6 Essential Types of Content for Creativepreneurs
Do you ever stare at a word long enough that it starts to look funny? The spelling seems wrong and the meaning doesn't even make sense anymore. There's a name for that weird feeling that a word isn't actually a word: wordnesia (for a word that looks wrong) and semantic satiation (for a word that's lost its meaning).
Semantic satiation is what happens when buzzwords get thrown around on the Internet too often. The latest victim is content.
We hear about it everywhere. "Content is king." "Content marketing." "Long-form content." We've been staring at this word for so long that we don't even know what it means anymore.
What is content? The default answer is written blog posts, but that's not the whole story.
There are many types of content out there. Creative entrepreneurs would do well to explore each of them to figure out which ones fit best with their business and their life.
6 Essential Types of Content for Creative Entrepreneurs
1. Written content
Let's get the obvious answer out of the way first. Most business owners think of blogging first when they think of content. The problem here is that they forget about all the other types of written content they could be harnessing:
- Email newsletters
- PDF worksheets or guides
- Captions on Instagram
- Facebook posts or group discussions
- White papers and case studies
Even if you're using all or most of these, you're probably not thinking of them all as content. Your Instagram captions can offer just as much value as a blog post!
2. Audio/Video content
A/V content is having a bit of a moment right now thanks to the growing popularity of podcasts and YouTube channels. This is often the first type of content business owners make excuses about. They think it's too techy or it costs too much money to put out high-quality A/V content.
That's a myth. My cohost Abbie and I started our podcast, Chasing Creative, for about $100 each---and that includes equipment and hosting. As for video, you can get started today if you own a computer with a webcam.
It's intimidating to jump into A/V content if you've never done it before. Do it anyway. You may discover something you love doing if you let fear hold you back! This is one of those things you can research to death, so watch a few YouTube tutorials and then dive right in.
Don't miss out on these opportunities to produce quality A/V content:
- Video blogs
- Podcast (either hosting your own or being a guest on someone else's)
- Audio version of your latest blog post
- Screencast tutorials
3. Visual content
Confession: This is my least favorite type of content on this list. I make an effort to do it anyway.
It takes time for followers to read blog posts, listen to podcasts, or watch a video. But looking at an informative, entertaining, or inspiring graphic takes just a few seconds. Visual content isn't just for designers. Check out these ways your brand is visually communicating with your audience:
- Pinterest images/blog graphics
- Flow charts or other informative charts/graphs
4. Live interaction
Yep, content can even be the live interactions you share with followers online. This is a powerful type of content marketing. You're showing your followers that you're a real person, plus you're able to interact with their comments and questions in real time.
Live interaction adds a level of connection that's hard to achieve anywhere else. Bonus: you can always repurpose your live content as video replays or Storify stories so your audience can catch up after the fact. Try these types of live content if you want to increase engagement with your audience:
- FB live
- Twitter chats
- Posting and replying in FB groups
- Instagram live
- Live webinars
- Skype "coffee dates" (short meetings to get to know some of your audience on a more personal level)
5. Automated content
You can't be live all the time, right? Automated content can offer a ton of value without taking up much time on your part. The beauty of automation is that it lets you provide valuable content consistently, even if you're only creating that content once a month or so.
I wrote a whole post about how to automate your content, but here are some types of automated content to get you started:
- Automated social media posts that offer inspiration
- Automate social media posts that share quick tips or industry best practices
- Automated email sequences. ConvertKit (affiliate link) makes this super easy!
6. Pillar content
Pillar content is the foundation of your entire blog. These are the posts that bring in the most traffic, are highly optimized for SEO, and turn new visitors into devoted followers.
Read more about how to get started with this post: 5 Steps to Planning Profitable Pillar Content
How will you branch out your content?
Most entrepreneurs could be doing more to take advantage of different types of content---myself included. I'm planning to branch out in the coming months by expanding into video and more live engagement. How will you take your content out of your comfort zone?