The 5 W’s

Many journalists are familiar with the 5 W’s “Who? What? Where? When? Why?”, but these can also hold significant weight in creating content for digital marketing. Using the 5 W’s method can help you understand your content at a deeper level, and reach your audience more effectively. Let’s take a deep dive into why it’s beneficial to use this method when creating content for your digital marketing efforts. 

With so much different content online nowadays, creating content that grabs the attention of an audience is more important than ever. The main goal of using this method is to gather all the information needed for your content and use it in an engaging way. Creating quality content benefits your business’s digital marketing efforts in numerous ways. Quality content can bring your business improvements in SEO and SEM, build a stronger trusted brand identity, and show your audience that you are active and involved with your business. Ultimately, digital marketing is to get your business visible, found, and paid! 

The Who?

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The Who? Is the foundation of using the 5 W’s method, the answer to Who? will inform and direct you for the other W’s. The Who? should always be the first question you ask yourself. In marketing terms, this question is to help you identify the target audience for your content. Which, like in a traditional marketing plan, identifying a target audience is one of the first questions that should always be asked. 

Understanding who your target audience is helps you to get a better understanding of what content and messaging they will be more receptive to when it comes to making content, ads, or optimizing SEM efforts. Be sure to use all tools in the various platforms that can improve hitting your target audience. Platforms such as Facebook, AdWords, LinkedIn, and Twitter have a variety of helpful tools, do some research and see how they can benefit you.

The What?

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In digital marketing, there is a variety of options to consider when designing a campaign. Display, Blogs, Images, Social, and the list goes on. The What?  question is which avenue you would like to take for your content or ads. It is increasingly important to choose the right avenue depending on Who you are targeting and What you are trying to accomplish. 

If you are trying to get eyes on your brand, display and search ads using services with large reaches such as Google and Facebook would be a great place to start. Although, that is not always what your business needs to build brand identity and awareness. Considering blog posts and organic social media posts can help give your brand a personality that people can connect to. Consumers are more likely to work with or make purchases from a brand that they trust and resonate with. This is where having personable organic content can have your brand shine above the others. To conclude, once you know the Who?, identify the What? based on Who you are trying to connect with.

The Where?

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With many of the ads and content platforms currently available, it is possible to decide exactly Where your content or ads will be presented to users. Obviously, if you are posting content online you want people to see it. Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Youtube all have a variety of different placements for your ads. Also, deciding where to post your organic content such as blogs or interviews can be just as important. Think about where your target audience will be looking, what sites they use the most. Use your answer for Who and What to determine the most advantageous placement of your ads and content. 

The When?

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When will your audience be seeing your content? Timing is an important factor when considering your campaign. Bad timing can mean that you either are never seen, or you annoy your audience into not wanting to support your business. Understanding When your content will be most visible and planning your ads or posts accordingly can be the difference between 5,000 impressions and 100 impressions. An equally important factor to consider is the frequency of your ads and posts. Your campaign should be consistent so you stay on your audience’s radar but avoid annoying your audience with constant repetitive content.

The Why?

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The Why? question is used to focus on what your ad or content is trying to accomplish. Are you trying to get more people to visit your website? Increase promotion for a deal running? Increase your social media following? Any action made online should have a goal it is trying to accomplish. By understanding the purpose of your online actions it can not only save you time but money as well. Never lose sight of the Why? in order to set yourself up for success.

Jarrod Nieves


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