Types of content

By Peter Ishii

Types of content

Content is a vast concept, and there is a need to categorise it to make it understandable – and relevant to the context. Content can be categorised by format, e.g. article, video Etc. But, have you thought about categorising by types of content - the purpose of the content.

When creating content, your mindset is often affected by the format. For example, when writing an article, you will most likely put your mind to 'article writing mode' which may result in a nicely written piece of content, but also in the risk of not hitting the intended target. If this happens, there is a chance you didn't set your mind to the right content type.

Improving relevance in less time

Content types differ in their purpose. Your content types and the content characteristics to support these different purposes should be defined guidelines, i.e. your Image & Tonality guide. When following such guidelines, content consistency and relevance will improve. Also, they will be of great help to the content producer as they are a shortcut to the right content.  

General content types

I suggest defining five general content types for your company. These will cover most of your needs in your inbound content creation and production:

  1. Brand content
  2. Commercial content
  3. Editorial content
  4. Knowledge content
  5. Educational content

Brand content – a taste of your brand

The purpose of this content is to convey your brand on a high level. Often there is an emotional touch to images and texts. 

Commercial content – explain the values you add

This content supports your sales process and presents your offering from a customer benefit perspective. Typically, it's a sales brochure or other material that should inspire a prospective customer by describing the values your offer is adding.

Editorial content – credibility in a context

Content that tells a certain story. Thinking of a journal article as a starting point; editorial content is often a documentary style. Credibility is enhanced by a descriptive way of telling the story and the lack of 'sales talk'. Typically, it's a blog or news article.

Knowledge content – sharing to prove your abilities

The knowledge content is most important in your inbound communication. Sharing the knowledge your offering is based on will not only make your audience rationally understand the benefits, but also it adds credibility and proof to your brand promise. Typically, it's a blog article or content offer elaborating on a specific topic.

Educational content - teaching to get it right

Educational content is a kind of knowledge content but strictly aimed at teaching a specific way of thinking or doing. However not relevant for some companies, it could be most important to others, notably to instruct on particular behaviour or operation. Typically, it's an instruction or an eLearning course. 

Want to know more? Through our content creation guide: what, why, when and how to use it, you'll find much more to read!

You can also read this article in Swedish on Onlineguiden.

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Peter Ishii
Specialist in generalism. Content generalist with decades of experience in all kinds of content, notably online content.
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