By @TheMarkDalton

Long form or short form? It is highly debated which is the way to go and what you should be doing. The reality is that you should be doing both. Long form content should be what fuels your blog and website, micro content should be what fuels your social media efforts.

We know that the long game is important. Google likes long form content, Google shows more love to longer posts and longer videos. However, you need to grab people’s attention first. Far too many of us fall into the same trap, we want to get on Twitter and try yell above the rest about how great our business is.

Business men and women who are not “social media savvy” are all falling into the trap of wanting to make sales quickly and wanting their social strategy and turn a corner fast. The reality though when I walk in is that you haven’t been doing it right in the first place, so I need to fix the damage you created when you tried to make everything online a sales pitch. I need to build trust, open your network and then we can look at selling.

You are playing online now and you need to build trust. Want to boost your traffic and generate sales asap without using the “social” aspect of social media? Think social media is just another avenue for sales? If that is the case then let me give you a solid piece of advice: Ring up your digital marketing person, tell them it is not going to work anymore, stop wasting their time and your own, pursue other avenues of advertising and selling instead.

It all boils down to this, you need people’s attention. Before you tell me how great your thing is, or what you can do for me, or why your product is just so darn awesome…before you tell me any of that, you need my attention. See why auto DM’s on Twitter really suck now? Many of you are trying to push crap onto followers without even having their attention yet. This is where micro content comes into play.

You have about 8 seconds to grab my attention, maybe even less if I am scrolling through my timeline faster than usual. The window of grabbing people’s attention now is a mere number of seconds.

What Is Micro Content?

Micro Content is exactly what it sounds like, short bursts of content. Typically in the form of tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram updates, infographics, short videos, anything considere to be bite-size content that can be consumed fast.

Micro content, if deployed effectively, can build brand trust, awareness and reputation. It can be the perfect gateway to people finding your long form content. Mobile trends are on the rise so it is important that you realise just how big a role bite-sized content will play in pushing people through the funnel and eventually converting when you throw a right hook.

Examples Of Micro Content

  • Headlines
  • Short videos (think Vine and Instagram short)
  • Visuals (striking photos)
  • Short text (something you skim and read fast)
  • Posts
  • Tweets
  • Instagram updates

This is micro content that gets people onto your website. It goes hand in hand with long form content, you need to work on micro content to get them to your site. Then you need to make sure that the content is good enough to keep them there. Nobody said this was going to be easy, you just assumed that!

Create Micro Content That Leaves An Impression

1) Embrace Images
The data doesn’t lie, images are important. Content has a higher level of interaction when there is an image attached to it. Tweets which contain images are twice as engaging as those which don’t contain images.

Keep the copy short, well written and to the point. Attach a striking image which conveys the message or topic and which will stand out in users timelines and feeds.

2) Play To The Platform
Social media optimisation, you need to make sure that every time you share content on each platform that it will look its absolute best. This is where automated systems, while convenient, can hold you back.

If you use an automated setup like Hootsuite and just chuck everything in there to be shared throughout the day, chances are the updates are going to look poor quality and far from optimised in all the platforms.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram…they all display content differently and you need to make sure you are using the best copy and images for each one. Use a editing tool such as Pablo by Buffer or Canva to make great images for social content promotion at the right size. Include your logo in every single photo.

3) Think About Your Headline
Headlines are important, sometimes people may decide not to even go past the headline. It could be the only shot you get to make the right impression. Create a punchy headline which grabs attention and which people want to read. Make it noticeable.

We have noted how important images are but copy is still important too, the image could be A1 but if the headline sucks and reads really boring then people won’t want to click on your link and read.

4) Make It Real
You are a real person, not a robot, not a corporate machine running a social media account. It is not all about the right hook, so everything should not be a sales pitch.

I tweeted about this last week, if everything in your timeline is a sales pitch, or a piece of micro content talking about your business and trying desperately to pull people in then you need to stop.

Stop tweeting, stop posting. Hire someone who knows what they are doing or hire someone to teach you how to do it.

The Long Game Is Still Important

This is all about balance, you need to find out where the sweet spot is for you and your followers and customers. I have put a lot of emphasis on micro content in this piece, however you should not be investing all your time in micro.

Remember, this is almost like the gateway to your long form content. If you can make the right impression through micro efforts then people will be more inclined to actually sitting down and reading a 1,000 word blog post or a 10 minute video.

Micro content should lead to something bigger, it should lead to where the real gold is for you. Then over time, by throwing enough jabs, you will eventually have softened them up so that when you throw the right hook you can turn prospects into leads and hopefully into customers.

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