Micro content is the term used to describe content for the web in mini format. This includes text, images, videos and e-mails. The main task of micro content is to whet the appetite for more. Micro content elements are also used as part of websites, blogs and landing pages.
Today’s Internet user has little time. The attention spans on the Internet are getting shorter and shorter. On average, a user focuses on one thing for no more than eight seconds. Therefore, it is a challenge for any marketing strategy to reach the target group as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Examples of micro content:
- A picture post on Facebook along with a short statement – in other words, a relevant text combined with visual stimuli. This post serves as a link to a detailed page.
- Title, URL and meta description: the contents of these three HTML tags together form a snippet that is displayed as a result on the Google hit list. This is usually the first piece of information a member of the target audience receives about a website, blog, or landing page.
- A headline or the subject of an email are also micro content.
In addition, there are individual elements on a website, such as infoboxes.
A good website that meets today’s reading habits contains many elements of micro content. A website has almost unlimited possibilities to include minimal content.
For example, a website offers a program for download. While the program is being downloaded, a “Please wait” popup appears with changing short texts – for example, to amuse or inform. The effect: the user remains on the page during the download and does not switch to another tab.
Facebook, smartphones and the content shock
In principle, micro content is suitable for any medium, including newspaper ads. However, the format shows its true strengths primarily on the Internet. Here, the success of micro content has at least three causes:
The trend toward mobile use of the Internet is unstoppable – especially among the highly competitive target group of younger users. The technical aspect (smaller screens) inevitably influences the presentation of content: The shorter and more concisely a particular topic is addressed, the greater the potential attention. Screens are getting smaller, so content is also getting shorter. Smartphone and co. make the Internet available everywhere – especially in between, i.e. whenever time is short.
For an attention-grabbing post on social media, it is especially important that it is short. Twitter has set an example with its character limit of 280 characters for a single post. And this limit is readily accepted. The best example of effective media attention and maximum reach of micro content are Donald Trump’s tweets. A few characters are regularly enough to convey a message – or to confront the world with new questions. It is content that has been reduced to the bare essentials that moves through the worldwide web with particular speed.
Micro content is often described as the answer to content shock. Content is king – this principle also has negative effects. Some customers find themselves overwhelmed. When users lose their overview in the face of a flood of information, they long for manageable content. Too much content does not provide more information, but more confusion. If there are 100 good and comprehensive articles on a topic, people will, in case of doubt, first reach for a short message that makes them want more.
Short and crisp
Keep it short – or in new German: Keep it short and simple. This tried-and-tested recipe for successful communication applies today more than ever. The principle of micro content is visible even at the smallest level of communication: social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Co. influence sentence structure, abbreviations and even the omission of whole words. “Do you feel like going to the movies?” is replaced by “Cinema?” or a simple emoticon that everyone understands. Micro content takes advantage of this development to present content in an even shorter format – always keeping the short attention span in mind.
Caution: Micro Content is not to be confused with Thin Content. The latter is content without added value, which Google classifies as irrelevant. Even microsites do not belong to this category without further ado, but can contain micro content as individual components.
Using micro content for your own goals
What does good micro content look like? The mini-format convinces above all with these characteristics:
- Micro Content is clear and simple.
- The content leaves no doubt as to what it is about.
- The micro format is used as a means for a good user experience.
- It supports the positive perception of a brand or a company.
On landing pages, micro content is used purposefully to lead the user to a specific action and thus increase the conversion rate. This can be the click on a further button or the conclusion of a purchase. To achieve this goal, marketing strategists use keywords as eye-catchers. It is important to use the language of the target group. No-go’s, on the other hand, are patronizing and terms with negative connotations.
A simple example that can be used in the format of a microsite, a pop-up or an element on a broader website:
- Presenting the problem: “Do you need help with …?”
- Pointing out a solution: “Our expert team can give you answers.”
- Call-to-action: “Click here.”
The attention span of the average Internet user is shrinking. To increase reach, marketing strategists are increasingly using the micro content format – with success. Micro content is particularly effective on social media channels, but is also suitable for use on websites: small eye-catchers that grab users’ attention. Anyone who wants to make a name for themselves uses this mini format.
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