In general, there are only three types of content:
- Commercial content – the one telling about advantages of your product or service, giving the most complete information about prices, and delivery and service conditions. The most relevant example of such content is landing pages.
- Entertaining content – the one serving to develop relations with audience and to improve social signals. Social media posts, interesting videos, audio files, and topical photos can be given as the examples of such content.
- Educational content – the one containing useful information, analyses and expert recommendations. It’s the content that increases target audience brand loyalty and establishes you as an expert.
Concerning these types of content, we don’t mean only copies. Videos, infographics, photos, audio files – in online marketing, content includes all the variety of distribution.
Many people wonder when we say that not only commercial content (actionable content) can increase targeted traffic and sales but also entertaining and educational ones can do the same.
How does it happen?
What is the purpose of commercial content (by which we mainly mean landing pages like “About us”, “Products and services”, “How to order”)? It generates leads.
Yes, it’s very important. This type of content seems to increase your sales, but let’s take a deeper dive and imagine a real situation. In fact, lead generation is just a part of your main task – business growth. And from the point of view of online marketing, there are two important goals:
- Traffic increase
- Conversion rate increase
If “content” becomes a synonym for a concise persuasive copy with a call to make a purchase, while not giving your audience anything more, then growth stops. There is always a limit.
What’s the solution?
It’s in the educational content. With the power of educational content you’ll get rid of all of the limits. For example, women’s clothing online shop starts to post about new fashion trends instead of posting only product announces. So, what happens next? Without changing a theme this shop gets a chance to increase its audience.
Let’s move forward.
As a rule, when potential customers are in need of some service or product they follow this scenario:
- They realize they are in need of this service of product;
- They search for some information to understand what exactly should they choose, how much should they pay;
- They make a decision and purchase a product or service.
Most of your potential customers follow this scenario. By means of educational content you can influence them during all of these three stages.
How can educational content create a need? Let’s imagine a situation.
You have decided to buy a dictaphone for your job purposes
You begin searching for information to learn about advantages and disadvantages of different models
You compare technical characteristics and prices.
Browsing over the internet suddenly you see an article about brand new cool but still cheap gadget, which not only records a sound, but also (oh my gosh!) converts it into text (you don’t have to decrypt audio!). It also allows you to listen to audiobooks, watch movies (you get stuck in traffic jam so often that you have a lot of spare time to watch a new movie) and there is also one more option – it even makes you coffee in the morning (awesome!).
All of a sudden you realize that this is the thing you need. To hell with dictaphone! You need this cool gadget and of course you buy it.
Joking aside: educating audience to create a need in your product is the first thing you need to do to increase audience loyalty and (indirectly) your sales growth.
While studying advantages and disadvantages, technical characteristics of different products, customers will not trust so called “posts that sell”. They will be search for posts with objective information, different points of view and straight expert recommendations. What you want to do now:
- Make video reviews and instructions showing how easy it is to use your product;
- Make statistics of growth and fall of this or that product’s sales (which gives your potential customers insights on what exactly is more or less popular among people);
- Make useful guides explaining all the difficulties in making a choice and answering all the customers’ questions.
It’s the educational content that plays a major role at this stage. With its help you establish yourself as an industry expert and show customers that they can trust you.
If you promote educational content, odds are good that customers will be already loyal and ready to make a purchase while visiting one of your landing pages. It means that visit-to-purchase conversion goes easier which takes you one step closer to your main goal – sales growth.
Educational content solves three main problems:
- It creates a need in your product or service
- It increases a brand loyalty
- It establishes you as an industry expert
Anyway, you must not forget that with content marketing you must build relations with an audience in as many ways as possible. It’s the key to make your strategy effective. You need to diverse your content (commercial, entertaining, and educational) in equal proportions. Only distribution of all of these three types of content can help you reach your main goals – increase in targeted traffic and sales – easier and faster.