What is content?

What is content?

August 14, 2019

What is Content?

You’ve just heard someone say that you need to do “Content Marketing” to boost your sales. And you get the idea that you should already know what it is because everyone is talking about it. But you don’t even know what exactly content is and you’re too embarrassed to ask anyone. Congratulations, this blog post is just for you!

Content is 21st Century’s buzzword! Content management, content development, content strategy, content anything, people, especially marketers are talking about it day and night. In between all this, you must have also heard someone say ‘Content is the King’ at least 10 times!  

However, still, it can be difficult to understand what we really mean when we say ‘content’. Let’s start off with a simple definition:

“Content is the presentation of any information to an audience for a purpose through a channel in some form.” It can include anything and everything. It can be the text on your website, an image or video on social media, or even webinars and live videos.

The above-given definition of ‘content’ breaks down into 5 components:

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

The key to successful communication through content is identifying and optimizing each of these elements. This blog takes you through each one of them to give you a better understanding of what content is and how you can operationalize it to achieve the purpose you have in mind.

1. Information

What idea do you plan to send out? 
What’s the information you want to give? 

This should be consistent across all forms you will use, for that particular idea. This avoids any confusion that may arise in the mind of your audience. Information, as we talk about here, is a combination of the most important ideas your audience needs to know about and the key details to back those ideas up.

2. Audience

Who is the intended consumer for the information you are providing? 

Define their demographics. This will help you define a tone, visual appeal and details for the presentation of that particular information. 

Too often, we create content without fully understanding our audience, which gets us in trouble later. You need to identify the people you want to reach, their problems, and the questions that might arise after receiving your information. 

3. Purpose

Why are we sending out this information? 
What do you want your audience to think/do/feel after they receive your information? 

The communication is most effective when the information is designed to achieve a specific goal. 

Having a clear goal enhances the development of your content for communicating the information in a way that it resonates with your audience.

4. Channel

How will you get your content to your audience? 

Don’t post your content on Instagram if the people you want to give the information to are on Linkedin. 

Start with listing down all the channels your different sets of audience tunes into and for what purpose. This will help you figure out the degree to which different channels best serve ‘your’ purpose. Then, narrow down the list, even more, by focusing on the channels that most effectively target the kind of people you want to reach with your information.

5. Form

How will your piece of information look in its final state? 

With channels chosen, fix on genres and forms to spread the word. 

Start with genre first: will it be humorous, serious, informative or emotional?

Then comes form: what will be the media type be – is it an image, video or text-based? What will be the size or length, colour, style, etc? of the “presentation” for your information.

Conclusion

Once you follow these steps one-by-one, what you have as the result is content. Content that aids your marketing, sales or awareness pursuit. Often people confuse content with just blogs or social media – the written content. In reality, content is everything you see around you, in any format be it in. It is what the brands make you see to feel things or take actions the way they want you to react, to consciously or sub-consciously take a decision in their favour.

Want to learn the formats in which you can push out content to your audience? Click here to register for ‘The Construct of Content’ – our upcoming workshop on

Content strategy and development with Synclarity’s co-founder Jaljeet Ajani.

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