As the name suggests, micro content is short and sweet, and easy to digest. Web usability expert Jakob Nielsen coined the term in 1998, long before the digital revolution, but it’s clear he was onto something even during the dawn of online content creation and consumption. He defined micro content as short text fragments, like headlines, subject lines, and page titles, for example, that should be immediately clear and inviting to a reader. On their own, they also need to make sense when removed from their original context.
The irony is that we could go on ad nauseum, unpacking micro content and its advantages and applications, making this more of a macro content or long form piece. And blog entries themselves are not technically considered micro content. Technicalities aside, and in the spirit of teaching and learning, we’ll make this 4-minute read worth your while. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of the what, how, and why of micro content and be on your way to creating your own.
Examples of Micro Content
Log onto any social media channel and it may seem like you’re wading in a sea of micro content. How do you separate the wheat from the chaff? More importantly, as marketers or creators, how do you produce more wheat, less chaff?
Social media is but one avenue for micro content distribution. Examples of micro content are utilized throughout our own website, blog, and social channels but we’ve listed the most common types, below:
- Video clips / teasers
- Grids / Charts / Maps
- Concise Copy
- Quotes / Text Blocks
- Email Subject Lines
- Audio Clips
Advantages of Micro Content
So why is micro content important? In an era where our attention spans are less than that of a goldfish and the limited focus, we do have is divided multiple ways, it’s crucial to create content that captivates and cuts through the noise. Micro content should solve a problem or answer a question in a very concise way while leaving an impression. Executed successfully, the chances that your audience will consume your long-form content, read beyond the subject line of your email, or click on your website in a list of SERPs increases exponentially.
Beyond the attention-grabbing (and holding) effect of micro content, its shareability is another reason to invest in creating a micro content strategy. The low-risk investment and smaller budget required are even more reasons to start developing your plan. Micro content executed successfully will pay dividends in the form of more shares, an increased captive audience, lead generation, links to macro content and more. We’ll dive into more ways to create micro content but always remember to leave your audience wanting more.
One way to do this is with visuals. A visual concept that supports your textual message is an effective way to communicate to your audience in a way that helps them retain and recall your message. You can read more about the power of pairing visuals with text in previous Brain Science blog entries. Furthermore, visuals have been proven to enhance learning by up to 400 percent. This is in part because information paired with a visual increases the chance of that data being stored in your long-term memory, instead of your short-term memory.
Creating Micro Content
Remember, when you’re analyzing your product or service for the purpose of micro content, you’ll need to distill your offering into a few simple statements. Working with your creative team or a production company such as Promologik, create concise pieces of micro content that encapsulate the components of your 3-step brand exercise. This will result in a range of micro content; everything from compelling infographics that highlight your statistical successes to attention-grabbing social media content that tells a story. Executed successfully, micro content should be more than just pleasing to the eyes of your audience. It should give them an understanding of what it is you’re trying to say and persuade them to learn more.