Updated June 2023

The definition of content

What is content?

Content is information presented with a purpose distributed to people in a particular form through a channel.

Margot Lester, CEO, The WoRD FACTORY

My definition encompasses five key components:

  1. Information
  2. Purpose
  3. People
  4. Form
  5. Channel

This post takes a look at the first three components of our definition of content and shares tips for operationalizing them.

Breaking down the definition of content

1. Information

What 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.

2. Goals

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.

3. People

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-Information-Goals Strategy. Download the P-I-G worksheet.

three gears from The Word Factory logo

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!


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