If you’ve heard the expression, “Big things come in small packages,” you know a little something about snackable content.
This social media content category might be composed of small, easy-to-consume chunks of information—a tweet, a Facebook video or an Instagram meme—but it is nonetheless a mighty force for your brand.
Snackable content not only delivers information that’s easy to consume but also makes the best use of existing content. By breaking an infographic, for example, into a series of memorable quotes and videos, you gain:
- A longer shelf life for content on social media
- The ability to easily tweak content for appropriate platforms
- The potential to drive new engagement and brand awareness
Recently, snackable content has gotten a bad name and has even been left for dead. According to a piece in re/code, snackable content isn’t substantive enough to deliver value to readers.
When to comes to generic listicles, we’re inclined to agree, but snackable content on social media? Social media is where people go to snack—or at least to discover the trail of breadcrumbs that leads to a tasty dinner.
Using snackable images doubles your social media sharing, and videos get 12 times the number of shares (according to Sprout Social). Here are five more reasons snackable content is so successful—and why you should include it in your content marketing strategy now more than ever:
1. It’s built on bite-size blocks.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but you can easily build a whole bunch of snackable content.
That’s its beauty: Each piece is self-contained. This short-form content is optimized for social media and ameliorates information overload.
Moreover, these content building blocks include information your audience actually cares about, are branded with calls to action, transfer across multiple social channels, and are published on a regular basis—meaning your audience anticipates and actively consumes them.
You can think of snackable content as storytelling within the rules of social media, because there is a limit on the number of words in a post, seconds in a video and so on. Geo-filtering helps you target snackable content to snack-size demographics based on location, as McDonald’s did this summer when it deployed geo-filters available to Snapchat users exclusively at its stores.
2. It works with a little strategic planning.
You need a scalable way to stand out every day, but you also want your social media content to bring measurable results. That’s why making snackable content part of a larger strategy is essential. Incorporate it into your editorial calendar, and keep it in mind when you design infographics, Slideshares, videos and all your other big-rock content.
For example, consider creating a platform-specific snackable content strategy for the webinars your brand provides. Again, by starting small, you can take a specific long-form content offering and break it into multiple meme-style chunks. Publish them over a period of weeks to continually draw eyes to a great piece of visual content on your website.
If you were leading a webinar about webinar promotion, you could deploy this little nugget—which, in addition to being informative and attention-grabbing, would demonstrate the value of your content and get people to click:
3. It stands on its own two legs.
Snackable content, crafted properly, makes sense on whatever platform it appears on; it doesn’t need a backstory to be informative.
Good snackable content is that which has been quickly adapted to a given platform for easy consumption. For example, Gary Vaynerchuk advises crafting content around trending topics and hashtags on Twitter.
4. It’s highly shareable (if you do it right).
Snackable content might get from two to 12 times as many shares, but only if it appeals to people. Unless you own a highly anticipated product (the new iPhone, Jay Z record, etc.) anything that’s self-congratulatory, hard-selling, solicitous or pitchy is probably going to fall flat. For this article, for example, we might use an image like this to get attention:
5. It tells two stories simultaneously.
The first is what’s contained to the visual: an inspirational message, metric or compelling trend. The second is what your audiences might not see consciously—a tie into your underlying brand promise.
Nate Birt is a multimedia journalist, social media enthusiast and copy editor with experience at a variety of print and digital publications, and a contributing editor to the Visually Blog. Follow him on Twitter at @natebirt.