When I was a child, I found a book on my parents’ bookshelf called “The Five Love Languages”. It almost looked a bit naughty, so naturally, curious 9yo me decided to have a read. As it turns out, the content wasn’t particularly naughty but it was very useful and had a profound effect on how I understood people and relate to them.
In case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t come across the concept yet, it basically says that each person has one or two primary love languages in which they best give or receive love. These love languages are Word of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. My primary love language is Acts of Service, so it totally makes sense that I work so hard to produce high quality work for my clients because I love them so much! ?
One way this philosophy really affected me was that I realised how different everybody is. We all have unique perspectives and ways of doing things. Often what is effective for one person is ineffective for another. I’ve come to realise that the same thing applies to learning.
I did a little research and apparently there are also Five Learning Styles (or languages!):
- Visual/Spatial (Pictures, images, video, demonstrations)
- Logical (Mathematics, logic, reasoning, systems)
- Verbal (Words, writing, speaking)
- Physical (Movement, hands, sense of touch)
- Aural (Sounds and music)
It also seems that some people do best in solitary learning environments, working alone and self-studying, while others prefer to learn socially, in groups and around other people.
This completely makes sense to me. Even as a child, I struggled to follow verbal instructions in class. I can remember everybody around me getting up and moving to a different area of the classroom and somehow, I’d completely missed the memo. I think on one of my report cards (or more), my teacher referred to me as a daydreamer. :’)
But when it came to assignments and exams, I was able to excel, because most of the work was written down. I could write out my notes when practicing and studying, and during assessment time, I could get everything out on paper, even though I’d struggled to absorb the information when it was taught during lessons.
In addition, the classroom learning environment was a distracting place. I am definitely a solitary learner, absorbing information best when I’m alone and free to explore information in a quiet environment. I know others who are completely the opposite to this!
So, what does all of this have to do with content marketing and blogging?
SO, so much.
A huge part of the reason we produce content is to educate our audience. I’ve noticed that a lot of people tend to only put out one type of content, or they tend to lean towards a particular type. Chances are, you are producing the content type that you learn best with and are most comfortable with. I’m guilty of it too – I love reading and writing blogs, so it’s my most prolific content type!
But I am also careful to balance it out with a variety of other types of content and media. Here’s why:
If you want to reach your whole audience, you need to create content that works for every learning style.
- Written blog articles
- Downloadable audio
- Systems/process charts
- Group environments/conversations
- Solitary environments and self-paced learning
If you’re missing any of the above, you might risk excluding a portion of your audience who will look for someone else to learn (and buy) from.
I’d encourage you to experiment with the different options and add as much variety in as you can manage. You don’t have to do everything all of the time, but it is a good idea to repurpose some existing content into different formats and media if you can, or get someone to do it for you.
For example, if you have a video, you could get a freelance blogger to repurpose it into a written blog, keeping your unique content and voice, but providing it in written format for your audience members who prefer to learn by reading.
Just start working in those extra layers bit by bit, and you should start seeing results. If you’re not sure on where to begin, I’d encourage you to ask your audience. Send out a survey! Find out some of their preferred methods of learning and add in the most popular to your mix first.
Oh and full disclosure - as you can see, I am missing many of these puzzle pieces myself! I too am working on adding more into the mix, bit by bit, as I don't want to isolate anybody who might prefer a different format to my usual written blogs.
Happy content marketing!