity

by Marcus Sheridan

A few weeks back I wrote about the design changes I made here at TSL, one of which was the new headline you find at the top of the homepage, a phrase I call the “YOU Statement” and one that I feel is essential to effective web messaging as well as business direction in general.

You see, the fact is most companies don’t truly know what the heck it is that they do. Yeah, sure, they may know the industry they’re in, but if you dig beyond the “What” and delve into the “How” and “Why,” then companies get lost quickly.

The problem is, if it’s not very clear to a business what, how, and why they do what they do, then chances are their content marketing and blogging approach will stink as well.

For example, here at The Sales Lion I teach companies how to establish a culture of content marketing. And with culture being the key word, much of the content I produce centers around that goal. In other words, it’s my guiding light in all that I do.

The YOU Challenge

The same week I wrote the article about the “YOU statement,” I also sent out an email to my newsletter subscribers with a challenge, which stated:

In 3 sentences or less, tell me your “YOU statement.”

Curious to see how many readers would take me up on the challenge, I was thrilled to see about 140 of you responded. Even better, many of the emails included stories about how you had never come up with such a statement previously and the fact that the process was much harder than you had anticipated.

After reading all 140 YOU statements, I saw some were great, some were OK, and others seemed to really be unclear as to who they were. Regardless of how good they were though, the fact that so many people finally focused on this core aspect to great content marketing is thrilling.

10 YOU Statements that Rock

The following list contains 10 of the top YOU statements I received back from readers. Keep in mind that these weren’t the only good ones, as many I felt were quite deserving of being mentioned.

“I help companies become outrageously successful targeting and winning business. CEOs and executives call me when they are not hitting their revenue targets, they are wasting time on opportunities that do not generate results, and they need to increase their revenue using their existing resources – even if they don’t see themselves in sales. It’s all about Upside-Down Selling.”

Ian Altman, Grow My Revenue

 “Extend a second chance at life for more people worldwide with refurbished diagnostic imaging equipment, spare parts and service. Life is a gift. People matter.”

Krista Kotrla, Block Imaging

 “My copy helps you explain what you do, sell what you do and love what you do.”

Sarah Russell, Copywriter/Editor

“Mum & Career? – Yes, it can be done! Where to go and what to know for professional working mums. Quick and easy to find, in one place.”

Inge Woudstra, Mum and Career Coach

“I create provocative, inspiring messages via digital and print copy. My messages resonate and stimulate, creating organic, innate responses to one’s product or brand.”

Terri Scott, Twist Of Lemonade Writing Services

“Create memories and a sense of place with authentic, atmospheric pictures of North Wales and Northern England.”

Jane Steen, North Shore

“At 404 we will help you make sense of the cloud. Enable you to work from ANYwhere on ANY device at ANYtime. Change where and how you do business FOREVER!”

David Shaw, 404

I help solopreneurs find and share their Secret Sauce with the world. We work together to find their Unique Story, build a strategy for telling that story, and then implement the strategy using the most effective tools and methods for them.

Tea Silvestre, aka The Word Chef

 “We help clients create lasting love affairs with their customers which results in increased profits, word of mouth referrals and a legion of raving fans.”

Drew McLellan, McLellan Marketing Group

“We believe that Florida’s traffic ticket system has lost its way and become unfair, as the government’s objective has changed from public safety to raising revenue.   We believe in helping people fight back when it’s in their best interest.  Our goal is to get every ticket dismissed.  Since 1995, we have helped over a million people fight back, and we’d love to try and help you as well.”

Barry Kowitt, Unger and Kowitt (Traffic Law)

Your Turn

A couple of questions my friends: Why is it so difficult for businesses to define, in simple terms, who and what they are? Also, how has clearly understanding your YOU statement (or whatever you want to call it) benefited your content marketing and blogging efforts.

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