Studies consistently show that longer and more comprehensive posts deliver higher value and receive more social media engagement. In our experience, content with a word count between 2,250 and 2,500 is ideal when it comes to generating organic traffic and social shares.
And yet, often overlooked in this conversation is the impact of concision - i.e., communicating complete information about an idea or topic in the fewest words possible.
As today's marketing landscape continues to evolve and diversify, the “longer is better” perception is changing. With an ever-dwindling attention span, many click-happy users have developed an aversion towards lengthy blog articles. When you consider the popularity of social media and portable devices, this shift makes sense.
To cater to this evolving pattern of content consumption, more and more people are turning to bite-sized and highly engaging pieces of multimedia content called “micro content.”
What is Micro-Content?
According to Jakob Nielsen of the Nielsen Norman Group, micro-content is a type of user-experience copywriting that utilizes short text fragments or phrases, often without additional context.
For us, micro-content is low-cost but high-engagement content that our audience can quickly consume. Examples include text, photos, and videos. This type of content is most commonly used in social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Micro-content generally describes or promotes another piece of long-form content (i.e., articles or blogs) and encourages a desired action (i.e., a click through).
Why Create Micro-Content?
According to a report by Buffer, 73% of marketers believe that their social media efforts have helped them reach their business goals. While micro-content - with its focus on concision - is ideally suited for social media's unique demands, it can also be much more with a little bit of imagination.
Why should you make micro-content a significant part of your marketing strategy? Here are several benefits.
Streamlined Content Creation
Content creation takes time. Long-form and in-depth posts take even longer. Writing multiple lengthy articles a day simply isn't viable, both in a creative and practical sense. Micro-content, on the other hand, rarely takes longer than a couple of minutes to create and post. As such, this type of content excels in delivering immediate results for a relatively low amount of time and effort.
Businesses and brands that take advantage of this fact are well-positioned to cut costs and maximize returns for their content marketing strategy.
According to the StatCounter Global Stats report, 54% of the overall web traffic comes from mobile devices. Micro-content is getting more traction because reading large amounts of text on a mobile device or app isn't a very intuitive - or enjoyable - experience.
Not only can bite-sized social media content help you meet the content preferences of your readers, but it can also help you rank better on Google.
With Google’s recent shift towards mobile-first indexing, the search engine will predominantly use the mobile version of its index when ranking content. As a result, micro-content is one of the best ways to meet the mobile-first preferences of Google while also stimulating society's growing appetite for short-form content
Turbocharged Brand Awareness
The most significant advantage of using bite-sized content is that you can present information in an easily digestible and engaging format for readers. With millions of people consuming this bite-sized daily, any piece of micro-content that you produce is likely to be one of the very first brand touchpoints for most of your customers on their purchasing journey.
All it takes is a funny tweet, snappy headline, or a well-made 15-second Instagram video to grab your audience's attention, spark their curiosity, and drive brand awareness.
Some of the most common micro-content pieces that you can use are:
- Short videos: Think of Instagram stories, Buzzfeed's Tasty recipes, and TikTok videos. These snippets in video format can relay more information in ten seconds than a half-page text-based article.
- Twitter updates: Termed as "micro-blogging," Twitter currently provides up to 280 characters to get your message across. Twitter was one of the first social media sites dedicated almost exclusively to micro-content production.
- Images and infographics: A striking image (including GIFs, memes, image quotes, and photo illustrations) is one of the best ways to engage readers, especially when used in conjunction with social media and hashtags.
- Micro posts: These are short blogs (around one or two paragraphs) that usually appear alongside an image on a social platform such as Facebook or Twitter. It's a good idea to write these in batches as they're engaging and relatively easy to produce.
How to Use Micro-Content
As I mentioned above, bite-sized mediums such as tweets, GIFs, and videos go a long way in cultivating interest in your business. As such, micro-content and social media tend to go hand-in-hand.
However, there’s one caveat that you should keep in mind:
Social media alone just won’t cut it.
Today, many businesses attempt to build entire brands by focusing almost exclusively on social media networks like Facebook and Instagram - this is a mistake.
