6 Simple

to create and analyze a marketing strategy, social media strategy, or just about any strategy.is made up of 5 W letters and 1 H letter of the English language. The 5 Ws stand for why, what, who, where and when. The letter H stands for how.

Why denotes objective or reasoning. For example, Why you are doing, what you are doing? You must have clear objective of doing something esp. on a commercial level like creating a marketing strategy. Without well-defined objective(s), creating and implementing any strategy could result in waste of both time and resources.

what denotes what is involved. Creating and implementing any strategy requires time, cost, subject matter expertise and other resources. So you need to determine exactly what is involved in creating and implementing your strategy.

who denotes people. These people can be you, your colleagues, boss, stakeholders, employees, clients or other target audience. Every strategy requires the input of one or more people or is directed towards one or more people. So you need to know exactly who is involved in the creation and implementation of your strategy and who will benefit from it (your company, clients etc).

where denotes direction or a point/step in a process/development. It can also denote location. This is the direction in which your strategy should move so that you can get highest possible return on your investment. The ability to move in the right direction and at the right time is what that separates a good strategy from a bad strategy.

when denotes situation, date and time or deadlines. A strategy needs to be time bound in order to be cost effective. Without deadlines there is no urgency. You can create your strategy next week or after 2 months. Without deadlines every goal is achievable. That is why it is imperative that every goal and strategy must be time bound.

how denotes method i.e. exactly how you will create your strategy or how you will implement it. Though how can also be covered by the 5 Ws, I use it specially to outline processes in great details.

Lets use 5W1H to create a content strategy for a top selling product category say Trousers.

Answer: we need this strategy to generate: Sales, leads, brand awareness, brand retention and raw traffic

QWhat type of contents needs to be developed?

Answer: articles, infographic and videos

Answer: topics related to alternative fashion: Punk Rock, Indie, Goth

QWhat type of expertise is required in order to develop such contents?

Answer: we need alternative fashion bloggers.

QWhat will be the publishing frequency?

QWhat will be the cost of content production and marketing on an average each month?

QWhat type of response you are expecting from the target audience?

Answer: we are expecting to generate brand awareness, user engagement and brand retention.

QWhat is the upside potential of this strategy?

Answer: We are expecting an increase in the number of monthly orders from 200 to 450 in the next 3 months.

QWhat is the likelihood that your strategy would bring success?

Answers: [include historical data], [use competitors as examples], [present a case study]

Note:you can add as many questions as you want which describe what is involved in your project.

QWho will be producing the contents?

Answer: we have tied up with 3 fashion bloggers for content development.

QWho will be reviewing the contents?

Answer: we have got in-house consultant available for this task.

Answer: 18 to 32 years old men who are slim, who live in US and who have strong interest in alternative lifestyle esp. korean fashion.

QWho will be marketing the contents?

Answer: we have got in-house consultant available for this task.

QWhen the contents will be developed?

Answer: We will get the first 5 articles in the next week. There are 3 videos that need to be developed and it will take around 1 month.

QWhen the contents will be published and promoted?

Answer: The first 5 articles that we will get next week, will be published next to next week. One article will be published every day from Monday to Friday at 10 am PST. Videos will be published as soon as they are developed and approved.

QWhere the contents are going to be published?

Answer: the first 3 articles will be published on the companys blog. The other 2 articles will be published as a guest post on .uk and

Answer: We will leverage our huge social media presence and connections with industry influencers to promote contents. Other than this we will run facebook ads and display ads on fashion websites

Note:In real life, your content strategy would be much more detailed than the one I have outlined. My content strategy is just an example of how you can use the mighty5W1H

Lets use5W1Hto analyze a content strategy. This is more fun.

You determine what the company is trying to achieve through its content strategy and what is actually being achieved. You need to do such type ofgap analysisin order to understand how good or bad is the strategy.

What is being done to achieve business objectives through this content strategy?

What should actually be done to achieve business objectives or what else can be done?

Who is presently involved in implementing this strategy? Who is doing it right? Who is doing it wrong?

Who should actually be involved in implementing this strategy or who else should be involved?

Who are being targeted? Are they the right target audience?

Where the strategy is currently being implemented?

You may be spending more money in promoting less profitable products.  Remember the 80/20 rule. 80% of your sales come from 20% of the products. 80% of your output comes from 20% of your input.

Where the strategy should be implemented or where else it can be implemented?

When the strategy is currently being implemented?

Wrong timing can result in huge monetary loss. For example it is not a good idea to run aggressive marketing campaigns during off peak seasons. Similarly publishing a new blog post during weekend or public holidays can result in little to no exposure.

When the strategy should be implemented or when else it can be implemented?

How the strategy is currently being implemented?

How the strategy should be implemented or how else it can be implemented?

These are some of the questions which can help you in analyzing a marketing strategy. The actual number of questions depends upon your situation.  You can also use 5W1H to create and analyze asocial media strategy,link building strategy,keyword research strategyor any other strategy.

5W1H can also be used to achievelife goalslike becoming an entrepreneur. All you have to do is to ask yourself these 6 tough questions: why, what, who, where, when and how and then come up with detailed, well thought out answers.

For example if you want to be an entrepreneur then you can ask yourself questions like: Why I want to be an entrepreneur? What is involved in becoming an entrepreneur? Who should be my mentor? Where do I see myself 5 years from now? When I will start my own business? When I will raise funding? How I can become a successful entrepreneur?

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