Microcontent – What Is It and Why Should You Care?

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Information OverloadIs your audience (clients, customers, readers) feeling overwhelmed by the the amount of content and information being delivered to them day in and day out? I hear this cry of frustration daily, yet as an online entrepreneur and author, you know content is the backbone of your business.

Without a steady stream of blog posts, articles, free reports, etc., etc., your prospective clients will have trouble finding you. The content you create is essential for getting found by your ideal clients so they can get to know you and how you can serve them. So, what do you do?

While your long-form content is critical to your success, don’t over look the microcontent (tweets, for example) that grabs your readers’ attention and compels them to follow your links back to the in-depth articles revealing your expertise and how you serve.

Microcontent isn’t a new concept. Blogger Anil Dash wrote about it in 2002:

Today, microcontent is being used as a more general term indicating content that conveys one primary idea or concept, is accessible through a single definitive URL or permalink, and is appropriately written and formatted for presentation in email clients, web browsers, or on handheld devices as needed. A day’s weather forcast, the arrival and departure times for an airplane flight, an abstract from a long publication, or a single instant message can all be examples of microcontent.

Things have changed dramatically since Anil Dash defined “microcontent” in 2002. That was before Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram … all platforms specializing in easy microcontent creation today.

Here’s my take on microcontent:

The opposite of long-form content like blog posts, white papers and reports, micro content is the status updates, quote images, Vine videos, Instagram photos that grab attention and act as effective lead generators, driving traffic back to your site (when done with a strategic plan in mind). Micro content is easy to create and takes less time than writing an article.

Microcontent Drives Traffic
quote image
Create a Quote Image from the title of your blog post, to share on social networks.

Your blog posts and articles take time and care to create.  The next step after publication is to promote your posts and that’s when you turn to microcontent to spark curiosity and drive traffic. Knowing that social networks are great for sending traffic back to your homebase (your blog of course), here are some ways you can use microcontent to invite your fans and followers back “home”:

  • Post an image and link from your blog post as a Facebook status update (yes, this is very common, don’t forget to do it)
  • Create an image with a pithy quote from your article; post the image on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
  • Use the PushQuote plugin on your WordPress blog to create a shareable quote embedded in the post
  • Use Vine to create a 6 second video about the main theme of your article
  • Use the subheads in your blog post as tweets with a call to action and link to learn more
  • Include pre-written tweets for your readers to easily share with Click to Tweet

These types of content form the “C” in the C.R.E.A.T.E. formula Ellen Britt and I revealed at our recent teleseminar, 6 Steps to C.R.E.A.T.E. Your Digital Empire (listen to the program below). Content is the first step.

Create a Microcontent Plan

Your content deserves to be found and read. Create a checklist you can use to promote your articles with microcontent. Then it becomes second nature for you or a virtual assistant to distribute the bread crumbs that leads fans, followers and prospects back to your door.

Use Pinterest to send followers back to your site.
Use Pinterest to send followers back to your site.
  1.  Determine the fastest, easiest type of microcontent for you to create.
  2. Make sure the sites you choose to share your microcontent on is where your audience spends time.
  3. As soon as you hit publish on your blog post, create and share your microcontent. If you wait, it may not get done. :-)

Now it’s your turn… what kinds of microcontent do you create to promote your blog? Post it in the comments below and we’ll create a master list together!

CREATE Online Marketing LabEllen Britt and I are launching a one year content marketing mastermind program called The C.R.E.A.T.E. Online Marketing Lab. Listen to the teleseminar where we reveal the complete C.R.E.A.T.E. formula, and then contact us right away if you would like to join this exclusive group. At the time of this post’s publication there are seven open spots and the program begins on June 26.

This article was originally published on The Future of Ink and is reprinted here in its entirety for our Magnolia Media Network readers.