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5D content: dimensions to make your content go further

July 29, 2020 - 5 minutes read

You’ve seen 2D cartoons, lived in a 3D world, and maybe experienced the joy of 4D cinema.

So you might be thinking, what is 5D content? A new buzzword? Well, it’s 5 different ways of thinking about content, to make your content go to infinity and beyond. 

There are a lot of content strategies and frameworks out there and it’s more than likely that you’ll need to pick and mix what’ll work for you. We’ve detailed 5 dimensions below to consider, kind of like an interstellar themed ride through content marketing, without the tears. 

Dimension 1: Dr Who?

Typically most content considerations start with thinking about who you are targeting. Some strategies call these audiences ‘personas’ which is a fancy way of saying people. Taking the time to get to know these people is never time wasted. The tactic here is to make your content go further by giving people what they want or don’t know they need, instead of what is convenient for you to make.

Dimension 2: Magnetic Wormholes (or as they’re more commonly known, Marketing Funnels)

This dimension is all about using the three stages of a classic marketing funnel as a shopping list for your content.

Shopping list:

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Purchase

Using the funnel this way means you’ll have content that caters to people finding out about you for the first time, as well as to people who are ready to take the next step. You can categorise the content you already have into each stage of your purchase funnel, so you can be sure that you haven’t missed out on any coverage. For a basic setup, you’d ideally have one piece for each stage and then expand from there. There are no hard and fast rules about which content works best where, so experiment to find what works for you. 

Funnel cake to doughnut? 

Instead of only looking at just the traditional marketing funnel, you can also consider expanding your content to cover what happens after a purchase. Some newer age funnels include this as an extra stage in the purchase journey. Content that ‘delights’ after a purchase, turns customers into advocates. Which in turn means it’s less of a funnel but more of a cycle, a self sustaining circle. Let the content do the work for you.

Dimension 3: For all intents and purposes

People use a search box as a confessional for questions you wouldn’t ideally ask another human being, like how to spell ‘definitely’ and sometimes, ‘is a bird a mammal’.

Eggs? Reptile? Warm blood?

So how do you make your content go further if you know that a search engine is the most likely way of reaching your target audience? And how do you account for intent? If thinking about the marketing funnel wasn’t enough then you’ll love this dimension. 

The people over at The Colouring In Department have come up with a framework that takes into account all the different stages plus emotions (!) that come part and parcel when you use a piece of technology to buy something. It’s called Consumer Cross Stitch and takes inspiration from UX and SEO, all to enable you to stretch your empathy muscle when making content. 

Dimension 4: Triple H (nay, not the wrestler)

Google threw its hat into the content ring a while ago with their own content framework titled: Hero, Hub, Hygiene (HHH). Originally created as a framework to build a YouTube channel, it has potential outside of video too. This framework is a particular favourite of mine as it has to the scope to include both SEO optimised content and bigger, more indulgent brand led pieces – and who doesn’t like that? It’s split into three key content streams:

Hygiene (Evergreen): 

Creating content based on what your target audience is searching for or wants to know. Informative, educational and useful. 

Hub (Always on): 

Creating content to bring people back week after week. This could be a series that you use to tell stories about your customers or anything that lends itself well to an episodic format.

Hero (A special occasion):

Creating your brand’s version of a Superbowl ad – but this doesn’t always have to be a video (even though video is lovely). This could be a mega report full of data you release every year or an event, the possibilities are only limited to your imagination.  

Making sure you have each type of content above can really help you fill out a content calendar that’s a bit more varied but also gives you more room to test and see which combinations work well for your brand. 

Dimension 5: Causal loops (or the end is only the beginning)

If you’ve diligently read the other 4 dimensions and successfully picked and mixed the ideas from each, how can you add another dimension? Here is where I stretch this tortured dimension metaphor too far by mentioning a hodgepodge of additional tips titled ‘microdimensions’.

  1. A piece of content isn’t done and dusted once uploaded, you can keep updating it (especially seasonal pieces) to get even more value. Adding to content this way builds and builds and soon you may have a resource worthy of being bookmarked.
  2. Plan in social cuts/versions of content that can act as teasers to link back to the main piece. You can also test these with a paid budget behind them, if you’re feeling experimental.
  3. Humans have faces and names and connecting with faces and names is a big part of how we communicate. So try including faces and names of people involved in your content. You never know, you might accidentally create an influencer. 
  4. Speaking of influencers, making content with other people is another smashing way of making content go further, as it’ll have two audiences built in instead of just one. Whether that’s working with influencers on sponsored content or collaborating with an expert in the field.

If I’ve piqued your conterest (content + interest*) and you’d like to have a more serious (or less serious, I’m not judging) conversation about how content can take your brand into orbit then pick up your mouse, put it down again and scroll down just a little further to get in touch.

*I can’t stop making up words, send help.

LEENA KESHISHIAN