In Simon Sinek’s book, “Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” he explains that the main difference between successful companies like Apple and Harley Davison, and others is that they start with WHY. In essence, the WHY is the core belief of the business beyond making a profit and the purpose of its existence.
To explain further, we look at one of the examples — Apple, that he used in the book. If Apple were like everyone else, their marketing message would probably go: “We make great computers. They’re beautifully designed, simple-to-use and user-friendly. Wanna buy one?”
But thank God, this is not the Apple we know, because they start with WHY, they are a lot more compelling, and it goes:
“Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully-designed, simple-to-use and user-friendly. We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?”
The Golden Circle
In the book, he shows us a framework he developed called the Golden Circle – Why, How and What. In the same light, let’s look at how we can use this framework to develop a successful content marketing strategy.
Have You Figured out Your WHY?
To start with WHY, you’ll need to have a very clear understanding of the purpose of your content marketing efforts (beyond driving brand awareness and making a profit). Content marketing is never about driving sales, but instead, content marketing should drive value. How is content marketing going to benefit your consumers and how is it adding value to your customers’ lives?
Ideally, the WHY should be a constant and something that never changes, because this will act as a filter for important decisions you have to make in later stages.
HOW are You Going to Fulfil Your WHY
In this step, you’ll figure out your course-of-action, example: If your WHY goes something like “We want to empower users with solutions to their every tech issues”. The HOW would be the plan to realise the WHY, and it can go something like: “to empower our users, we will develop a blog that is regularly updated with the latest tech solutions and distribute it via social media and email marketing to reach our target audience.”
WHAT Exactly are You Going to Do?
Now that you have figured out your WHY and HOW, you need to know your WHAT, i.e. the nuts and bolts of your content marketing efforts. Your consumer touch point – the articles, videos and visuals that interact directly with your customers.
When producing the WHAT, it is important that you keep referring to your WHY. Example: does this video empower or add value to your consumer or does it just try to sell a product?
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About the Author
A digital native, Gerald has more than seven years of Digital & Content Marketing experience, helping brands effectively reach out to their consumers in the digital space. Gerald heads That Content Guy, a platform that aims to advocate and inspire the progress of value-driven content marketing practices, which Gerald firmly believes is the way forward for brands and businesses.