Is Your Content “Snackable”?
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When you’re running late for work in the morning or dashing out of the office for a midday bite, there’s no time for a formal sit-down meal. What you need is a quick snack: something that’s delicious, satisfying and won’t take more than a few minutes to eat.
Increasingly, this same principle applies to content consumption. Folks simply don’t have time to read a 10-page article or even a 750-word white paper. At the same time, as our attention spans are shrinking, the amount of content available for consumption is increasing. This inverse proportion is creating a big content problem: the Internet is drowning in content and content curators.
But who has time to even scan a curated feed? When attention spans are short, screens are shrinking (thanks to the rise of mobile), and speed of the essence, what we need is “snackable content”.
Snackable content is not just truncated information. It’s content pieces that are intentionally designed for quick, easy, on-the-go consumption [ClickToTweet]. You see it, you scan it, you like it or re-tweet it and move on with your day– all in just a matter of minutes.
Is your current content marketing plan heavy on “full meals” but short on snackable content? Time to mix things up! Keep these best practices for snackable content creation in mind:
DO get visual
Visuals rule 2015. On Facebook, for example, posts with photos receive the greatest engagement with an 87 percent interaction rate, beating out the next highest type of post (a link) that comes in at just 4 percent, according to Social Media Examiner. Remember that snackable content is short-form content that inccudes text, images, and videos, so don’t limit yourself to listicle-style content pieces.
Both Instagram and Vine have easy-to-use video editing capabilities baked into their applications; get creative with a short how-to video or product demonstration. Turn a collection of stats into a mini-infographic. Or simply select a visually interesting image to accompany a shorter article.
DON’T talk down to your audience
Just because snackable content is consumed quickly does not mean your audience wants a superficial take on the topic at hand. The challenge is to cover the same ground in fewer words without dumbing anything down.
That’s a tall order! One way to get your point across quickly is to tap into shared stories or experiences that quickly bring the reader up to speed on the subject at hand via deeper cultural references. Or take a more complex piece and serialize it over one week, sharing a smaller section (350 words or less) each day. Keep your pieces short, sweet and filing.
DO invest in great content creation
With fewer words, you’ve got even less of an opportunity to connect with readers, deliver key information, and leave a lasting impression. Snackable content still needs to pack a powerful one-two punch; it’s not the sort of thing you want to leave to an inexperienced intern to write.
If you’re struggling to create content that resonates with your target audience, bring in the experts. With affordable web-based project management platforms like Trello, Wrike and Project Place, outsourcing to a freelance writer (or an entire team) is now easier than ever.
DON’T forget to publicize via social media
In fact, snackable content is a social media manager’s dream since it’s already been packaged into a tiny, bite-sized piece. When done correctly, it’s the sort of content that can easily spread like wildfire over Twitter or other social media channels.
Some pieces, like a small infographic image or Vine video, are already ready to share on social media. Others, like short content pieces, can be further distilled into one powerful, thought-provoking factoid or surprising opinion that’s sure to generate a bit of controversy – and get the re-tweets coming.
TIP: ClickToTweet is an easy way to promote, share and track content on Twitter. Simply create your message, click the “generate new link” button, and then share the custom link. Since ClickToTweet makes it easy to monitor link activity, including re-tweets, you know which snackable content performs best with your target audience and can adjust your content marketing strategy accordingly.
Bottom line: Yes, there’s still a place for longer content pieces in your content marketing program. Whitepapers and eBooks continue to be effective for generating inbound leads and building email marketing lists. But on a day-to-day basis, it’s also important to cater to your audience’s need for easily consumable content. There’s a place for full meals and snackable portions in a balanced diet!
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