For example, a local bakery can certainly drive engagement and increase brand awareness by tweeting or posting mouth-watering photos of their baked goods. However, if the bakery focuses solely on social media (i.e., a platform the bakery doesn’t own), they will be at the mercy of the networks for a wide range of pain points, including pay-to-play schemes, algorithm updates, and features changes.
Really, the big picture goal in 2021 should be to diversify your micro-content strategy while using it to supplement your overall content/engagement efforts. Here’s how:
- Link to your larger assets: A common way to do this is to write high-quality blog content on your website and publish micro-content to share your posts and larger projects with your audience on social media. For example, if you've recently written a marketing e-book, you can write a quick Facebook post that links to your blog.
- Create social media-friendly images: Adding tips or quotes lifted from your blog or e-book to an image or infographic is another good strategy for creating standalone content that's social media-friendly.
- Blog repurposing: Breathe new life into your old blog entries by repurposing them into audio and short video content. For example, you could convert your best blog content into engaging short podcasts or videos, using multimedia tools like SoundCloud (for podcasts) and Lumen5 (for videos).
The end goal is to wring as much value as possible from your larger content pieces by chopping them into bite-sized components.
Tips for Creating Value-Driven Micro-Content
When done right, smaller content can easily integrate into your bigger content marketing plan. Here are some tips and ideas that will help you create high-impact micro-content.
1. Create Strong Images and Graphics
Striking visuals can evoke emotions and encourage desired actions. A well-placed image or graphic is a proven way to engage your audience quickly. Visual media forms are a powerful motivator, and strong graphics capitalize on this fact. If you can invest in a graphic design tool like Canva, you can easily take your visuals to the next level.
2. Keep Posts Short
Your goal is to be concise and straight to the point. When you're creating content for social media channels like Twitter, you generally have no choice but to keep things short. But, with other platforms, you should also look to refrain from writing longer blogs as they don't engage audiences nearly as effectively.
3. Write Well
Although you may not write as much as other content types, your writing still needs to be on-point when developing micro-content. This can be a rather difficult task when your aim is concision.
Fortunately, there are many writing tools that you can use to create well-written bite-sized pieces of content. Grammarly (a writing assistant that helps you navigate the world of grammar) and SEMrush Content Template (for creating SEO-friendly content), for example, are some of the best micro-content creation tools available.
4. Create Content Tailored to Your Audience
Develop content that will benefit your core audience. For instance, you should always make sure that the image or snippet you publish will invoke an emotion that is unique to your followers. Bring something new to the table and give your audience fresh insights through your content. Remember, your target audience brings you website traffic and clicks for a reason - it would be a shame to forget about them.
Micro-Content vs. Short-Form vs. Long-Form
Short-form content is defined as fewer than 1,200 words, although some marketers may draw the line at 1,000.
Short-form content typically manifests as blog posts, news articles, emails, or infographics. Given this content overlap with micro-content, the two are often confused with one another. For comparison, an example of short-form content is a 500-word blog post, while a quick 50-word Instagram update would be categorized as micro-content.
While micro-content has its place in every content marketing strategy, it's important to note that long-form is still king.
Yes, attention spans are getting shorter, and easily digestible information plays a critical role in engaging your target audience. However, your smaller assets should only serve as bait for your larger platforms or resources like your website or blog. The primary purpose of tweets, clips, memes, and other micro resources is to lead readers to your more in-depth content.
It’s not uncommon for businesses to spend enormous amounts of time creating snappy headlines or funny memes while failing to provide readers with real value. Bite-sized content, on its own, isn't going to be enough. Keep writing those in-depth blog posts as they will offer your readers the most value for their time, the best bang for their buck.
Bolster Your Marketing Efforts With Micro-Content
The best thing about micro-content is its power to engage. When used in combination with your larger and longer assets - whether repurposing old content or supplementing new content - micro-content will go a long way in helping you forge meaningful relationships with your target audience.
Are you using micro-content to bolster your content marketing efforts? Let us know in the comments!