Creating content using the 5 Ws
Creating regular and relevant content is a must for any business online, it is good for organic search rankings and adds value for the customer or client. However, to add value to your business too and make it worth your time and effort, the best thing you could do is research your audience and start targeting your output.
Good research allows you to build a strategy where you can confidently create relevant and appealing content, publish in the right places at the right time and leverage your company’s expertise within your industry. Your content should engage clients and customers and consequently build brand awareness which in turn will help you to achieve your business goals in a tangible way.
So with this in mind, here is how you can use the 5 Ws as a guideline to create your content strategy:
1 – WHY are you creating content?
Content marketing is about getting the attention of new visitors (brand awareness) and developing long-term relationships with existing customers (brand loyalty and advocacy).
Like all relationships, you’ll need understanding, communication and patience. You need to understand the needs of your target audience before communicating how you can fulfill that need. Your approach needs to be patient with a big-picture mindset because the goal is never immediate conversion.
2 – WHO are you trying to reach?
Collect all the demographic and location information you can then answer a set of questions using various data sources like Google Analytics, Social media in-built analytics, Social media management tool analytics (e.g. Hootsuite) if you use it.
Question 1: What needs does your site currently fulfill for visitors?
Answer: Examine top hit pages, top search clicks and on-site search terms. Reference bounce rates call-to-actions and goal completions to see if your visitors are actually following through.
Question 2: What needs do your blog posts, social media, email campaigns and other resources fulfill?
Answer: Review the most popular posts and demographic information. Focus on this audience first because they have already opted in and demonstrated engagement potential.
Question 3: How do they compare to your competitors’ website visitors and social media fans?
Answer: Check top keywords and associated search terms on Google Insights compared to your website content and social media profiles.
Question 4: How do they compare with the overall category audience?
Answer: See the top level keywords and associate search terms at the category level.
Question 5: In what format do they prefer to experience content? (e.g. Video, images, tweets, how-to articles).
Answer: User demographic data and on-site behaviour to determine likely online behaviour whilst cross-referencing existing client/customer persona data.
3 – WHAT do you want them to do
You want them to buy your products and services, but by understanding your audience you are essentially identifying how to communicate the best of your offering to them and give them the most easiest and preferable ways of contacting you or buying online. You therefore, need to create goals and specific call-to-actions to tie your marketing channels to your business objectives.
4 – WHERE are you trying to reach them?
During your customer research you should have learned where your potential clients/customers are spending their time online, so you need to reach them via these channels.
If social media is a top choice, focus on the channels most relevant to your audience rather than your product/service. If they enjoy videos, make videos and maximise your Youtube channel. If they are more likely to share images, use sites like Facebook and Instagram. If they like live information and news, perhaps Twitter and online advertising across local news publishing websites is a good call.
Ensure your content is optimised for all devices including desktop, tablet and mobile. Especially, the device category that most relates to your target audience.
5 – WHEN should you publish and promote content?
To maximise the performance of your content you need to be publishing at peak search times, which you should get to know in your audience research. Keep in mind that this may not be at the same time as when your peak sales are. A lot of people look at content more than once before finally making a decision to take action.
On a final note, you need to track your content in order to measure how well its working for you and to keep learning about your audience. Therefore, identify the metrics you will be tracking from the start, understand your analytics capabilities and communicate key performance indicators (KPIs) across the organisation, at least on a monthly basis, to set expectations.