Think of each piece of content or post you do for Social Media belonging to one of four simple categories:
Categories? Why should I care
Thinking about what category a particular piece of content belongs to makes it easier to focus on how to produce it, what will make it work, and how it ties into achieving a specific business goal.
Each Social Media category helps you achieve a given business objective. For example:
- Promotional => Improve sales
- Entertainment => Connect with your audience
- Educational => Brand and expertise awareness
- Conversational => Improve lead quality
- Transactional => Simplify buying process
If knowing is half the battle, then understanding what type of content is produced helps streamline your production process and KPI settings and promotes a consistent brand message across all channels.
Remember, each content piece you write or produce will fall into more than one category, and that’s all right. It’s actually working overtime for you if you can pull it off.
Ok, got it. Let’s check out what categories are and how they can help.
Promotional content aims to remind your followers about the value of your products or services. Innovation and interest are vital when presenting your offerings.
Consider the power of ‘tips and tricks’ blogs or videos. These serve as valuable content, educating potential audiences who may convert into customers. Such content fosters learning and enhances your reputation as a subject matter expert in your niche.
You can also use promotional-type content to showcase your unique offers and differentiate yourself from competitors. The objective is to maximize conversions while delivering content that is both engaging and informative.
Examples of typical yet effective Promotional content:
Tips & Tricks Blogs or Videos: If you run a cooking website, you could produce a blog or video series that provides tips for preparing gourmet meals using your products. This will both educates your potential customers and promote your products in a subtle and effective way.
Special Offers: Run a campaign showcasing a unique offer. For instance, if you own a fashion retail store, share a promotional code on your social media channels, giving followers an exclusive discount on your new summer collection.
Comparison Posts: Show how your product or service outperforms competitors. If you’re a software company, you might publish a blog post comparing your software’s features and pricing to your competitors, highlighting your unique value proposition.
Customer Testimonials: Share stories or reviews from satisfied customers. If you’re a travel agency, share posts about customers’ experiences, complete with images of their trips and quotes about the services you provided. This type of content serves as social proof, showing potential customers the value of your offerings.
Remember, effective promotional content balances advertising your offerings and providing value to the audience.
By crafting engaging Entertainment content, brands can foster stronger connections with their target audiences. This type of content provides a window into your brand’s values, personality, and people, making it more relatable and appealing. It’s a powerful way to foster loyalty and turn audiences into brand advocates.
Entertainment content holds a unique place in a brand’s communication strategy. It makes your content mix more diverse and enjoyable. It serves as a conduit to build a more personal and emotional connection with your audience.
This type of content allows you to reveal the human side of your brand, making it more relatable and engaging.
Examples of creating entertaining content:
Brand Origin Stories: Sharing how your business originated can be deeply engaging. This could encompass the initial inspiration, early challenges, and the journey leading to your success. Origin stories often resonate strongly with audiences, allowing them to connect with the brand on a deeper, more personal level.
Behind-the-Scenes Tours: Creating video content that provides a sneak peek into your workspace or production line can be highly engaging. Showing audiences where and how the ‘magic’ happens, whether in your cozy home office, bustling restaurant kitchen, or serene artist’s studio, brings them closer to your brand.
Employee Spotlights: Introducing your audience to the people behind the scenes always humanizes your brand. Stories about your employees – their interests, roles, and what they enjoy about being part of your business. This type of content will make your brand more relatable and authentic.
‘Day in the Life’ Posts: Sharing what a typical day looks like for you or your employees can put a face on your brand. An Instagram story series taking your audience through a day at your business, from morning meetings to customer interactions, can make them feel more connected and invested in your brand’s journey.
Product Development Stories: If you’re launching a new product or service, sharing the development stages with your audience can generate anticipation and engagement. From initial brainstorming and prototypes to testing phases, this form of storytelling can keep your audience involved and excited about your brand’s growth.
Consider the scenario where you manage a B2B or B2C company that revolves around specific products. Your main objectives are likely to attract new customers while retaining existing ones. One way to keep these themes alive and kicking on your social media platforms is through Educational Content.
Consider the benefits of crafting how-to guides through engaging blog posts or visually rich carousel posts that show the specifics of using your products.
