The 4 Ws of Content Marketing. Part 1: Why?

Back at the end of July I introduced my 4 Ws of content marketing, with a promise that I’d share my opinions on the Why, What, Who and Where of creating compelling content.

In the first of the series, I’ll be looking at the initial point to be considered when drawing-up your content strategy:

Why are You Creating Content?

This may sound like a fairly simple question to answer, but it is essential to know exactly why you’re creating the content in the first place so you can give the whole plan some direction.

If, for example, your business is well established, with a loyal customer base and good brand awareness you may simply want to create content to put across your sales message and generate sales and/or leads. This is arguably the simplest form of content, containing product information, catchy sales lines and a great call to action.

Have you got a sales promotion or event that you want to publicise? In this case you may want to create ‘temporal content’ which is specifically targeted towards the promotion.

However, if you are a start-up business with a new offering, creating content which just plugs your product or service just isn’t going to cut it. You may need to think more along the lines of building up a following and gaining reviews and positive feedback about your brand and its products. Therefore, if discussion, sharing and advocacy are the reasons you’re creating the content, then you’ll certainly need to produce a different type of content and circulate it in different ways (more of this in the ‘Where?’ post later).

Thought-leadership and Knowledge

Being viewed as a thought-leader or an industry expert is another reason why you may want to create content.

Top quality content that shows a deep understanding of your business sector, with inspiring ideas and expert advice can really position your business as a leader in its sector and create great brand advocacy by encouraging sharing of your ideas and knowledge.

The ‘Why?’ of content marketing will usually entail a combination of the answers above, but before you even begin to put pen to paper or create a video, it is very important to have a clear idea of why you’re doing it.

Once you’re clear on why you’re creating content, it’s time to move on to what type of content will be most beneficial in achieving your goals.

I’ll look at the second W in my next post, and I’d be happy to hear your comments on any of the ideas I’ve suggested so far . . .