The 5 Ws (and H) of a Content Marketing Strategy

Content. Content. Content. It's well known that great content will attract those web visitors, generate those leads, and engage those customers. But, there's much more to a content marketing strategy than creating the content. You need to create the right kind of content, know why you're creating the content, and amplify the content so people know about it. In developing a sound content marketing strategy for your small business, consider the five Ws (and H): who, what, when, where, why, and how.

Who - Who is your target audience? The obvious answer is "potential customers," but who are those? Figuring out the details of your ideal customer will make it a lot easier in figuring out what they're needs are, what sort of information they would want from you, and what makes a quality lead and web visitor on your site. If you know who you're writing to, then you can your content match their exact needs and get them interested in what you have to offer.

What -What are you going to write about? You don't have to know the subject of every single post, email newsletter, or webinar right away. But, you do need to have some idea of the topics that you want to cover, or even the keywords that you're going to target. As a rule, don't write about yourself and your products. Write about what your target audience wants, whether its information to move them through the buying process, or answers to the questions they have, or guidance on how to work through their biggest pain points.

When -When are you going to publish content? Every week? Every month? Every day? The answer depends on the type of content. Blogs should be twice a week at minimum, while social media posts will be every day. Content such as white papers, webinars, or case studies might be a little less frequent.

Where -Where is your content going? Yes, your website or blog is the obvious answer, but as previously stated, you need to promote that content as well as produce it. So, where will your content go? Will you share it on social media channels? Perhaps syndicate the content through other blogs and online publications? Maybe add the links to email signatures or any print marketing such as a brochure?

Why - Why are you doing all of this? What do you want to achieve from your content marketing strategy? Do you want to generate leads? Improve brand awareness? Become a thought leader in your industry? When you figure out the goals of your content marketing strategy, you can they create a strategy that achieves those goals and works for you in the long run.

How - How will you execute this strategy? Will you use blog posts, ebooks, podcasts, videos? All of those? Only one or two? You will have to find out what types of content will resonate with your target audience, and how to have every bit of content work to your advantage. For example, if you choose to blog, you can always to a compilation of your best posts in an ebook, or include a video from time to time.

By considering the five Ws and the H of a content marketing strategy, you will create a strategy that covers the most important questions and will deliver the results you'd like to see. Producing content is only half the battle. Promoting the content, and executing the production correctly is the other half of the battle that will make the difference between success and failure.