This article and this week's podcast are about different learning styles and the role that they play in content creation.
Raise your hand if you have you ever had someone try to teach you something and you’re just not getting it? They then start to draw it out visually and you have your ‘ah-ha’ moment.
Or…you’ve read and re-read…and re-read… something and you just can’t get your head around it. But, you talk it through with someone and just by hearing it explained out loud it suddenly makes sense.
That is because how easy or how difficult we find it to grasp information can often depend on our preferred learning style.
Why am I telling you this?
Well…learning styles are highly relevant to the world of content creation.
We all learn things in different ways. Our brains are wired differently. We tend to have one preferred way of learning over another, and that can vary depending on the situation too.
For example, when I was on a skiing holiday in France last year one of the hotel members of staff was telling me that he was learning to snowboard. I naturally assumed that, like me, he’d be up on the slopes being taught by an instructor. However, he informed me that he was teaching himself. How was he doing this? One word…YouTube!
Yes, trusty old YouTube. He was watching ‘how to snowboard’ videos back at the hotel in the evening, and then going and applying what he’d learnt on the slopes the next day.
I could never have done this. When I learnt I needed someone right in front of me showing me, and letting me try and copy what they were doing! (whilst falling over...a lot!).
But, if I want to learn how to do something technical on my website or similar, I can learn almost anything by watching a YouTube video/tutorial.
We are all different and every situation can be different too.
How is this relevant to your content?
At the heart of any content strategy, what we are trying to do (if doing it right...in my opinion) is add value to our audience.
We can enhance just how much value that we add by making it easy for them to consume our content.
Repurposing your content can play a key role in helping you to convey your message in a way that suits the multitude of different learning styles that will be present in your audience.
Varying your approach gives you a better chance of creating content in various learning styles that suit more people.
If you create content in a non-preferred learning style for someone, it doesn’t mean that they won’t consume your content or understand it. They just need to work a bit harder. For example, for someone who prefers to learn by listening, they will have to work a little harder to understand your message if the only content that you create is a written blog. However, if you have a podcast or even just an audio file on your website, you’re making it easier for that person to connect with your message.
What are the different learning styles that you need to cater for?
When I researched the learning styles I found multiple schools of thought on just how many styles there are.
Most commonly they’re categorized into the following 7:
What role does content repurposing play?
Understandably you’re probably wondering how on earth you can please all of these different kinds of learners!
Well, the answer is it’s not easy (and not entirely necessary), but content repurposing can really help.
When we talk about content repurposing we often talk about being in more than one place to find and reach new audiences.
Content repurposing can also be about finding different ways to communicate the same message.
Essentially, we could say that it helps us to accommodate different learning styles.
When you create your content try to always have in mind which learning style it’s best suited for.
Then, when you are looking for ways to repurpose your content, try and consider what different learning styles you could cater to.
As an example, I created a podcast on this topic which will be perfectly suited for aural learners.
I also wrote a blog post about the same topic (this...you're reading it right now!). I created images / graphics too.
That content now lends itself well to visual learners and in many cases the logical learners too. A little something for everyone!
What to do next
Next time you create a piece of content and you want to repurpose it. Stop. Think about the learning style that your content is currently suited for. Then think about a new learning style that you’d like to apply to help you connect with a different audience.
By doing this, you’re making your content easier to consume for a broader range of people.
If someone is able to consume your message with minimal effort on their behalf, they will pay more attention. They’ll learn, they’ll remember, they’ll love it and they’ll share it and that is an absolute win-win for everyone!