Does your content marketing plan cover the 4 core content types?

Does your content marketing plan cover the 4 core content types?

Every month, when you sit down to start planning your editorial calendar for your online content, suddenly all those amazing ideas that you had have disappeared. Typical right? Well I’m going to tell let you in on a trade secret. There is an unspoken rule about core content types that will help you simplify your editorial planning and help you maintain a healthy balance on your website.

Your online content is the information that you are interested in sharing with your customers. It acts like pieces of a puzzle that come together to create a complete picture of your brand. Your content attributes combine your product offerings, your branding style, and industry knowledge in order to make an impression on your audience, a potential lead, customers, decision makers and the influencers.

You can analyze the success of your content through the data you gather and build upon the successes and learn from the failures. It is vital to track which content type works well with each audience type so that you can forward plan and reach your company’s goals.

Too much of one type of content will eventually lose you visitors, so you need to vary the different styles on a regular basis. There are four core content styles that you should be including on a regular basis. These content types are developed to work together to build awareness, increase engagement, and produce results.

What are the four content types?

Mix up the following 4 core content types. Together they should meet your target audiences’ information needs. In the process, they’ll generate awareness and the type of engagement that should produce quality leads and sales.

Foundational content

The foundation of your business are your products and services, so it’s vital that the core part of your content be based upon your business. This content gives your visitors the information required to know more about your products/services and will be the foundation to inter-site links. As your services change this content should be updated to remain relevant.

Foundation content answers all questions related to your business, your goals, and your targets.  Posts should be short and relevant separated into easy to read sections and updated on a frequent basis. One key benefit is that once foundation content has been written, repurposing it for different channels should be simple. This content is vital to your SEO. These are pages that you hope will show up when people are searching for products or services such as those that you provide.

Customer-focused content

Customers always come first and their questions need to be answered. This is the easiest type of content to create as it simply refers to relevant questions that are asked on frequent basis. The goal here is to be able to point customers to a detailed answer and show them immediately that you are listening to their needs.

While frequently asked questions are often a page on their own on a website, customer-focused content takes that a step further. You should not refrain from answering the negative questions that are posed by customers, in fact the opposite, the more transparent you are the more trust you will build with a customer.

This content targets each customer persona and helps guide them through the buyer’s journey. Relevant topics should come directly from your customers and can be relayed to you directly or via the sales/customer service teams who experience the questions first-hand.

Industry news content

Your prospects and clients might find it to be a bit of a turn-off if you only focus on your business. It’s smart to show your audience that you understand the industry in which you are active by creating industry news content. Share your opinions on the latest news from your industry in a way that adds to the conversation and makes your site a worthwhile destination even to people not quite ready to buy into your business.

Top list content

Don’t we all love those posts that list the top 25 most interesting points about…? These posts are often crowd pleasers because they bring together a whole array of data and information into one large post. These posts should not be written on a daily, or even weekly basis, these should appear monthly to be able to collate enough industry information.

These collation of data styled posts are often a huge hit with readers and are often the most shared posts. The reason they are shared so much is because they contain so much information, there is something for everyone. You should also be referencing influencers in the data which will help to give the post some validity and make it share-worthy.

In the end, the goal is to create content that helps you build a fulfilling relationship with your prospective and existing clients. You want to be providing your audience with product related information and personalized content that meets their needs while aiming to attract new audience members through the creation of industry related news worthy content pieces. The mix of the content types will each capture the attention of your different audience types at different stages of the buyer’s journey.

Quality content can be curated in various different styles saving you from creating numerous new pieces of content from scratch.  Recycling content will keep the content topic relevant and your costs for content creation down. Having the core content types available will mean that creating your editorial calendar never needs to be that dreaded moment of the month again.

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