Content Archetypes: Connect With Your Audience

While there are tons of types of content (videos, blogs, etc.) and even more channels to consume that content, there are really only four content archetypes. Each complements one another to successfully drive customers towards an intended goal. What are these archetypes and how do you use them? Let’s take a look. 

Content Archetype 1: The Promoter

   a clip art representation of a promoter, meant to symbolize one of the content archetypes: helperMost branded content is promoter content because brands love to talk about themselves. While other content archetypes technically promote the brand as well, promoter content is the most persuasive. It’s argumentative content that persuades customers to make a decision–buy a product, sign up for a subscription, or simply click “learn more.”

The best way to use promoter content is by showing your product or service in action. Persuasive copy and even other customer reviews can only go so far–customers need to be able to see the benefits with their own eyes. 

The downside of promoter content is that it doesn’t facilitate that all-important human connection. It might make your customers’ lives easier, but it doesn’t give them a reason to care about your brand on a personal level. That’s where the other archetypes come in! 

Content Archetype 2: The Teacher

a clip art rendering of a professor, meant to symbolize one of the content archetypes: the teacherHere’s where you can start to make connections with your audience. While promoter content shows people the tangible benefits of your brand, teacher content feeds the passions and interests of an already engaged audience. In a nutshell, teacher content shows your audience something new–or something they may have overlooked. 

A good way to describe teacher content is thought leadership. Teacher content starts conversations and gets folks thinking. That means it often offers a fresh perspective or unique point of view. Because this type of content is immensely valuable to your audience, it lays the building blocks for creating those connections. 

Unfortunately, teacher content is hard to create. It requires authenticity and dedication but also more effort and planning than the other content archetypes. If you’re going to create teacher content, first make sure you know what you’re talking about. Then, make sure you’re willing to commit to effort in to be an industry authority or thought leader. 

Content Archetype 3: The Thinker

a clip art representation of a man thinking, meant to represent one of the content archetypes: the thinkerThis type of content is perfect for brands whose competitors might be perceived as “better.” Thinker content doesn’t profess the creator to be superlative; it instead positions the creator as progressive, unique, or different. Thinker content appeals to your audience for two reasons. One, it differentiates your brand. Two, since its primary tool is emotion, it appeals to your audience in ways the other content archetypes can. Like teacher content, it helps start conversations. 

Instead of trying to corner the market by being “the best,” change your audience’s parameters for thinking. Thinker content works because it can help your audience uncover truths or insights, which can drastically change the way they think and act. More importantly, it can help position your brand as a thought leader, which means more connections. 

Like teacher content, thinker content is hard to create. Not only do you have to know your subject matter but you have to think differently. If you want your audience to see things in a new perspective, you have to see that perspective first in order to be able to share it. 

Content Archetype 4: The Helper

This type of content drives awareness and engagement for your brand by helping solve problems for your audience. Compared to promoter content, which shows the benefits of your brand, helper content tells the audience why those benefits should matter to them. 

a clip art representation of hands joined together, meant to symbolize one of the content archetypes: the helper

On the plus side, compared to the other content archetypes, helper content is fairly straightforward and easier to create. It doesn’t require the immense thinking and planning of teacher content nor the ingenuity of thinker content. However, it’s more complex and not nearly as boastful as promoter content. It’s the sweet spot that shows your audience your brand has a customer-first mindset

Though it’s arguably the most effective type of content for driving customer decisions, the downside of helper content is brands can become too dependent on it. In other words, be wary of creating too much helper content. The key to a successful content marketing strategy is a perfect balance of content archetypes, which work together to create the optimal conversion series.  

To Recap

Promote: promote your brand through product-focused, branded content that drives customer actions. 

Teach: inform your audience through insightful, conversation-starting content that adds value to their everyday lives. 

Think: show your audience a new way to think about things with creative, refreshing content that appeals to their emotions. 

Help: prove to your audience your brand has a customer-focused mindset with provocative, problem-solving content that hits on their desires and pain points. 

If your content doesn’t fit one of these four major archetypes, it might not be worth creating!

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