The Four Pillars of Content Creation

Everyone says that your content just has to provide value and the rest will follow but what does that actually look like? When was the last time you looked at your content creation and thought about the value that you were providing your audience?

As younger generations age into the main stream workforce and become decision makers, the inherent value exchange of content marketing is something that they know instinctively, and if you’re not providing the right kind of value – you could be missing out on sales opportunities.

Today we’re diving into the four macro pillars of content creation: education, entertainment, engagement, and enrichment. Sometimes you will see these written out as verbs: educate, entertain, engage, and inspire or a myriad of other similar models. Whenever you create content, whether it’s video content, written content, or audio content – you are asking the end consumer of that content to exchange their time for the value that your content offers.

Education is the most common form of content that businesses and content creators produce. People search the internet every day for answers to questions, product reviews, to learn something new, or to discover new solutions to problems. With educational content, people are exchanging their precious time for the chance to gain knowledge and insights that will help them in some way. A really easy way to implement this type of content is to talk to your sales team and create video, written, or visual content around the top 10 questions they get about your product or service. Whether it’s a how-to video, a product demo, a history lesson, or an informative blog post, providing useful information is the key with educational content.

Entertainment is more nuanced, and can often be harder for some businesses to find success with. We all need a little escapism from time to time. That’s why entertaining content is so important. Viewers are willing to exchange their time for the chance to laugh, cry, or just feel something. You don’t need to become a Tik-Tok dance master, we promise. Businesses can implement entertainment content with game shows, quizzes, contests, or behind-the-scenes content relevant to their audience. We’re not saying you need to turn your office into a reality TV show or Jeopardy, but sharing unfiltered video of what goes on in your business or with your day-to-day can be the easiest way to start publishing entertainment content for your business. Though, we’re personally big fans of fun twists on game shows, contests, or late-night TV formats as creative ways businesses can craft entertainment content.

Engagement is a bit more straight-forward for most businesses and supremely useful in client marketing. Engagement is all about building a connection with your audience. People want to feel seen, heard, and understood. Usually we see this manifest itself on the internet in search queries driven by an inherent desire for confirmation bias but it’s rooted in the instinctive human desire to find a group that you identify with. Viewers exchange their time for the chance to connect with you and your brand on a deeper level, through personal stories that are relatable or even reviews of products or services that support their view point (that’s technically Engagement and Education, there’re layers to good content). Good engagement content tends to lead with a small amount of vulnerability, and then ask the viewer to share their own story, thoughts, or opinions but it can be as simple as sharing your own opinion and then asking the viewer to share theirs on any matter of subjects. It could take the form of a thought-provoking blog post with the comments turned on, an interactive social media campaign, or a regular video series where you answer community questions from the comment section.

Last but certainly not least, enrichment content. From obnoxious finance bros to genuinely moving and inspirational content, enrichment content is all about inspiration and motivation. People want to feel empowered and inspired to take action, even when they don’t actually take the action. They’re exchanging their time for the chance to be inspired, motivated, and uplifted. Great enrichment content will leave your audience with goose bumps and an emotional high that hopefully will drive them to action. For your business this could come in the form of a powerful documentary about the lives you’ve impacted, how you’ve turned your situation around, or even a motivational speech or message. Just remember to be authentic, most everyone can see right through inauthentic enrichment content these days and if you go down that path, it could do more harm than good for your business.

Time is the most valuable resource we have. The more your content respects the underlying value exchange of time for education, entertainment, engagement, or enrichment; the more successful your business’s content will be. So what’re you waiting for? Go make your next promotion or advertisement entertaining, create a video series to educate your audience on the ins-and-outs of your product and how it can help them, launch a new customer marketing campaign that gets your clients sharing and engaging with you about their journeys, or take a stab at inspiring your audience to take positive action in their own lives.