Recently I was listening to Rachel Bell’s “Selling with Instagram Stories” online course. One of the concepts she discussed I actually learned from DigitalMarketer – using content categories. Content categories are your fastest path to organizing your content, while also establishing yourself as an expert. Let’s talk about the what, why, and how of using content categories.
What are Content Categories?
In this week’s Open Book Moment video series, I describe content categories as buckets of information or topics of knowledge that we use to make content creation much easier. Categories also help you tell your audience exactly what you specialize in. I am sure you can provide content on many different topics, but what do you want to be known for? Let me give you an example. These are the content categories for Amazing OBM:
- Content Creation
- Client Acquisition
- Holistic Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Marketing Tools
As a certified life coach and a study on personal development my entire life, I personally can write about so many topics like life balance, time management, relationships, and more. And with a lifetime career in business, I can provide a lot of value regarding business operations, team management, project management, and business coaching. Adding all these topics to my categories would make for a content nightmare and would definitely confuse my readers. So I picked categories to narrow the topics I speak about.
Why Use Content Categories?
Let me give you a sneak peek at our blog management spreadsheet. This will help you understand why using content categories makes it so easy to plan your content on a regular basis.
When you sit down to write your blog or plan your social media content, do you ever stare at the blank screen and wonder what you want to write about? If you had established content categories, would it make it easier to narrow your topics and be more organized with your content? I know, for us, it makes planning a breeze. As you can see from the spreadsheet above, Jennifer, my content writer has already picked her topic for next week. She knows the content category is “Client Acquisition” so she only needs to think about what she wants to write about, as it pertains to this category. She chose The Magic of Referral Marketing.
Once you pick a blog topic (or podcast topic), repurposing all your content is a breeze. From that one topic (in that specific category), you can create social posts, videos, infographics, slideshares, or anything else you want to share with your audience. These content categories also serve as a means to organize your content so your peeps can find it easily. These categories become the guide on your blog menu, or the highlights on your Instagram stories.
Another great reason to use content categories is to make it crystal clear to your tribe where your primary expertise lies. No doubt you know a lot of stuff, but that doesn’t mean you are an “expert” in everything. I bet there are a few areas of expertise that you absolutely shine in. Maybe you are an expert in grief, or mindset issues. Perhaps people come to you for advice on productivity or transforming organizational cultures.
When you pick your main content categories and only share knowledge in these areas over and over, you will quickly become known for your expertise on these topics. People will begin to notice that you share information on mindset issues consistently. And the next thing you know, your audience will begin to think of you as the “mindset” expert.
How to Pick Your Content Categories
For those of you that feel like you don’t want to limit yourself, it can be a tough exercise to pick content categories. But please humor me and just try it. Get out a piece of paper and list out 25-30 problems you can solve for your clients. From this list, look for any similarities in the event you can group some of the problems together into one category.
Now, from your list of problems, I want you to highlight the problems you are passionate about solving, and the ones you are damn good at solving. How many do you have? Narrow your list to the top four to five problems you want to solve. Use these problems to define your content categories.
Do I hear you saying, “BUT, I can also help people “x?” It doesn’t matter. You can always get into that when you start working with your clients. From a marketing perspective, you need to niche so you become the “go-to” person on these topics. If you try to be everything for everyone, then people become confused and will end up gravitating to someone else who is an expert in the problem they want solved.
Let me give you an example from my own business. As you can see from my content categories above, you will notice none of them mention anything about product or program launches. Although our team handles many launches for our clients, I choose not to establish myself as a launch expert. We are, however, experts on the content required to launch a product or program. Launches can certainly fall under the categories of client acquisition and content creation. But they are definitely an entity on their own. There are some businesses that focus solely on launches. So although I don’t establish myself as a launch expert, I still don’t miss out on doing launches for my ideal clients.
Another way to pick your content categories is to look at the content you already create for your audience. What do you tend to write or speak a lot about? What content gets the most engagement on social media and from your email list? That will give you a clue as to what is resonating with your tribe.
Ultimately, your content categories answer the question, “What do you want to be known for?”
So I want to challenge you to get your content organized, become an expert, and pick your content categories.
Content Categories: Your Path to Organization and Establishing Expertise
May 5, 2020