Let’s face it: in today’s world, good marketers must also be good content creators. This means your writing has to deliver some benefit to your customers, while at the same time remaining concise and compelling. So we’re rolling out some writing advise to help you pinpoint that awesome content.
The Five W’s – They Still Apply!
At some point, most writers were taught the “Five W’s”: who, what, where, when and why. These were the essential elements of any news story. But there are more parts to these five W’s that are equally important – and sometimes overlooked. I like to call them the “other” W’s. The words are the same, but the questions are slightly different.
Who Is My Audience?
Is this blog post or article geared toward the general public, or is it an industry publication that will only be read by those with technical expertise? If the piece is for the general public, be sure to eliminate technical jargon, even if the meaning seems “obvious.”
What is the purpose of the story?
Is it to promote, entertain, or inform? If this is an informational piece, keep in mind the educational level of your target audience. Did you know that the average American reads at a 7th or 8th grade level?
Where can readers get more information?
Be sure that your blog post or article points the reader to a website or phone number.
When should the reader take action?
If your content is emphasizing a certain celebration, promotion, or health awareness month, be sure your call-to-action informs readers why they should take action now instead of later.
Why should the reader care?
I believe this is the most important aspect of the “other” W’s. There’s too much competition for the reader’s attention in our information-overload world, so it’s vital that the reader be “hooked” into the story from the first sentence. The reader needs to understand how he or she can directly benefit from the information included.