laptop pic  bannerWelcome to our series Digital Marketing in a Noisy World. This content was originally presented in our breakout session at Breathe Christian Writers Conference 2015. (Check out our Prezi here.) We hope this information is helpful and encouraging for you. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or contact us.


Great Content: Why, How, What

by Alexis De Weese

Simon Sinek’s 2009 TED talk really gets to the heart of what makes a digital platform thrive. It is easy to get distracted by numbers or making your platform go viral, but that it not the purpose of having a platform. (View the 5 minute version below or click here for the full 18 min TED Talk.)



You want people to be invested in your platform because of why you do what you do.

To re-purpose a phrase Simon repeats:

People don’t buy WHAT you write—they buy WHY you write it.

Think about it this way: your favorite book is not your favorite because of the sentence structure or the specific words written. It’s the power behind what was said in the book—the ultimate why that drove the author to write the book in the first place. That why resonated with something deep inside you.

Here is an overview of how that breaks down:

WHY do you write?
WHY is your voice unique?
HOW are you bringing your voice to people who will engage with you?
WHAT are you communicating?
WHAT tools are you using to communicate?

Golden Circle—Why circle


Your marketing platform needs a healthy foundation and identifying your ultimate “why” will be the plumb-line for the content you begin to build.

Your why is the driving force in how and what you do. This informs your message or plot, your voice, and how you market. It is behind everything you produce. It is your why, not your what that will reach people. Knowing this will change how you approach your platform.

Start with your WHY—Your message deserves to be heard, is valuable and relevant. What makes you a thought leader?


When you understand your why, you can begin to look at how your are reaching your audience.

How are you representing your why in your content marketing? How are you engaging with those who will want to hear what you have to say?


Content marketing’s purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior.

Marketing is impossible without great content.

Think about positioning content for consumption by those who want it. This will naturally lead to what.


Once you understand your why and how, you can begin to strategize what you are actually presenting to your audience.

This includes what content you produce on your sites, what social platforms you use to broadcast that content and what ways you interact with those taking in your content.

Putting it All Together

With your WHY, HOW, and WHAT defined, you can begin to think through your content marketing plan more clearly and strategically. Your audience will find engaging with your content to be more fulfilling because it is getting at the heart of why you do what you do.


Creative writer, editor, word wiz and self proclaimed ‘punk-kid’ Alexis is Apricot’s content magician. Lex is passionate about books, music, movies, scrambled eggs, and nail polish. She prefers her music on vinyl and tea leaves loose.


Thank you for joining us on this series. Tune in next time to learn more digital marketing tips.