It wasn’t that long ago when many people would start their day by sitting down with a newspaper, a hot cup of coffee and a warm breakfast. Some rituals were limited to just the business section or the funny pages, others read the whole paper front to back. Believe it or not, people actually read entire articles. Even though this concept seems ancient now, people consumed their content in large bites until almost a decade ago.
The launch of Twitter in 2006 ushered in a new era of immediacy and brevity. What was assumed to be a platform for people to share what they had for lunch soon became the go-to medium for breaking news. Rather than a long-form article covering a topic in-depth, media outlets across the world began to break that content into smaller pieces to fit the 140 character limit of a tweet. Twitter’s popularity as a source for short blasts of news and content should send a clear signal to brands that are developing content: Microcontent is king.
Getting visual: the power of simplicity
Media-savvy brands are taking the concept of microcontent and applying it well beyond the realm of text heavy articles. Whether it’s sharing a particularly powerful section from an infographic as a standalone image, or a single graph that illustrates important data in a whitepaper, brands are growing increasingly creative and visual with new ideas for microcontent.
Microcontent is valuable to both brands and consumers in different ways. For consumers, seeing one image of a thought-provoking quote, chart or illustration is much easier to understand and find value in than when buried among lots of other text, data or pictures. A single, digestible image that resonates with the audience will encourage them to share it.
From a brand perspective, microcontent should actually be looked at as a huge weight off the shoulders of the content team, since it builds a template and pipeline for content down the road. Consider the time and effort it takes to create an asset such as a whitepaper. Once it’s published, the content might live on the website, but how can you continue to drive followers or prospects to that page? Tweeting out an image of an impactful quote or statistics from the whitepaper is a great way to quickly capture an audience’s attention and drive them to the full piece of content.
Whether it’s a whitepaper, eBook, blog post or full-blown market report, these pieces of content can be sliced and diced into countless snippets of smaller, digestible, sharable microcontent. Check this one out from Think with Google:
With diminishing attention spans and the need for information on-the-go, all signs point to microcontent being an essential part of any content strategy. Whether as a fun way to engage followers on social media, or as a concise and effective technique to reach sales prospects, distributing microcontent is an easy way to educate and entertain your audience.