The benefits have been discussed in the past…
- Attract Traffic
- Gain Brand Awareness
- Get More Leads
- Get More Sales
- Establish Yourself as an Expert
- Earn Trust
- And the list goes on and on…
But to get all of those benefits from a single piece of content is very difficult to do. It’s certainly not impossible…but I’ll make the claim that it is impossible to do so on a consistent basis with every piece of content you create.
Focusing on a good mix of content, on the other hand, is much more sustainable and realistic.
The Three Types of Content
With every piece of content you create there should be an end goal in mind. It could be to get more subscribers, to entertain your readers, to share an opinion, to start a discussion, to send your brand message, etc. I can keep going, but you probably don’t have all day (and there’s other great content here for you to read! ).
I would place content into three main categories based on the desired outcome: informative, persuasive and exposure-oriented.
Informative: This is the type of content that shares information. It can be about industry news, or about your product, or a piece of how-to content teaching the reader. Informative content lies in anything from blog posts to “about” pages.
Persuasive: This is the type of content where you try to persuade a visitor to take a certain action. It could be to subscribe to your list, or to purchase your product, or to respond to a survey…or any other action you would want someone to take.
Exposure-Oriented: This is the type of content that you create to try to expand your audience and give yourself a momentum boost by attracting a lot of traffic. While you certainly can’t guarantee that a piece of content you create will go viral, there are certain methods that will ensure that you get that extra boost.
Hitting on all three types of content is what I would call a content mix bulls-eye. But focusing on at least one, or preferably two, of these with each piece of content you create will go a long way.
The Content Mix Timeline
When you can formulate and plan out a good mix of the the three content types, you should experience steady growth in your online business presence.
The growth should look something like this:
The Content Mix Colors…
In the not-so-scientific graph above, I’ve color coded the three different content types and how they contribute to online business growth over time.
The blue line represents informative content, the red represents exposure-based and the pale-greenish color (good color choice, right?) represents persuasive content.
The majority of the content you create should be informative. It should teach and share valuable information. This builds trust in you as an expert on the subject, and steadily builds a reader base as you go about promoting that content.
The red spikes are the exposure-based content that you want to throw into the mix occasionally. This is the kind of content you create with the intention of increasing your site’s/blog’s exposure. This type of content usually results in short-term traffic spikes. The important thing is to come out the other end of the spike with an increased audience. Although you won’t keep all of the new visitors on board, it is an accelerant in your steady progress.
And finally, the beautiful pale green line is the persuasive content. This is the type of content that asks your audience to complete a certain task. This usually won’t help you grow your audience. Rather the idea is to try to get your existing audience to do so something.
A Couple of Stipulations
I’ve created the image above in order to simply relay the message of a content mix contributing to steady progress and growth. But there are two stipulations to keep in mind…
1. I’ve simplified “growth” to mean traffic/readers. There are of course many more metrics that matter. But as a general rule, if you are getting more exposure you should be growing your business. Feel free to substitute “Traffic/Readers” with whatever label you’d like .
2. I’ve completely separated the three different content types in the graph. In reality, there is a lot of overlap. Even when you focus on being informative, there can be persuasive elements. For example, all of my blog posts have an opt-in form at the bottom. This automatically places a “persuasive” element into my “informative” content.
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