Ask any content marketer how many categories of content there are and you’ll be given a slightly different answer. Marcus Sheridan has his Big 5; Neil Patel says five, but categorises them completely differently. Buffer says four, while Martin and Lyndsay, authors of Content Fortress, say eight. The truth is that it can be hard to fit every piece of content into a neat box. Marketing and content creation, like breakfast in bed and indeed life itself, can be a bit messy that way.
That being said, isn’t it nice to have guidelines?
The six content categories
We’ve written our take on content categorisation, and how each one can be useful for your business. For more information on each, follow the link in the description to read about it in our content category series.
Attraction content is the content that finds the people who need you, and lets them know why they need you. In this type of article, you’re showing empathy to your ideal client, discussing their problem, and offering a solution.
Where you attract, you should also repel. “But I want to work with everyone!!” No. No you do not. Who’s the worst client you’ve ever worked with? Someone who undervalued what you did? Micromanaged you? Made you wake up at 4am in cold sweats? Someone who only avoided receiving an email stuffed with the most abhorrent swearwords available to humanity because of your world-class levels of self-control? Repelling content, when done right, keeps that type of client from even thinking about ruining your day.
There’s a growing expectation that businesses will be open and honest with their pricing. As consumers we expect it, but sometimes as business owners we’re not keen on putting it out there. Pricing content is your chance to embrace transparency.
Authority content showcases your industry knowledge, educates your readers, and shares your opinions, allowing those readers to become delightfully well-informed customers when they’re ready. This article, for example, is one that we’d tippy-tap over into the authority box.
How does it work once customers sign up to your service? Action content is all about defining your process, setting expectations, and walking your customers towards the best outcome they can achieve by working with you.
Affinity content is similar to authority content in that you can use it to share your opinions, but in this case there’s more of a focus on values rather than industry knowledge. When you share your story and talk about the issues that matter to you you’re allowing your readers to begin to know, like, and trust you.
When to use each category
When you’re finding leads, you want to put maximum effort into attracting. What can you do and who can you do it for? Help them find you. But you’ll also need to repel. The goal here is for prospects to qualify themselves, saving time for both of you.
When you’re qualifying, you’ll want your clients to read your authority and pricing content. That’s so they can begin to decide on the type of service they need, and become as informed as possible about the price they can expect to pay. Now’s also a good time for them to read your affinity content, ensuring you don’t have a relationship-breaking difference of opinion down the line.
When you’ve signed your client, you can use action content to hold their hand through the onboarding process and beyond. Drip-feed articles at different stages so that everyone’s on the same pace about what’s happening next, how the customer can prepare, and the expected timeline.
The six content categories work together to…
- Keep away prospects who wouldn’t be a good fit
- Attract your ideal customers
- Help them become engaged with, and informed on your service
- Allow them to know, like and trust your brand
Your content can then help your customers at every stage to know what to expect from you, and how they can get the most from your service. To discuss how the 6 content categories could be applied to your business, book a free content review today.