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Content Marketing

How The Right Micro Content Can Boost Your Conversions

Written by Katy Ward

November 29, 2022

When you’re promoting your brand, you may have a lot to say. But if you’re putting all your time and effort into long-form content, you could be missing a valuable opportunity. After all, who wouldn’t choose to read a 140-character tweet over a 10,000-word report?

Short and snappy communications such as tweets, slogans, and short videos are known as micro content, and they are proving that a few well-chosen words could have the greatest impact on your audience.

Here, we examine how you can use this type of content to improve your company’s performance and drive up your conversions.

What is micro content? 

Although micro content may be a buzzword for those in marketing and social media, not many beyond these industries are familiar with the term.

Even though I’ve worked in content marketing for almost 15 years, I have to confess that the phrase only came on my radar within the past five years or so.

In simple terms, micro content answers a reader’s question or provides a vital piece of information using only a few words or in a short space of time. Consider, for example, the Featured Snippets tool on Google. 

As the name suggests, these short pieces of text (which appear on the top of Google’s search results feature) are designed to provide a quick answer to the user’s query.

Image credit: Google

Some experts argue that, to qualify as micro content, a piece of text must be readable in 10 to 30 seconds. After all, attention spans are decreasing, as many consumers are accustomed to online environments in which they are trying to absorb a piece of information as quickly as possible before moving on to the next thing.

When you consider that the average adult reads at a speed of between 200 and 250 words per minute, this doesn’t leave many words to make an impact.

Another of the most common definitions of micro content comes from user experience expert Jakob Nielsen, who defines it as “a small group of words which can be skimmed by the reader to understand the wider message of the article.”

While Nielsen’s definition is certainly valuable, it perhaps doesn’t tell the whole story, as micro content can also include the following:

  • Video content
  • Infographics
  • Illustrations
  • Memes
  • Headlines
  • Email subject lines
  • Social media content 
  • Quotes
  • Checklists

In a professional business context, you may already be employing micro content as a short-form video on your About Us pages, in the descriptions of your products, in paid social media campaigns, or in radio adverts.

Although micro content in itself is brief, it can often direct readers to longer or more extensive articles such as how-to guides or FAQs. In the case of Google’s Snippets, for instance, a piece of micro content from your organization can prove your authority on a particular subject, which may then prompt a user to read some of your long-form content.

As Google selects its Featured Snippets based on its own web search listings, it is useful to bear this in mind when writing your longer copy as well. Remember there is no substitute for creating authoritative and well-researched content when writing for the web. Not only is this likely to rank highly in user searches, it has a better chance of appearing as a Featured Snippet.

3 ways micro content can boost your conversions 

As well as entertaining users and providing valuable information about your business, strong micro content can help you turn your website’s visitors into loyal customers.

Here are three key ways in which bite-sized copy can widen your customer base and ultimately increase your sales.

1. Boost your rankings

Having micro content on your website can help boost your ranking in search engines, which will effectively bring more users to your site and help with your customer acquisition. Because the algorithms employed by search engines recognize that users are seeking content that they can consume easily and quickly, they will reward you for having this type of content on your online platforms. 

2. Build a rapport with your audience

Once you attract visitors to your site, micro content can be a tool to engage with your audience in the long term. One thing I have learned when producing micro content is that the most effective solutions will always either inform or amuse the audience. If a user is confident that your business can do one, or both, of these, they’re far more likely to use your services in the future.

3. Introduce your brand to a new audience

If your micro content comes in the form of Twitter campaigns or TikTok videos, it also has the potential to introduce your brand to an entirely new audience. Success on social media is especially vital if you are trying to engage with the Millennial or Gen Z demographic.

Some of the best examples of micro content 

Memes provide great examples of some of the stickiest, most memorable micro content. The best memes, in my opinion, capture the public’s attention by alluding to current events.

One of my favorite Twitter gags has been a meme referring to former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s conviction for breaking COVID-19 rules and subsequent claim that he believed Downing Street events involving alcohol were work related. In a perhaps inevitable response, Twitter users posted hilarious pictures of yacht parties and people lying drunk in the street under the heading “I thought it was a work event.”

While it can take some effort to fit this style of content into your business’s professional portfolio, with some creativity, it can make your business more memorable and result in more clicks. After all, unlike many other forms of content, micro content often works best when it shows the fun and human side of a company.

One great example is the print advert for the BMW M3, which shows an image of a steering wheel and an arm dressed in the costume of the Flash, with the tagline “Even a superhero drives one.”

5 tips for writing great micro content 

Although every business will have different needs, I have found the tips below to be extremely helpful when creating micro content.

1. Know your audience

As with longer pieces of content, it is essential that you build your micro content around your audience’s interests, and provide them with something that will grab their attention.

Armed with this knowledge, you can decide which type of micro content will resonate best with that audience, whether that’s a series of print ads or a series of GIFs on Instagram.

2. Use memorable images

When you’re dealing with a time-pressed audience, well-chosen visual messages are invaluable. If you’re attempting to evoke an emotional response, you can often convey your meaning far more effectively in a single image than thousands of words.

3. Take your time

Whether you’re creating a 500-word blog post or writing for social media platforms, one of the easiest mistakes to make is to assume that writing relatively few words won’t require a great deal of effort. In fact, the reverse is often true.

As micro content relies on making every word or second count, you’ll need to take time to ensure the words and images you choose are the right ones.

4. Make it stackable

With most of us engaging with online content across various platforms, consider creating content that you can share (in micro form) across different channels.

Known as stacking, this content marketing strategy involves breaking one larger piece of writing (such as a report) into various parts and sharing these components across different social channels.

5. Keep headlines short

As with any piece of content, creating an effective headline for your micro content is key. Coschedule’s headline analyzer tool can be a brilliant resource when you’re attempting to write headlines that will boost traffic to your website.

The same logic applies to your email marketing campaigns, as an effective subject line can drastically increase your click-through rates.

Choose your words wisely 

In my experience, micro content enjoys a rare status in the world of marketing: it can be both entertaining and informative for a reader and also bring huge rewards for a business. If you get it right, you are almost certain to see a big increase in your conversions.

But, as any content creation expert will tell you, you’ll need to be prepared to put in the time and effort. Even the snappiest of slogans probably took hours, if not days, of hard work to perfect.

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