You can also create comprehensive case studies highlighting key product features or tell a success story about how your product solved a customer’s problem.
The goal is to educate your audience about your products and how they can make a difference. Use your platforms to directly address FAQs and respond to comments or queries from your audience. Make it a two-way communication. This interaction will inform and build trust and authenticity, proving to your audience that you’re there for them way beyond the sales pitch.
Examples of Educational content:
How-tos: imagine you are the social media manager for a boutique coffee roasting company. Create a series of carousel posts that walk your followers through the perfect home brewing process for your beans. Each post could highlight a different step, complete with beautiful photos and a description of why that step is critical to achieving the perfect cup of coffee.
Screencast: Picture you’re managing an accounting firm’s social media channels. You could release short, engaging video content demonstrating popular tax software in action. Over time, these bite-sized tutorials can form a library of resources for your users to refer back to, amplifying the value of your service.
Lessons learned: Suppose you’re in charge of a fitness brand’s social media presence. A comprehensive case study might be in order. Maybe you have a customer who has achieved incredible health transformations using your products. You can create a multi-post story, sharing their journey and emphasizing how your products played a crucial role in their success. The narrative would illustrate the functionality of your fitness equipment or program and inspire others to begin their health journey.
Pulse on your community: You’re managing social media for a skincare company. You notice a repeated question about using a particular ingredient in your products in your comments section. Respond directly to these inquiries with a dedicated post explaining the ingredient’s purpose, benefits, and research backing its use. This proactive approach informs your audience and builds their trust, showing you are transparent and attentive to their concerns.
Conversational content is more than just casual chit-chat; it’s about creating meaningful interactions that put your brand in the spotlight. This dynamic type of content takes root in well-defined content categories that target a particular objective or key performance indicators (KPIs).
Success in social media content is akin to mastering a dance where each step corresponds to a phase in the buying cycle. Solid content categories act as the rhythm, guiding your content to connect with consumers at every stage. Whether it’s the initial intrigue, the careful consideration, or the final decision, your content is there, reaching out and increasing the likelihood of purchases or conversions.
But conversational content is about authenticity and connection. Sharing your brand’s challenges and triumphs can foster trust and boost your credibility, making your brand relatable. Also valuable here is that rapidly addressing current issues, trends, or industry updates keeps your brand relevant and shows your audience that you’re not just a business but also an expert in tune with the world around them.
Examples of conversational content
Expertise: Suppose you run a digital marketing agency. You might initiate a discussion on your social media platforms about the latest Google algorithm update. Encourage followers to share their thoughts or concerns about the update and offer expert advice on adapting. This positions your brand as an industry leader who’s informed about current trends and stimulates engagement by inviting audience participation.
Internal insight: As a clothing brand, you could ask your followers about their biggest fashion dilemmas or favourite fashion trends. This creates a sense of community, fosters engagement, and provides valuable insight into your audience’s preferences. You can use these insights to guide future product development and marketing strategies.
Transparency: If you’re a fitness trainer, sharing a personal story about overcoming a fitness obstacle can inspire and stimulate conversation. Ask your followers about their own fitness struggles and victories. This helps to create a supportive community and makes your brand feel more accessible and relatable.
In each case, the conversation brings a simple promotional message or informational content to the next level of engagement, which is really what social media is about. It brings the audience into a discussion, fostering a deeper connection with your brand.
Transactional content is straightforward, acting as a streamlined version of promotional content. It presents a product or service, lists its price, and offers a direct link for purchase.
Often used in conjunction with landing pages, e-commerce websites, and shopping platforms such as Google or Instagram, transactional content plays a critical role in streamlining the buyer’s journey.
Examples of Transactional Content:
Product Listings: This is the bread and butter of any e-commerce website. If you run an online fashion store, for example, each product listing (including product images, descriptions, sizes, and prices) is transactional. ‘Add to Cart’ or ‘Buy Now’ buttons provide direct links for the audience to purchase.
Email Marketing Campaigns: These can often contain transactional content. For example, a retail store might email about a flash sale, with links directing subscribers to the advertised, discounted products.
Social Media Shopping Posts: Many businesses use social media platforms to sell directly to their audience. A handmade jewelry brand, for instance, might post a photo of a new necklace on Instagram with product tags that allow followers to click and purchase directly from the post.
