Why Your Content Marketing Should Be Bite-Sized

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When it comes to life tips, one of the more unique budget-minded suggestions for grocery shopping is to never go on an empty stomach. The idea behind this is that if you are sated, you can shop without hunger driving your decisions, thus avoiding impulse purchases. From a marketing standpoint, however, you want hungry customers; you want people eager to proverbially chow down on what you have to offer, rather than skimming it and feeding nothing more than your bounce rate. Long form content, when presented as the bulk of your content, runs the risk of feeding their needs - defined as questions and curiosities here - and sending them on their way, rather than engaging them.

Make Every Bite a Good One

While ideally all of your content marketing should be dazzling to consume, quality in short form content is a very important focus. If you have a really mediocre appetizer, you're unlikely to stick around to order an entree, right? Your short form content is your elevator pitch, your free sample, your tantalizing sign in the front window - it should capture attention and draw interest that can then be capitalized on. As these "bites" may be the first time a potential customer is introduced to your brand, they must also adhere faithfully to your message, your visuals, and your overall brand mood so that you remain recognizable. 

How to Do It: Study the long form content that's previously done well for you in terms of conversion. Does it have a common subject or tone? Use this to inspire the creation - or even distillation - of shorter form pieces. 

Don't Limit the Menu

It doesn't take an industry expert to see that content consumption habits are not only diversifying platforms, but formats as well. Leverage this tendency by making your short form content pull double duty: use the transcript from a video, with a few adjustments, as a short blog. Promoting your various iterations of short form content can be short content in itself - a properly hashtagged mention of a short YouTube video on Twitter, for example. Even taglines and quips can be content, short as they are, provided they're paired up with the right on-brand image: think an artistic, filtered snap on Snapchat with a crisp sentence or two. 

How to Do It: Don't overtax your reach by using platforms that are unlikely to host your target demographic. Stick to where you know they are and work on developing shorter content for platforms where you already exist. 

Don't Confuse Quality and Quantity

If your company is used to turning out long form content, there might be a drive to match volume when it comes to your short form pieces. If you create too large of a backlog, however, cultural and news references will seem dated, and your posting schedule could grow too aggressively. While platforms like Twitter have glamorized the idea of constant, neverending short form content, be aware that a not-insubstantial amount of those companies tweets are often back-and-forth with customers: active engagement, rather than passively emphasizing brand messages ad nauseum.

How to Do It: Look at the posting schedule of your "aspirational" competitor(s) - the one(s) you'd kill to trade audiences with. How often are they posting? What does their public engagement look like? Use this research as a guide.

Events like tasting menus and cocktail hours are high-end, intriguing, and enjoy an enduring reputation as the accoutrements of a life well lived. People enjoy sampling because it allows them to fully appreciate what they're consuming without running the risk of over-familiarity. Provide your customers with a sampling of what you're about and it's a safe bet they'll stick around for more. Short form content marketing is easy to digest, share, and consider, flattening out that steep hill from consideration to sale. Try serving up tapas for your customers to nibble on and you'll have the time - and the audience - to serve up something more substantial at your leisure. 

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Ashley Mamula

As Social Media Coordinator, Ashley is constantly researching the latest social trends, and has a passion for creating engaging content. She is a recent grad of Grand Valley State University and has spent the past few years working as an Account Associate on Grand Valley’s student-run public relations firm, GrandPR. On the weekends you can find her doing DIY projects or running around with her puppy, Odin.

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