There are now 3.5 billion people using smartphones worldwide, and that number is predicted to grow. As a result, mobile traffic increased more than 200 percent in the last five years, shifting the way that we consume information. Many people now primarily use their phones to engage with content, often via apps. It’s highly likely that you are reading this article on your phone right now.
In addition to the increase in mobile use, studies are showing a decrease in our attention span. When you combine these two factors, you get an audience that is spending a lot of time on the internet, but very little time on any single site, feed or app. This is why microcontent is rising quickly.
What Is Microcontent?
Even if you aren’t familiar with the term, you have consumed countless examples of microcontent, probably in the hundreds today alone. Microcontent is just what it sounds like: short snippets of content. The more technical definition is content that can be consumed in less than 30 seconds. It generally doesn’t require any further context, but instead provides standalone information so the consumer can absorb it and move on after engaging for a short time.
Any type of content can be classified as microcontent, including:
Short video clips, like those posted on Instagram or TikTok.
Images, whether in the form of photos, illustrations or memes.
Infographics that combine text and visuals to convey information.
Graphs and tables that illustrate numerical data.
Titles and summary blurbs that hint at longer articles or website content.
Abstracts for research papers or white papers.
Email subject lines that grab the receiver’s attention in a full inbox.
Brief emails and posts that include a pointed message.
We encounter this type of content every day, especially on social media.
Should Your Brand Create Microcontent?
If your brand is using social media, then you are already producing microcontent. However, by identifying it, you can begin to integrate it more effectively as part of your marketing strategy. Like any marketing content, the goal for microcontent is first to engage your audience and then convert them into customers. Here are a few ways to accomplish this goal.
1. Grab their attention
Microcontent is often a potential customer’s first experience with your brand. You want to create microcontent that works as a hook, convincing them to come back for more. You should design every post to grab people’s attention, making them curious enough to pause in their scrolling and engage with your content.
2. Keep them coming back for more
The better your content stands out, the more people will come back repeatedly. Perhaps you want to position your brand as cool, informative or entertaining — or a combination of the three. Every piece of microcontent should be tantalizing, provoking a reaction that will help your audience remember your brand and seek out more content that highlights this position.
Think of your brand as a consistent source that your audience can depend on for the snippets they seek. To satisfy that desire, make sure to create new pieces of microcontent regularly.
3. Establish your credibility
One way to grab your audience’s attention with microcontent is by establishing your brand as an expert and reliable source of information. That could take the form of informative infographics, useful tips or timely updates. Regardless of the approach you choose, more engagement means more chances to convert your followers into customers.
4. Break down content
Regularly producing and posting microcontent can be a lot of work if you approach each post individually. One strategy for creating microcontent is to start by creating a longer piece of content first. Then, you can take that video or article and break it into multiple pieces of microcontent.
One longer-form piece could produce various short video clips for you to share. One blog post could provide you with a series of tips or FAQs that you can publish across various channels. In this way, microcontent becomes a by-product of your other content work, rather than an additional task to add to your to-do list.
5. Channel your audience
Whether it’s the first post someone has seen or the 25th, your microcontent should attempt to funnel your followers toward longer content or your website. If the microcontent is taken from a larger piece, then make sure to link to it in case consumers want to learn more. Find a balance between including an explicit call-to-action within some of your microcontent and more subtle posts designed to simply keep your audience’s attention.
6. Choose the right media
There are endless apps and social media channels where you can post your microcontent, and it is easy to get overwhelmed. Start by researching your market. Who are you trying to target? What apps and platforms are they using? What type of content do they engage with most?
With that information, you can create your microcontent-marketing strategy. Choose a few places to start and focus on those. Once you have those channels under control, consider what other media you could add. Also, don’t assume that microcontent is appropriate for every medium. On LinkedIn, for example, people prefer to share longer posts (about 2,000 words on average). In contrast, microcontent is king on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
With more and more mobile users every year and new apps and platforms for publishing content, microcontent is now a foundational part of the online experience. So, whether you are just getting started marketing your brand or have already been unknowingly producing microcontent, now you know how to better use it to your advantage.