Google Shopping Ads: These are transactional by nature. For instance, if you’re selling sports gear, a Google Shopping Ad would display an image of the product, its price, and a direct link to where users can purchase it.
Landing Pages for Specific Campaigns: These are designed to drive action. For instance, a coffee distributor might have a landing page for a new product launch, complete with product details, pricing tiers, and a ‘Buy Now’ button.
Transactional content’s primary purpose is to facilitate a seamless buying process for the customer, reduce or eliminate barriers to purchase, and make the buying process as easy as possible.
Oh yeah, one more thing. Content Repurposing
Having a clear inventory of your content by category simplifies repurposing it for your broader content strategy and saves you substantial time.
Repurposing breathes new life into existing content by transforming it into a fresh format. This enables you to broaden the reach and impact of each piece of content you worked hard to produce.
A blog post, for example, could be broken down into bite-sized nuggets of information and turned into an infographic or an engaging video. You could have AI tools automatically generate the audio version of the article for listening on the go.
Alternatively, you could transcribe one of your popular videos to create a compelling new blog post. Quality content can come in various forms and sizes as long as each iteration fits neatly within your designated content categories.
Examples of Content Repurposing:
Blog Posts Turned Infographics: If you have a detailed, data-rich blog post, why not turn it into a visually appealing infographic? This can effectively reach a more visual audience and gain shares on image-friendly platforms like Pinterest or Instagram.
Webinars Into YouTube Videos: If you’ve conducted an informative webinar, consider turning it into a YouTube video. This allows you to reach an audience that might need more time for a full-length webinar but would watch a shorter, edited version on YouTube.
Podcasts Into Blog Posts: Podcasts are a fantastic source of content to repurpose. If you’ve recorded a podcast, you can transcribe it and turn the text into one or more blog posts. This provides an alternative way for your audience to consume the information if they prefer reading over listening and supports your overall organic SEO strategy by giving search engines something to read as well 😉
Case Studies Into Social Media Posts: If you have published a case study, this can be divided into multiple social media posts. Each post can highlight a different aspect of the study, ensuring your audience gains valuable insights, even if they haven’t read the entire case study.
Understanding and leveraging the four social media content categories – Promotional, Entertainment, Educational, and Conversational – is an easy framework to adopt to simplify their content planning process and deliver value to their audience. These categories not only aid in streamlining content production and setting clear KPIs but also ensure consistent brand messaging across all channels.
Promotional content keeps your brand offerings front and center, Entertainment content builds an emotional connection with your audience, Educational content fosters brand awareness and positions you as a subject matter expert, and Conversational content drives meaningful discussions and enhances lead quality.
Furthermore, knowing your content categories helps in successful content repurposing, extending your content reach, and saving valuable time. Whether turning a blog post into an infographic, a webinar into a YouTube video, or a podcast into a blog post, the potential for repurposing is vast when you know where each piece fits your content strategy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The four main categories of social media content are Promotional, Entertainment, Educational, and Conversational.
Categorizing content helps streamline your production process, simplifies setting clear KPIs, and ensures a consistent brand message across all channels. It allows you to effectively target specific business objectives, leading to better results.
How can I leverage Promotional content to boost my sales?
Promotional content can include tips & tricks blogs, special offers, comparison posts, and customer testimonials to educate your audience, showcase your unique offerings, and maximize conversions.
How does Entertainment content help in connecting with the audience?
Entertainment content, such as brand origin stories, behind-the-scenes tours, employee spotlights, and product development stories, reveals the human side of your brand. It fosters loyalty, turns audiences into brand advocates, and makes your brand more relatable.
How can I repurpose my content for better reach?
Repurposing can involve transforming blog posts into infographics, webinars into YouTube videos, podcasts into blog posts, and case studies into social media posts. This extends your content’s reach and ensures it appeals to different audience preferences.
What is the role of Transactional content in my content strategy?
A6: Transactional content is straightforward, typically featuring a product or service, its price, and a direct link for purchase. This type of content, often used with landing pages, e-commerce sites, and shopping platforms, streamlines the buyer’s journey, making the buying process easy and seamless.