The definition of content
What is content? I co-developed this definition with my colleague Steve Peha to encompass the five key components of content:
Content is information presented with a purpose distributed to people in a form through a channel.
- Margot Lester, CEO, The Word Factory
The definition of contentThis post takes a look at the first three components of our definition of content and shares tips for how to operationalize them.
1. InformationWhat are you communicating? Information, as we define it here, is the most important idea the audience needs to know and the key details (evidence, explanations and examples) that support those ideas. This can include your messaging, slogans, etc. Taking a few notes before you start researching and writing helps you structure your research and drafting.
Why are we doing this? Put another way, what do we want our audience to think/do/feel? Content is only successful when we design it to achieve one or more specific goals. Quantifying desired outcomes before we start working on the content directs our thinking and writing. This can also include the calls to action the marketing or sales team gives you.
Who are the people we want to reach? Too often we create content without fully considering our audience. Explicitly identify the people you want to reach, their concerns and their questions. This is where relevance and resonance meet.I'm not a huge fan of multi-page buyer personas, but it's helpful to go deeper than "prospective customers" or " people 18-25".
We use these t-charts individually or together in the People-Ideas-Goals Strategy™. Download the P-I-G worksheet.
Read about the final two components in our definition of content: channel and form.Can we help you develop a more strategic approach to creating, managing and distributing content? Learn more about our brand journalism studio,content consulting and team training or just drop us a line!
This article was originally published in August 2011 and has been regularly updated, most recently 21 January 2022.
What is Content? © 2011-2022 The Word Factory, LLC