Communicating your core message through your website

Your website content, like a great leader, should inspire action.

You know that guy who sits in a coffee shop surrounded by a mini fortress of Apple products? He stacks an iPhone on top of an iPad on top of a MacBook and slaps that white Apple sticker on the back of his car like a badge of honor. Yeah … I’m that guy.

Okay, I’m not a guy (and I don’t have the car sticker), but the point is, I’m the person who buys, or at least wants to buy, everything Apple comes up with. The weird thing is, I’m really not (that much of) a technology geek. So why am I so obsessed with Apple’s technology?

Simon Sinek told me why in his TED Talk, How Great Leaders Inspire Action. He says I’m not really buying into what Apple makes. I’m buying into the core message of their company. Sinek says that what makes a client or customer buy into a company is not what the business does or makes, but the philosophical message at the company’s core. In other words, customers don’t care as much about the how or the what — they care about the why.

According to Sinek, that’s why I’m typing this blog on a Mac. He says the core message of Apple is: “We believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently.” People attracted to this core message are likely to buy anything Apple makes, and are hard-pressed to convert to a different platform. That’s not saying that technical specifics and customer service don’t matter — of course they do. But, in order to create a loyal customer base that follows you even when you go through a change in product lines or sales teams or locations, you need to have a core philosophy that they can believe in.

The content of your website, your blog and your social media is a great way to communicate your company’s philosophy, helping you to create new customers and building loyalty from existing customers. This doesn’t need to be (and shouldn’t be) heavy-handed or preachy, and it’s not difficult to implement. Before you create new content, whether it’s a Facebook post or a blog post or a brochure, ask your team how the content connects to your company’s core philosophy. If it doesn’t, look at the content from a different angle so that it builds your philosophy better, or consider changing the content to something that better suits your business.

You may already know your company’s core message. Chances are, it’s laid out in a mission statement or corporate philosophy. If you don’t, start by making a list of what your company does well. Look back over that list and find the themes that repeat, and you’ll start to find the core of your company. Be sure to consistently communicate that in your content, and you’ll begin to build a more loyal customer base.

Your customers want something to believe in. Your web content is a great way of making sure that something is you.

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Carrie has been copyediting and writing for fifteen years. Her skills were forged in the newsroom at The Birmingham Post-Herald and she’s a huge book nerd (she moonlights as Southern Living’s book reviewer), but a love of paper and ink hasn’t stopped her from mastering the digital world as well: She’s had a blog pretty much since they existed, and she’s run social media for companies big and small. Carrie’s always ready to take on a new communication challenge, lecture us about the proper use of semicolons, or defend the fact that her Instagram account is filled with selfies.


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