Marketing

How to Optimize Social Media Marketing Efforts Using Microcontent

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Producing high-quality content to attract and engage your audience is arguably the most authentic way to nurture a relationship between you and your audience.

Most people produce e-books, articles, podcasts and infographics—where each serves a unique purpose. But no matter what type of content you produce, chances are you have overlooked a valuable element of the marketing strategy: microcontent.

Microcontent can be described as a short abstract of your full content – like a 15-word quote from a blogpost, a fascinating graphic from an infographic, or a 6-second Vine from a video interview.

With the rise of social networks and content sharing, microcontent is getting more relevant than ever: it is a powerful way to connect with your audience and provide them with sharable content that can increase your social reach.

Microcontent, although sometimes overlooked can help you get your content shared easily and quickly through social media platforms.

Why microcontent?

Less time consuming

As a business owner, I’m sure your plate is full right now. Microcontent is great because creating it will take you a fraction of the time that writing a full blog post will, but it offers the same benefits. This makes it easy to sustain the strategy over time, even when things are extremely busy.

It’s the easiest way to engage

Microcontent is a great way to lower the barrier to entry to your regular content, as it gives your audience valuable information in its most condensed form. An image or a compelling graphic might encourage your audience to explore more.

It increases the lifespan of your content

When you create a blog post, you need to share it with your audience. You may re-use it a couple times, but you might be at risk of oversharing and leading your audience to think that you got nothing else to say. However, if you break that blog post into 5 quotes or graphics, you can share it over and over again with no problem.

It increases ‘sharability’

Microcontent is perfectly suited for sharing on social platforms such as Twitter,  Facebook or Instagram. Many social users are reluctant to share lengthy white papers with their friends or followers, but they are much more likely to tweet interesting statistics or inspiring quotes as they perceive them as more valuable, fun and entertaining. This is a great way to expand your existing content’s social reach.

Quick, easy, long online presence and is just begging to be shared- microcontent is quite simply a marketers ally.

What types of microcontent?

As we mentioned before, “microcontent should be an ultra-short abstract of its associated macro content”. This is because people are more inclined to view (and share) smaller pieces of content. Let’s take a quick look at 5 different types of microcontent you can start creating right now, and the tools to do it.

1 – Images

If you are looking to entice users to share your content, a breathtaking image with some text on it, usually an inspiring quote or a snippet of a blogpost, will prove very effective. The example below shows Paul Graham, the founder of Y Combinator, and one of his most famous quotes. If you are a startup entrepreneur, you’ll be tempted to re-tweet it, because it’s something you believe and that your followers will find useful.
To design images, any design software (especially Piktochart!) will cut it, but we love Pablo, a tool recently released by Buffer that allows you design engaging images for social media in less than 30 seconds.

 

2 – Mini-data visualizations

Data and metrics are specially dull, so users are always reluctant to share them. No one wants to share ‘boring stuff’ with their friends of audience. A great way to turn things around is to use mini-data visualizations to share an interesting piece of data. If the information you are sharing is really fascinating, users not only will be amazed, but they will share it with their friends.

Piktochart has a really handy graph tool that allows you to create and embed beautiful animated graphic into any infographic in less than 2 minutes. Our users love it because it’s super easy to use!

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Creative visual representations like this give users a simplified understanding of complex ideas.

 

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Simple visuals like this allows the reader to gain some key information at a glance

 

3 – Illustrations

I first bumped into the power of illustrations when researching about Basecamp and 37Signals. As you can observe here, their homepage is covered with illustrations. They are really effective for conversions, branding and sharing because very few people on the web are doing it right now.
We’ve find out that the best way to create beautiful illustrations is to outsource them. You can find great, affordable talent in oDesk or Elance in less than an hour.

Our friends at Sketchpost also have a unique service where they would Illustrate your event! Yes you read that right.

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Fun illustrations can simplify concepts effectively as shown in the example above.

 

Our friends at Sketchpost, showing what they do best.

 

 

4 – Graphics

If you need to explain a complex, lengthy process, the most effective way of doing it is by summarizing it in a visually compelling graphic that guides the user through every step, and explains what happens in each one of them in 10 words or less.

Piktochart’s ridiculously simple drag-and-drop design interface and large selection of amazing icons makes it really easy for you to create simple, yet engaging graphics in minutes.

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Technical information can be related effectively through the use of relevant graphics.

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Thousands of years of data visually represented in one graphic? Piece of cake!

 

5 – Infographics

Infographics combine the best out of the mentioned four types of microcontent and packs into one stand-alone information super-highway. It allows you to say a the things you need about a topic, in different ways. With a whopping 333 680 shares, this infographic is one of the most viral.
It goes without saying that our favorite infographic tool is Piktochart! The pre-designed templates, the unlimited library of icons and it’s simplicity makes it the perfect software for infographic design.

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Highlight different types of information i.e., learning patterns, factors that influence learning languages and some key numerical statistics all in one infographic.

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Marketing your product with a cause will also help you get some good views to your infographic.

 

6 – Sharing and commenting

A great idea is to leverage other people’s network, audience and content to grow your own. You can do this by sharing interesting content that’s not yours with your audience. If it’s good, they’ll thank you for it.
Start by doing a quick Google/Facebook research about the top performers in your industry. Follow them on social media, and start reading their blog. Whenever you find something interesting, share it with your audience by retweeting it or uploading it to Facebook. If you found a blog post particularly, write a thoughtful comment that adds value. In fact, this is one of the tactics our team used when starting Piktochart.

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It’s as simple as that.

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#trends

 

Different types of microcontent serve different purposes. Find your purpose and match it with the different types of microcontent techniques available for maximum impact.

How Piktochart Uses Microcontent in our Social Media Marketing

At Piktochart, we are huge fans of microcontent. We use it on a daily basis to communicate with our users, as it allows us to strengthen our relationship with them by offering small nuggets of useful content. Below we’ll go through 3 of the many ways our team uses microcontent everyday.

Promoting Our Weekly Contests

We have a Best Piktochart infographic competition weekly. It’s pretty simple – just upload your infographic to Instagram using the hashtag #piktowin for a chance to get a free pro membership. To inform our audience about this, our amazing design team created an image that explained what the content was about in less than 15 words, and we shared it on Twitter.

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Clearly defined contest instructions with a nice looking photo makes clicking that ‘retweet’ button all that easier.

 

Sharing valuable content from someone else

As web fanatics, we come across amazing content every day. If we think that an article, image or blogpost can be beneficial to our audience. Usually, we do this by re-tweeting someone else’s content or sharing it in our Facebook fan page. This allows our social media team to strike a balance between our own stuff and external content, while still offering real value to our users. You just need to make sure that the content you are sharing is trully amazing!

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Sometimes marketers are guilty of ‘blowing their own horns’ sharing what others say about you is definitely a good idea.

 

Promoting our Posts and Guides

Our blog is our main acquisition channel and a great source of information and tutorials for many users. Everytime we write a new blogpost, we are thrilled to share it with the world. To maximize its exposure and increase ‘shareability’, we use microcontent. In the example below, we tweeted a small extract of a full-infographic to get our audience excited about the typeface post that was coming in the next days.

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Microcontent as a preview will give the readers an idea of what to expect from your post.

 

Thanks for staying this long! We hope you found the information helpful and that you are seriously considering microcontent as a real strategy to boost your social media marketing efforts. This post is part of Piktochart’s Marketing Series, stay updated with new and relevant posts about all your infographing needs and more by subscribing to our blog. Don’t forget to comment, like and share this post with your peers.

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