By Shannon Belew, Joel Elad

In order to understand how best to use online content, it helps to categorize it, or determine what type of content goes into which bucket. At the highest level of categorization is the framework. The information you create falls into one of these specific frameworks:

  • Educational: This content is focused on discovery, or helping the buyer to learn something new. Educational content could include an article about industry trends, or it might be a video that discusses the history behind the popularity of a particular product or category of products. The content should be of a high level.
  • Instructional: Similar to educational content, this type of content also revolves around learning, but it is detailed and usually product-specific. Instructional content includes product “how-to’s” and “tips” or shortcuts for using the product or service.
  • Entertaining: Sometimes the purpose of content is to generate awareness and one way to do that is to entertain the reader or viewer. Capturing the attention of the prospective buyer is challenging, and providing fun, funny, or interesting content that entertains is one way to do that. Videos, memes (images with captions that are shared via social media), and lighthearted blog posts are all examples of content that can be entertaining for an online audience.
  • Persuasive: Ultimately, you want the online shopper to buy from you, and you need content that convinces her to do so. Usually, persuasive content provides a specific reason to use your product (a benefit). That message may get relayed by hearing from an existing customer in the form of a testimonial, review, or case study, or from an expert outside your company.
  • Promotional: There are plenty of times when you need content to shine a bright spotlight on your brand or product. Its sole purpose is to speak to your product and show why it is better than competing products. This type of content can be created by you or by your customers who have turned into advocates for the product or for your brand.