Micro-content: The art of less is more

Micro-content: The art of less is more

Written by Paula Toole

According to Think with Google, the online session as we know it is over. We no longer “go online”, we now live online; always on, always connected.

Here’s another concept to get your head around – as technology has expanded, language has shrunk. It also appears that the rise of social media has changed the way we learn and, to a large extent, the way we think.

Now, more than ever, brands are engaging in content marketing and the concept of ‘Brand Me’ is becoming more accepted. The rise of the internet and social media has unleashed a torrent of text, video and imagery. Yet whilst content is being created with ever-increasing speed and volume, our lives are busier than ever, and we have less and less time to consume and appreciate it properly.

For many brands, this can be a little perplexing. After all, what’s the point of spending money creating content if no one has the time to see it? This is where the concept of micro-content – digestible snippets of visual media – comes into play.

The average person looks at their mobile device 110 times a day so it comes as no surprise that Belgium has created ‘texting lanes’ (I know!) to ensure people are kept connected 24/7. Essentially, the right content at the right time can go a long way; however a big part of knowing the right time is knowing the right place.

Five tips on joining the world of micro-content:

  1. Smart content for smartphone users: Focus your efforts on creating a website that is optimised for mobile devices. A recent Ofcom report on communications showed smartphone take-up among all adults has increased rapidly over the past year, with just over 60 per cent of people owning one.
  1. Make content easily digestible: Don’t expect the viewer to zoom in to your picture to try and understand what you’re trying to say. Micro-content is something the viewer can consume in a couple of seconds and doesn’t require them to make an effort. If you ask a user to click somewhere that opens on a different screen, they’ll most likely close the screen because you just interrupted their experience.
  1. Grab people’s attention and be consistent: Micro-content can be described as the cover of a book, or an article’s snappy headline. Focus on useful, concise information your target audience wants and/or needs. The goal is to make your micro-content part of your audience’s daily routine. Also, use a consistent presentation format. One reason micro content is relatively low cost is that, while each piece requires new information, it doesn’t require new creative each time.
  1. Don’t get left behind: Over the last few months, live streaming apps like Meerkat and Periscope have gained a lot of public attention and interest. They are the latest socially-connected apps that let users broadcast live video. The real-time streaming of videos offers a tremendous opportunity to show authenticity, transparency and spread a message far and wide. So, if you can, hump on the video bandwagon.
  1. Learn the language: It is fair to say that every platform has its own language, type of content and different types of users. To me, LinkedIn is the land of complete sentences, good punctuation, no slang, and professionalism. I probably would not share a BBQ sauce recipe on LinkedIn as I might on Twitter. Nor would I use hashtags there. Facebook, similar to LinkedIn, is about connecting, but the language is different again as you  have more room to explain what you’re trying to say. Get your head around these types of languages and you will be bi-lingual!
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