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Targeting Your Content: What is Your Style?

An array of open books

When you write a blog post or a LinkedIn article, are you thinking about what type of content you’re creating? There are three main types and each has a distinct goal. Knowing which type you’re working with and staying on topic will ensure that your message gets through.

The three main types on content style are:

  • Educational
  • Branding awareness
  • Call to action

You can safely use two types in one post, as long as you’re clear on where one type ends and the other begins. For example, many posts start as an educational post and end with a call to action. A good example of this would be a blog post that starts out with a recipe and ends with information on how to order the author’s cookbook.

Let’s walk through the goals and messaging of each type.

Educational Content

Educational or information-based blog posts are valuable because they demonstrate the writer’s or website’s knowledge and expertise on a given topic. The most common type of educational posts are do-it-yourself pieces, which offer a specific set of instructions to complete a task, or teach the audience how to do something. This blog post, the one you’re reading right now, is also an educational post. I’m teaching you about the types of content, and how to use them in your own marketing.

Branding Awareness

Branding awareness content spans almost all platforms, from traditional advertising to branded images used on social media. Anything with a strategically placed logo falls under this heading.

I’ll use an example to illustrate this point. The Birthing Site (linked: www.thebirthingsite.com) is an online community that I manage, oriented around pregnancy, birth and parenting. When we first started out, we had a 200-person Facebook following and exactly zero marketing budget. We gathered a series of images depicting happy families, empowered women giving birth, intimate moments between mothers and babies, and so on, and placed our logo and URL on them. These images reflected our brand values of empowerment, education and love. We posted the images to our social media accounts, and our followers shared them and the images went viral. This campaign grew our following from 200 to over 42,000 and improved our brand awareness to the point where people within our target market knew what TBS stood for.

Call to Action

Call to action marketing is excellent for lead generation as well as for cross promotion between marketing platforms. Best of all — this type of content can work for any business!

A great example of a company that consistently uses call to action marketing is The Brick. The purpose of their advertising is to get you into the store — they never include an educational or brand awareness component.

Here are five steps to creating an effective call to action piece:

  1. Identify the need you can fill. For example, The Brick provides new furniture at low prices, knowing that everyone has at least one piece in the house that could stand replacing.
  2. Consider using an incentive. At The Brick, this is often the offer of a TV or camera, or an additional discount, when you buy a specific furniture combination.
  3. Be clear. Make the instructions clear and easy to follow, walking the reader through exactly what they need to do. For example: “When you buy a couch and loveseat, we’ll give you a free TV.” All the reader needs to remember is to buy the couch and loveseat.
  4. Light a fire.  You may want to include an element of urgency, such as a limited time deal.
  5. Reiterate your call to action at the end of the piece. As a final example from The Brick, at the end of their ads they repeat the promotion and the tagline, “Only at The Brick.”

Remember: choose a style, keep it clear and make it easy for your audience to give you their business!

If you’d like more information on how we can help you to create a content strategy for your business, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

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About the Author - Amanda Schewaga
Over the past eight years, Amanda has used her powers in social media strategy and content development to help small and big businesses triumph in the online world. BAM! There she goes launching a social media campaign with a reach of over 3 million impressions. KABOOM! There she goes getting her clients to the forefront of their industry and building a dedicated online community.