Creating quality content is not an easy job. Content writers all over are consistently under pressure to create quality content for consumers.
The quality of content often gets debased when content is not delivered to the right audience at the right time in the right format. These factors play an important role in deciding the effective use of content. The five “W’s” of content covered in this articneeds to be taken seriously from this perspective.
Characterize the Five ‘W’s’ of the topic
The importance of creating content confining to its purpose cannot be overstated. The five ‘W’s’ play a significant role in this process. Let me explain.
‘Five W’s’ are the five important characteristics of content. They represent simple questions i.e. – who, what, when, where and why of a content. Answers to these questions become foundations of a content. Finding perfect answers will make content valuable and helpful to its readers.
This is not to say that each of these questions should be answered in every content. The questions that need answers may vary from content to content depending on the purpose of its creation.
Let me succinctly explain each ‘W’s” and what they stand for:
The first of the five “W’s” is “Who”. This represents the reader who consumes the content.
The reader is the most important factor which influences the success or failure of a content. It is important to know your reader before creating the content for him. Availability of advanced technologies and novel methods have made it easier for writers to find the characteristics of their prospective readers.
Writers create content based on his reader’s needs. For e.g., if this person is less educated – the content delivered to him should be brief and simple. In this matter technology can also help – instead of a written content format, a video format will serve better.
In the marketing world, the profile of a reader is called ‘buyer persona’. Marketers create content based on information available on their ‘buyer persona’. This includes the demographics, location, behavior patterns, goals and motives of its prospects which makes the content effective and in tune with their needs.
If the first ‘W’ of five “W’s” is finding “Who” is a typical reader – then the next “W'” is to find “What” – the type of content which inspires, educate and help him.
In the case of a marketer, this factor is of utmost importance as he has to attract his reader’s attention to sell through the content. “What” also determines the format of content that appeals a segment of readers. It can well be a video, a blog or a newsletter.
Thus knowing your reader closely i.e. the “Who” part will help you decide the appropriate content i.e. the “What” part required to carry out a successful communication.
The “why” of the five “W’s” is a subtle matter to handle. It literally asks – why are you creating this content? What is the aim behind delivering this content to readers? Do you want to educate your readers and make them your followers or do you want to launch a new product and increase sales?
“Why” should cover answers to all pertinent questions regarding the content. The answers will give a clear picture to create the right content i.e. content with a purpose.
The “Why” should cover real-time answers. These answers will help you create content that is current and in line with your reader’s requirement. In this era of advanced technology, you can gauge the topics and themes that resonate with your readers almost in real time. .
If you look at the sequence of this process so far – first we identified the reader and then perceived his taste of reading. Consequently, we checked out the reasons for which content is created.
The next step is to publish the content created for your audience. This poses the question “Where” – i.e. “where to publish” which is the next of the five “W’s” in content creation.
If you ask where – the best answer is “everywhere” – wherever you find readers or customers for your content. Where to publish also depend on the format of the content being published. If you are creating a post you will have to publish it on your blog. If you are creating a video then you will either post it on YouTube or your website or both.
Wherever you are publishing your content, make sure that it is shared on sites and platforms that your readers frequent.
The last of the five “W’s is the question “When”. This is the timing part of publishing content. Whenever you decide to publish content you must make sure that the time is perfect. Select the time and day of publishing so that it reaches out to maximum readers.
Marketers consider time-zones and social media peak time as factors that have an impact on the performance of content. This approach will save you the time, effort and money in targeting your content to the right person at the right time.
When you follow answers to the five “W’s” your content creation process gets better organized, more useful to your readers providing the popularity you deserve. Such content will provide value sought for and getting all the appreciation you deserve.
This process is simply creating intelligent content – content that speaks – and educates and helps your readers.