First Things First: Define the Path of your Digital Content

By: Philippe Aussant


When writing digital content for a campaign, it is difficult to weigh the value of the 5W’s and H against one another. They all comprise a chain, and a kink in any of the chain links can significantly impact the success of a campaign.   Writing content without first defining a clear vision for it can lead to directionless messaging that could be detrimental to the success of our campaign. This vision can be largely defined by these two questions:

  • The “Why”: What are our main reasons for running this campaign?
  • The “What”: What message do we want to convey?

The “Why”

This should be the basis of any decision we make, and the “mission statement” for our digital content.

Why do we do anything? Overall, we always have the motivation to continuously thrive in order to better ourselves.

Some people invest a large proportion of their disposable income for future gain (investments). Others may choose to spend a larger sum on more short-term needs. Some buy their coffee from large franchised coffee shops, while others do so from smaller “mom-and-pop” shops. Everyone has their own personal needs, and their own ways to meet these needs.

Companies are no different, with each having their own Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that need to be met. Certain companies run campaigns because they primarily want to increase sales. Others, especially start-ups, may run campaigns more so just to get their name recognized and break into the market.

Asking ourselves “Why” (and doing so frequently) helps to define our motivation, and sets the course for what our digital content should accomplish.

The “What”

To define the vision of our digital content, we now need to ask ourselves what our audience’s motivation is to help us reach this goal. People know what they want, and will do what they must to meet these needs.

Our mission with any digital content is not only to remind our audience of a specific need. It is also to help them realize that we can help them take action on that need. In other words, trigger their motivation.  However, this is not possible without a clear message that will appeal to them.

This is very much like having a conversation with our audience. If the discussion is engaging and relevant to our audience’s needs, they will gladly continue the conversation. Otherwise, if our message is vague or does not provide value, our audience may simply choose to tune us out.

While our message may reach our target audience, the effectiveness of our content may be significantly reduced if our calls to action are not clear. As such, providing a clear message to our audience is integral in triggering their motivation to take the action that we would like them to take.

Define Your Vision First

The path in which we want to take our digital content paves the way for us to choose how, when, where and to whom this content will be shown.

Defining what we are trying to accomplish (the “Why”) and the message that we want to convey (the “What”) sets the course for our digital content. It helps to solidify our vision, and the direction we will take to reach this vision.

The way to measure how well we defined our vision is two-fold:

  1. Whether the focus of our content stays primarily focused on accomplishing what we are setting out to do (improve a specific business KPI, for example).
  2. Whether the messaging we convey is clear, engaging, and focused on specific calls to action.

As discussed in our Content Creation course, a brand should never break character when speaking to an audience. We can help to shape this character by clearly identifying our audience’s motivation and our own, which will guide us for any future digital content we produce.

Note: Image retrieved from Pixabay (2015)

One thought on “First Things First: Define the Path of your Digital Content

  1. Wendy

    Great post. Loved the layout, made it really easy to read. Agree that the “why” is the crux of it all. I would add that defining the “why” really helps set the tone of the communication. Is it to be informative? To convey an emotion? Why oh why?


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