Micro-content, as you might surmise, is tiny bites of content. This can come in any format (as this article will explore) but they will all have one important thing in common – these little nuggets of knowledge will ALL be easy to digest. No choking or blocked pipes here.
I’m sure you will hear many a marketing guru promise that micro-content is the next big thing because all our readers are too busy/overwhelmed/time poor/lazy to cope with anything that requires a bit of effort.
Honestly, I don’t believe that’s the case. I think it’s because WE are too busy/overwhelmed/time poor/lazy to create masses and masses of long-arse content. Don’t get me wrong, it has its place, but it’s too much to do on the daily when you also have to actually WORK.*
*These rules do not apply if you’re lucky enough to have an at-home Starbucks and/or team of 10 at your disposal.
You’ll notice that the marketing trends with the most longevity are the ones WE enjoy. Obviously, your audience is important, but so are you. If you can’t stand the content you create, how can you expect them to like it?
Micro-content, in all incarnations, is powerful because people opt in to see it. They choose to be on that platform. They chose to log in. They choose to follow you. And why?
Because they want to hear what you have to say.
This is not a case of mindlessly blasting content into the ether, hoping and praying to reach new eyes. This is about jumping in with something short, sweet and high-impact. Hitting and quitting, if you will.
I think there’s also something to be said for saying stuff succinctly… a thought I don’t articulate quite as well as the almighty Dr Seuss:
The writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.
Twitter has to be the most micro of micro-content – 140 characters is not a lot of space for getting your message “out there”… but it’s enough. (I mean, where else can you see world leaders causing global outrage in a single sentence?)
My very favourite thing about Twitter is that it’s a connector on an international scale. On Facebook, you’re kind of limited by who your “friends” are, but Twitter is a free-for-all. Whether you’re interested in the #WomensMarch, threats of a Friends reboot or simply sharing vegetable puns, you can join a conversation and be heard.
For those of you who missed this blip on the horizon, Vine was video-based micro-content. Essentially, users could create 6 second video loops… and that’s kind of it.
Fun and whimsical? Yes. Long-lasting? Not so much.
But one could argue that it paved the way for the ULTIMATE source of viral content… the humble GIF.
Instagram offers multiple options with regards to micro-content. You’ve got your images, you’ve got your captions, and now you’ve got your Stories.
Now everyone will know Instagram as the place to share nice, pretty, filtered photos… but it’s also a place to share inspired written content. While I wouldn’t advise pasting full on blog posts into your image captions, you can amp up the value of your visuals with a short-form post.
Here are a few names who do this on the regular:
And I can’t leave the topic of Instagram, without offering a hat-tip to the new (ish) addition of Instagram Stories. Stories (in a nutshell) are ephemeral collections of photos and/or video clips (that means that they vanish after 24 hours).
- How to write the best Instagram captions
- How to create beautiful Instagram Stories (+ 10 free templates)
Anchor is a new (to me) audio app, and the real reason I started having a think about micro-content.
I’ve been thinking about podcasting for a while (mostly because I’m far too lazy and awkward for video content). Yet somehow, something always stands in my way… a big client project, not having the right equipment, waiting on a collaborator, feeling like I need to plan ahead, feeling like I need to wait until I’ve finished this or that… and before you know it, my dreams of podcasting are locked in a sarcophagus buried underneath three tons of sand and camel dung.
Anchor, however, has the answer.
Anchor is a sort of radio app, which allows you to record up to 5 minutes of audio (remixed with music from your Spotify or Apple collection should you so wish). You can set these recordings to expire, or you can keep them on your station.
You can call into other people’s stations and ask questions. You can convert your audio into video. You can even get quick transcriptions.
Oh, and did I mention it’s all free.
I downloaded this bad boy at the beginning of the week, and I have to say I’m loving it so far. I can take a pause, whether I’m in bed, or walking the dogs, or getting lunch ready and just hit record. I can share my thoughts spontaneously and without scripting. I can use it to decide whether I actually ENJOY creating audio. Plus, it gives you guys more informal access to me.
I’m not setting any scheduling rules for myself, but I sort of know the topics I’ll be focusing on:
- Working from home and staying sane (ish)
- Idea generation hacks
- How to weave creativity into every aspect of your business
- Tips on content creation
- Workflow and tools
- Learnings from the biz books stacked up around me as we speak
If you’d like to give me a listen (and some feedback on how nasal and demented I sound) you can hop over to my station here.
Over to you! Which form of micro-content will you play with today?