Basics applied well: educating and convincing
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Basics applied well: educating and convincing

Previously, we looked at Smart Insights’ content marketing matrix. It identifies four ways in which marketers can convince consumers (entertaining, inspiring, educating and convincing). By assigning different kinds of content to each of these categories, it is possible to build a more balanced campaign.

We also looked at techniques to inspire people that can be used across the different kinds of content. This time, we look at tips for educating and convincing.

Educate

  1. Use pictures with your text: 65% of people are visual learners, so relying completely on the written word is less effective. Images help people to understand and remember – according to one study, illustrated text was 9% more effective when a comprehension test was administered immediately, but 83% more effective when the test was given after a delay.
  2. Present case studies: many people learn inductively rather than deductively, so examples will help them to gain a fuller understanding. Consider putting quotes and a call-to-action to visit a dedicated case studies page on your site. Personalising them for your target audience (so the examples are from similar companies or the same region) will make them more effective, while a video interview of a satisfied customer will be relatable, have more impact and can lend credibility to the account.
  3. Throw your net wide: people glean information from multiple sources, including traditional and online media, reviews, video sites, blogs and social media. Providing different ways for people to come to you allows them to pick their own method and educate themselves in the way they find most comfortable.

Convince

  1. Provide information when it counts: a well-structured argument is more effective, and factsheets about your product, or pricing information, will be more beneficial if people see them at the right point in the buying process. Examining your web traffic to see where people are most likely to abandon their shopping cart can help you to restructure for better results.
  2. Establish who you are: a lot of us feel most comfortable around people that are like us, so you may want to present your company as a place full of likeable, relatable individuals similar to your target consumer. On the other hand, the nature of your business (e.g. education, consultancy) might mean you should establish yourself from the beginning as a respected authority figure rather than a ‘friend’.
  3. Use a range of strategies: combining methods that make you credible (e.g. using a popular spokesman that is a recognised expert in the field), emotional appeals and more traditional ‘logical’ arguments will persuade a broader range of consumers.
Sammy Todd Former Marketing Manager CIM
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