It’s been called lots of different names: content marketing, inbound marketing, permission marketing, thought leadership marketing and digital evangelism, to name a few. But whatever you call it, content marketing is a real thing, you can do a degree in it, or a Masters, you can hire someone to help you, or you can muddle along thinking you know something about it, when actually maybe you don’t know what you don’t know.
The 5Ws framework has its roots in journalism, where reporters aim to address key questions in the lead paragraph of a news story. The copy and content creation team at Generate Leads has adapted this strategy to systemise the approach to ideation and content creation with 5 simple questions:
- Why are we making this content?
- Who are we making it for?
- What do we want them to feel?
- What do we want them to do?
- Where will it be shared?
Before good (just sayin’) content creators start to create they take time to explore these questions, resulting in content that’s relevant, resonant and authentic - that achieves its goals as part of your strategy.
1. Why am I making this piece of content?
Before you start creating content, dig deeper into the purpose of your content by asking yourself why you're creating it in the first place.
- What is the purpose of this piece?
- Are you trying to educate your audience, drive conversions, or simply entertain them?
- Are you adding value, assisting with research, addressing a problem, or being controversial (my personal favourite)?
Answering these questions will ensure that it aligns with your marketing goals.
By understanding the driving force behind your content, you'll be better equipped to craft a compelling narrative that resonates with your audience.
2. Who am I making this piece of content for?
While the "Who" in the 5Ws focuses on defining your target audience, this question identifies segments that will benefit from your content. By narrowing down your focus, you can create targeted content that speaks directly to a particular group's needs and desires.
Take the time to research your target audience and identify any potential segments that you can tailor your content to.
- Who are the people that will benefit most from this piece?
- What do they care about and what challenges are they facing?
- Are there influencers or other organisations that could help amplify your message?
By understanding your audience on a deeper level, you'll be able to create content that feels like it was made specially for them. It welcomes them into your tribe and generates trust and loyalty.
3. What do I want people to feel when they see this content?
Emotion informs how people engage with and remember content. Consider the emotional response you want to evoke from your audience – be it excitement, empathy, curiosity, or inspiration. By tapping into emotions, you can create a deeper connection with your audience and make your content more memorable.
You’re not just here to tug on people's heartstrings and hope for the best. Content marketing is a strategic game, and you need to ensure that every piece of content you create is designed to achieve specific goals. Whether it's driving traffic to your website, generating leads, or increasing sales, you need to know precisely what you want our content to accomplish.
That said, it's not all about the bottom line. You also need to create content that your audience genuinely enjoys consuming. After all, if they don't like what they see, they're not going to stick around for long. So, it's crucial to strike a balance between achieving your marketing objectives and delivering valuable and engaging content that resonates with your target audience: marketing that moves the needle.
4. What do I want people to do when they've seen this content?
Are you looking for them to look at your website, or contact you for their next project? Having a clear call-to-action (CTA) is crucial in guiding your audience toward the desired outcome and measuring its effectiveness. Without a CTA, your content is like a ship without a compass - it may look pretty, but it's not going anywhere.
Your CTA shouldn't be an afterthought. It should be a pillar of your content strategy straight off the bat. So, before you even start creating your content, think about what action you want your audience to take and how you can guide them toward that action. That way, by the time they've consumed your content, they'll be primed and ready to take that next step.
5. Where will it be shared?
You need to think about this as it will inform the format - the length of the text, the shape of the images or video, or if it contains links, or if it will pull meta-descriptions and images from those links. Is it for an eblast? Is it for your website? Or is it for YouTube? Will it be shown at a presentation on a large screen in a boardroom? If you’re working with a good strategist (just sayin’), each of these platforms will have a specific target audience, a tone of voice - a vibe. So the content will need to be in alignment.
Ideas and creativity are great, but they’re nothing without strategy. If you want to know more contact Tiff and her team at email@example.com.