Tapping into Learning Styles with your Content is the key to success

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By Lizette Louw - February 26, 2016

Are you a content marketer? Are there days that you feel like a ‘copy monkey’? Today’s blog post is for you. Today I would like to remind you of how your creative toil in producing content of a wide range of shapes and styles add value to your Content Marketing.  The SEO deck of cards is stacked in favour of longer, in-depth content. In an analysis of the top 10 Google search results by SERP IQ, it was found that the average length of content increases as the ranking rises, which confirms that Google views in-depth content as more valuable to their users. Google’s choice to tailor their search algorithms to privilege richer content sites is no random choice, but is backed by data that proves that longer content gets more social shares and backlinks from users.

Users have spoken: they find long-form content useful and are showing their gratitude by sharing and linking. But more than that, according to QuickSprout’s Neil Patel, longer copy delivers a higher lead generation rate than short-form content – even when a Call-To-Action is placed way down below the fold.

Short-form content engages the playful, the active and the genius short-form content takes on many guises, from white papers and articles with a word count under 1000, interactive games, applications, videos, images, music, podcasts, social media posts, infographics, and slideshows. It can be visual, it can be interactive, it can engage with any of the users’ senses, the possibilities are as endless as your creativity.

Apart from attracting new visitors to your site, short-form content has a versatility that overcomes a major challenge in engaging with prospects, leads and buyers. Are you ready for it? Different learning styles!

Cognitive and education psychologists know it, and content marketers put it into practise: People, and therefore, web users, learn in different ways. Catering for only one type of learner in your content marketing strategy means that you’ll be frustrating or losing many others. According to Learning Styles Online, there are 7 distinct learning styles. 

7 Different content strokes for 7 different user folks

1. Visual (spatial)

This kind of learner prefers pictures, diagrams, images, and spatial educational tools. To reach this learner, include infographics, images, videos and photographs in your blog posts, white papers and social media posts. Upload it to YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest, and make sure that all of the visual content on your website have alt tags to make them searchable.

2. Aural (auditory-musical)

These are the people who learn through sound and music, making podcasts, video tutorials and talk-through webinars ideal.

3. Verbal (linguistic)

The verbal learner prefers using words, both in speech and writing, which means that they will find valuable both long-form content and short-form content (like discussion forums) that allow them to ask questions and to bounce ideas.  

4. Physical (kinaesthetic)

Although this type of learner uses their body, hands and sense of touch to learn, the key is that they have a need to participate and be active during the learning process. The digital world can provide for this type of user by providing virtual games, interactive applications, polls and questionnaires.

5. Logical (mathematical)

Cater for those who prefer using logic, reasoning and systems to learn, by presenting information in the form of whitepapers, diagrams, graphs and statistics, and you’ll have a delighted user.

6. Social (interpersonal)

People who learn in groups or with other people are easily reached on social media forums, from Pinterest to LinkedIn, and are the most likely to interact, comment, like and share. To reach these users, you need to keep your selected social media channels buzzing with activity and ensure that you interact with user comments and show appreciation for their likes.

7. Solitary (intrapersonal)

These type of learners work alone and use self-study and are the type of users who, by the time that they make contact with you, can recite the content of each one of your blog posts, newsletters and whitepapers. Ensure that your content strategy provides in-depth content for every step of the buyer’s journey, and the solitary learner will thank you for it.

What is your Objective?

In addition to the variety of buyers you need to consider when choosing a format for your content, also consider the objective of your campaign and each of the underlying marketing activities.

Having a clear understanding of the purpose of your campaign or marketing activity is essential to choosing a format that delivers. A campaign aimed at increasing brand awareness might call for easily digestible, high-impact images or ‘flash messages’, where a lead generation campaign will require a content offer that is valuable enough for your buyers that they would be willing to exchange their contact information in return for a free download.

Consider the Timing, or Stage of the Buyer’s Journey

As your buyers pass through the buyer’s journey, the type and format of content they require to move further along will change. 

  • Awareness Stage: This the point where a buyer is beginning to realise that they have an itch, but they’re not entirely sure where to scratch. The purpose of content marketing at this point is to connect with buyers and to help them grow in awareness of their problem. E.g. social posts, blog posts, infographics, ebooks.
  • Consideration Stage: In the consideration stage a buyer has come to acknowledge the nature of their problem and embarks on a solution-finding mission. During this stage, buyers are actively searching for in-depth content to educate them on different solutions which makes content formats such as case studies, whitepapers, spec sheets, webinars and free samples valuable commodities.
  • Decision Stage: Your buyer has pretty much settled on a solution by now, but which vendor will they sign up with? State your case by offering a live demo, consultation, quote, free trial, or discount coupon to illustrate why your company is the best fit.

Learn more about how you can increase your close rate by molding your marketing efforts to the buyer's journey.

Overcoming Mistaken Assumptions

“But how am I supposed to know which of the learning styles are most prevalent among my buyer personas?”

 “What if I my buyers don’t show much interest in our content assets?”

These are all important questions, which is why we will be discussing the topic in detail in our next blog where we’ll look at how to bridge the gap between marketing assumptions and the content your users want.

Content, that is insightful and diverse, fulfils one of the most important roles in the process of nurturing leads from awareness to close. To be a content marketer is to contribute to the noble art of education in a harsh world of advertising. So, the next time you get bogged down by the day-to-day expectations of content writing, snap on your big picture spectacles and get your groove on. Going the extra mile matters. 

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