It’s a very serious and scientific-sounding word for an emerging kind of marketing that is actually very cool and effective: micro-content.
Micro-content refers to short, powerful bursts of marketing matter, usually associated with social media.
The rise of micro-content has been largely in response to a dramatic shift in people reading content on their mobile phones and hand-held devices. If you catch public transport into work and spend that time on your mobile, then you see it every day.
Reading large chunks of text on a phone can be physically uncomfortable and challenging, and often people will move on rather than attempt it. Short, sharp messages, on the other hand, can be easily and rapidly consumed.
There’s been a lot said and a lot written about the declining attention span of consumers (apparently, we can thank social media, and increasingly short space between ads on TV for that), and micro-content works to leverage that.
For the most part, micro-content is essentially marketing content integrated into social media. It’s a meme on Facebook; a 140-character tweet on Twitter; it’s an image and caption on Instagram.
But if you think micro-content is simply placing ads for your product on social media, think again.
Micro-content marketing is about creating ways to keep your brand in front of your prospects and customers, by building trust, credibility and authenticity, and creating paths for new customers to your business.
Horoscopes and sports scores are common ways brands ‘give’ to their social media followers something considered to be of value, which is also able to be delivered in a couple of sentences. Weather updates is another form. Being aware of the power of images, some companies even offer a ‘cartoon of the day’ or ‘photo of the day’ as micro-content.
How can you incorporate micro-content in your marketing mix?
A great micro-content marketing strategy requires four key elements:
- It must be responsive to news and everyday events, while staying true to the marketing strategy
- It must make the best use of the particular platform it is shared on. For example, tweets with images are more than twice likely to engage the user than those without
- The content must be constantly tested and refined
- Content must be ‘stackable’. With so many media options available, it’s not unusual for a person to be engaged with more than one at a time. Micro-content should work in synergy with other platforms to create a seamless journey and on-point message.
It’s important that you don’t mistake micro-content for clickbait, which many users find off-putting. A post must deliver something of value that is relevant to the user. Some marketers even believe not every post should have a call to action.
One of the great advantages of micro-content marketing is the ability to produce advance batches of content.
It’s important, though, that once scheduled, content is not forgotten. You don’t want to tweet a message that is wildly inappropriate or offensive given the day’s news or events.
Just as a combination of print media, TV and radio ads, and digital campaigns are beneficial for an effective marketing mix, micro-content may be as worthy of a place in your strategy.
Examples of micro-content
Instagram is the perfect platform for micro-blogging, allowing for both short and longer form posts.
In Coburg’s popular Sydney Road, @wildtimorcoffee is a cafe with a story of heart. It was founded in 2012 by four Australian peacekeepers who formed a bond with young Timorese local, Jack. Jack and his family worked tirelessly harvesting coffee but found the crops were often unsuitable – too wet, too dry or not processed properly. With a drive to help the struggling Timorese family, the Australian peacekeepers sent a sample of the coffee beans to a friend at home who worked in the coffee industry and discovered they were of great quality. It was then that they realised the Timorese family were being exploited. The peacemakers decided to step in and help – they could harvest coffee beans from East Timor locals and reward their hard work, while making a living for themselves in Australia. The peacemakers returned home and set up shop in Coburg, thanks to an aid program established by @morelandcouncil. The cafe now sources coffee beans from several East Timor families and often hold fundraising programs to help those in need. The cafe has become renowned for its delicious coffee and its willingness to help others. Visit Wild Timor at 282 Sydney Rd, Coburg.
Facebook supports native video (especially with the upcoming Facebook Watch), making it perfect for short video content, such as the tailored Tasty videos from Buzzfeed: