The Different Types of Marketing Content
As a corporate copywriter, I work with clients from a vast array of industries and sizes, all of whom request ‘content’. However it’s far more complex than simply putting words on a page. There’s solid, appealing content which acts as an extension and execution of the organisation’s goals and marketing strategy, and then there’s space filler to simply tick that box.
In an information era where ‘content is king’ within all Marketing efforts, it’s vital to get this right, and that lies in the appreciation of matching the correct type of content with the target audience. Potential customers know the difference almost immediately between effective and poor executions, and it’s important that organisations do too.
Below are the main categories of content, all of which perform different roles.
Content which interests
Interest inducing content includes competitions, games, events, conferences and general branding reminders, aimed toward those who have little to no interaction currently with your organisation, but are of a demographic which your product could potentially appeal to.
They are the budding customers who would be interested if you were able to reach them, and this is be done through entertaining them with easily shareable, highly interactive content which sparks their interest and draws them in.
Content which teaches
Teaching content is similar to interest sparking pieces, in the fact that it’s aimed at the outlier, potential customers, however instead of entertaining them on an emotional level, it engages them in a more rational sense, introducing the organisation in a more mature, educational way.
This content, which again should be easily shareable, is aimed at more of an explanation of the product on offer, such as informational videos, webinars, instructions, blogs, organisational reports and statistics. This content draws budding customers in with tangible facts and figures.
Content which influences
Influencing content is aimed at the audience who have accepted the existence of your organisation and your product range, and now need that emotional nudge towards taking action.
This includes peer reviews, endorsements, ratings and case studies, all of which lower the customer’s hesitation barrier by serving them appealing content which makes them feel safe and secure, should they with to proceed.
Content which converts
Conversion: that sweet Marketing buzzword that means we’re doing our job correctly.
Conversion content is that which closes the deal of the sale, and includes testimonials, product solution descriptions, demonstrations, Frequently Asked Questions, pricing guides, and strong calls to action.
This content serves as the final frontier, where the customer is almost convinced and requires that last piece of information in order to make a move to the sale.
Why this content mix is crucial
All customers and organisations are different. Therefore, getting the right mix of interesting, teaching, influential and conversional types of content is vital, as it can mean the difference between ineffective material versus compelling content which supports customers gently through the sales funnel.
In addition, the accessibility, arrangement and execution of all of this content is equally as important, so that the correct type is balanced and easily found by the intended recipient. There’s no point in your content’s careful creation if its delivery is poor.
Most importantly, it’s crucial to ensure that, regardless of what type of content you are utilising, it all must stem from the organisation’s goals and marketing strategy. There’s nothing more frustrating and disheartening when investing in content to support your business, only to find it’s having no effect what-so-ever.
The content must be rooted in your goals and objectives, and stem tactically outward from there, so that the fruits of your effort are appealing and attractive and lead to success.
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Motivating Yourself And Others: The fuel of action.
Life needs to be lived. As humans, we naturally seek achievements and perform behaviours to fulfil our lives according to what pleases us most, whether that be learning languages, pursuing hobbies, studying knowledge, or hanging with friends. That’s all well and good, but in order to do these things, we require the essential fuel to reach these goals, and that’s in the form of ‘motivation’.
Everyday that passes by offers every one of us endless possibilities, as well as sacrificial opportunity costs. What that means is that time is finite; by undertaking one thing, you must sacrifice pursing another, so every choice we make matters both in the short and the long term. People naturally allocate their precious resource of time into what they desire most, and it’s very important to ensure that your allocations are aligned with your own personal priorities.
This is where motivation comes into play. We must learn, both in our personal and professional lives, how to both motivate ourselves and our teams around us, if we want to be successful. The true secret to life is living a fulfilled life, and whatever that is to you, real happiness means you have to get out there and create it yourself! If you ever feel the sense of demotivation or anxiety, it could be because your motivation does not match your associated behaviour, and this is where procrastination manifests from. In other words, there’s not enough fuel to drive your car because your destination is not where you really want to be.
What we see versus what’s internal.
So, what is motivation? It’s the passion that drives a person to action, and is made up of an individual’s engrained values and beliefs as well as processed thoughts and feelings. These motivational aspects stimulate a behaviour that others can visually witness.
For example, if a person chooses to skydive, their values and thoughts motivate them to perform the action of enrolling themselves into such a thrilling experience. They’re perhaps motivated by a personal motto of “embracing fear”, or perhaps they’ve heard their friends rave about it and choose to also participate in it. Now, another person may decide they’d never skydive because their fear is too great, or they’d prefer to spend their money on visiting, say, an art gallery or an expensive dinner. A third person may wish to do both and a forth may choose to do neither. Visually, we see four people, two who chose to skydive and two who don’t, however their internal motivations (values, beliefs, thoughts and feelings) are hidden and could literally be anything.
To motivate yourself or people around you, you must identify what’s beneath the surface of the water (engrained values and beliefs as well as processed thoughts and feelings), rather than just observing the behavioural tip of the iceberg.
People tend to be motivated by either a passion for satisfaction or a desire for security. This can change with every given scenario and at different points in your life, however it indicates a need to either act conservatively or adventurously.
Maslow’s Motivational Pyramid
Maslow’s Motivational Pyramid explains a person’s motivational pattern as the need to fulfil basic needs in five stages. Each stage produces a different set of behaviours, and as each stage is realised, a person moves to the next stage.
The first stage consists of the basic, physiological needs of the body. At this stage, people are motivated by physical needs such as air, water, food, sleep and sex. Once these needs are met, the next stage is the motivation for safety and comfort. Following on from that is the need for social interactivity and belonging to a group. These are the main external needs, and are based more in the security sector.
The higher level motivational needs lie in self-esteem, which is about experiencing personal identity, status and importance, and self-actualising, which is the striving for ultimate personal achievement. These are internal motivations, as all basic physical needs are met, and now at this level we are trying to make the most of our skills and talents to gain a fulfilling life.
These stages are all important, as it informs us about the underlying factors that result in how individuals behave.
What role do you play?
As mentioned above, procrastination is a lack of motivation to undertake a particular behaviour, and ultimately puts a dampener on success and progress. It indicates a lack of enthusiasm for the task at hand, and can perhaps mean that either your priorities need to be better aligned, or the whole process needs re-evaluation in order to make it more stimulating or more of a priority.
It’s important within a team to share positivity and comradery with fellow colleagues and friends to ensure that spirits are high and satisfaction levels are conducive. This kind of environment is motivating as it creates a snowball effect which is infectious.
Get out there today and motivate yourself to achieve!
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