The one type of content you might be missing from your content marketing strategy
Jul 6, 2015
What is micro-content?
Micro-content is just what it sounds like: small bits of content. This can come in the form of an image, a headline, a graphic, or a gif and is usually visually appealing. It creates a way to relay information quickly. After all, you may only have 8 seconds to communicate your message.
In order to adjust to the tendencies of our readers, we need to adjust the way we create content.
So, does this eliminate the need for long-form content?
It’s kind of strange to be preaching micro-content in a long-form blog post. But, micro-content isn’t necessarily meant to replace long-form content. It can be created to drive people to your long-form content, augment your long form content or stand on its own.
Micro-content used as a drive-to
For instance, create a visual that summarizes your long-form content. Then, tweet or pin that visual with a link back to your website, where the long-form content is hosted. Not only will you have the opportunity to engage with someone who might not have found their way to your website, but for the people who click through from micro-content, you’re getting a visitor who is already interested in the content they’ll find on your site. Win.
Micro-content used to complement long-form content
There are also ways to incorporate the benefits of micro-content into long-form content. Things like these handy headlines I’ve included for each section makes it easy for the reader to skim to the section that they’re most interested in. Or, you could include other bits of micro-content like images, audio or a gif that adds to the comprehension of your content. This post about “Influencing Influencers” by one of my colleagues, Brittany Kotary, breaks up text by using funny gifs that relate to each section.
Micro-content used by itself
Creating micro-content with enough value gives it the ability to stand on it’s own as part of your content marketing plan. How do you determine what “enough value” is? Consider if your audience can learn something new, or think about something in a new way, from seeing your content.
How do I create micro-content?
One of the reasons it’s great to use micro-content as a drive-to, is because you don’t need to generate something completely new. You can take content from the piece you are driving to, and repurpose it into a new form. Got a blog post? Take the most powerful line and make it into a graphic. Got a video? Cut a 10 second clip and put it on Instagram. It’s quick and easy to turn something you already have into a small, consumable pieces.
Free services like Canva have made it simple to create graphics without design skills. Just be sure that when using template-style graphic creators, you aren’t too repetitive with what you’re posting. Keep up the variation by switching between posting a static graphic, a gif or a meme. This post on creating social graphics walks you through some best practices. When creating visual content for social platforms, keep in mind the different aspect ratios of images. While on Instagram images are 1×1, on Twitter the automatic preview shows images at 2×1.
Micro-content doesn’t have to be something you spend hours upon hours on, either. A few of my colleagues recently discussed how Snapchat created a video that was filmed on an iPhone. It wasn’t really micro-content, but it’s still indicative of how methods for content creation are expanding.
Need examples? I got you.
At Centerline, we’ve seen an opportunity to incorporate micro-content in the form of what we call “datagrams,” and “social tiles,” into larger campaigns for our clients.
Below are a few different examples of datagrams we have created for our clients.
1. IBM Systems
We created a series of gifs for IBM to use on Twitter to promote different speakers at their upcoming event, Edge2015.
In anticipation of a new website launch, we created a graphic for their Twitter announcement and for their cover photo on Facebook.
3. Wake County Economic Development
We created a series of datagrams to help Wake County Economic Development tell the story of Raleigh.
Times are a changin’
In Gary Vaynerchuk’s article for Inc, he talks about how what we have traditionally known as “blogging” has expanded beyond the blog category on a website or a standalone blog. Now, every social media platform counts as a blog, because it is where your are telling your company’s story. So, by creating micro-content specified for each platform, you’re able to tell your company’s story in a way that users can digest quickly and accurately among the flood of other content they are seeing.
Whether you’re trying to attract new users to your site, or increase engagement on your social sites, micro-content is a great place to start.
When I was in elementary school, I would get in trouble for doodling in the margins on homework and tests. So, I had to start carrying around a "doodle pad" to keep those important papers clean. That doodle pad has now taken form in my planner, sketch pads and Field Notes. And, some of my best ideas come from putting pen to paper. While I got a degree in business marketing, I let my creative side out through freelance graphic design while in school. Post graduation from NC State, I worked in PR, then went on to get my Masters of Global Innovation Management in France. When I came back, I still found myself wanting to fuse together marketing and creative in a job. I wasn't sure that job existed until I found my role at Centerline as a Marketing Coordinator/Graphic Designer. Now I enjoy using my skillset to develop strategies that further the growth of Centerline as a whole.