From the Blog

9 Content Categories that Convert and Create Better Reader Experiences

Every smart marketer tells you that you’ve got to create content. Whether it’s for SEO, staying front of mind for your audience, or providing sales enablement – content is the best way to authentically engage your audience and keep them interested.

But before you open a new Word doc or create a Canva social post, stop to think about which category of content you’re creating and WHY. Remember, content for everyone is content for no one.

Here are my Top 9 Content Categories that can help you convert prospects into sales by creating a better reader experience.

  1. Utilitarian – content that helps the reader to “do” something. For example, a social media feature that shows the reader how to use keyboard shortcuts so they don’t have to use a mouse to perform a variety of functions. (Tip: don’t just talk about yourself or your product – be altruistic – you’ll get more readership)
  2. Educational – content that makes the reader smarter by providing new information, research, or aggregated data. For example, an article about the best types of food for purebred dogs. (Tip: get specific – it’ll engage your reader more. Don’t regurgitate information – be creative – have a perspective – offer something new)
  3. Entertaining – content that grabs the reader – makes them laugh, cry, muse, or become inspired. (Tip: this content rarely converts into a sale but can build brand loyalty and a following – never underestimate the value of keeping your audience entertained)
  4. Access-Granting – content such as advertorials or op-eds allows the reader to gain access to someone that they may never gain access to in real life. Using this type of content to reveal “non-public” insights can be a great way to keep readers intrigued and engaged. (Tip: make sure the person giving the access is engaging and has a story to tell. This can be a black hole sometimes for “all about me” talk that only the “Kardashian-followers” find amusing. That being said… there’s an audience for that too, but probably not in the business world)
  5. Altruistic – content that focuses on and benefits someone else. Altruistic content isn’t totally altruistic because you can’t help but draw attention to yourself in the process, but it can help you vary up the “all about me” content. For example, a company sharing a story about a cause they support focusing on the CAUSE, not THEIR support. Remember – doing it for others, not yourself. (Tip: Don’t use “call us for ways you can ____” on content like this. Push people directly to the other source you’re promoting)
  6. Emotive – content that elicits a visceral reaction. Whether it’s a scary insurance commercial, or a touching youtube video – content that makes us feel gains viewership. (Tip: be genuine, be realistic – don’t go over the top – no one likes feeling bad or sad and funny is often a hard spot to hit right)
  7. Exclusive – content that speaks to a very specific audience. No “one-size-fits-all” generic content. For example, an infographic of “Top Things Frequent Travelers Pack on Work Trips”. (Tip: use the headline of your content to help the reader discern “are you talking to me?”)
  8. Informational – news… REAL, NEW news. Share something with me that I haven’t read before. Share a new perspective or give me details. Tell me something that is new to me and INTERESTING. (Tip: not everything new is worthy of attention. Press releases can serve some SEO value, but remember, you want someone to read them – so share something you’d want to actually read)
  9. Financial – give to get – create a sale, offer a rebate, extend a coupon – when you give your readers something to do that incentivizes action – those who are ready to engage will. (Tip: even if you don’t use discounts in your business, think of “value adds” that could sweeten the deal – everyone wants bonus stuff and gifts with purchase)

Why do you write new content? How do you know that your content is affecting your readers and resonating with them? Have you considered varying the type of content category to see how it impacts your audience?

Creating a great User/Customer Experience begins with understanding your customers and what they want. As they say “Variety’s the very spice of life, that gives it all it’s flavour.” So, get out there and mix it up!