How do you get people to pay attention to your brand online?

It’s a question which has troubled advertisers for years, and the answer is only getting more difficult to pin down thanks to the continual development of new online platforms.

In recent years many brands have used their blogs to showcase quality long-form content as a brand calling card – often because they have been told they need to blog. Many find it increasingly difficult to find an audience among the millions of others also pumping out content on a daily basis though. 

You might produce an immaculately researched and entertaining 3000 world blog, only to post it online and get zero response. Why is nobody reading you wonder? It’s probably because you haven’t built any kind of relationship with your desired audience first.

In the busy digital world, people just don’t have time to read a huge article from someone they’re not familiar with. What you should be doing is building that relationship gradually with quality content which they can consume at a glance, while familiarising themselves with your brand. 

Just think about how quickly you thumb through social feeds on your mobile, ignoring things which don’t immediately catch your eye. Your desired audience does the same and, as attention spans are getting shorter, your content needs to get smaller to stand any chance of being noticed. 

Growing mobile platforms

The quickest and most direct way to connect with an audience is through social media. People access this on the move more than ever - more than 70% of all social media activity now happens on mobile devices. 

What does this mean for content creators though? Those browsing from a mobile don’t want to read a 3000 word blog post for one thing; they want quick bite-size ‘micro-content’. The trend for micro-content has been growing for some time, with social media platforms like Twitter and Tumblr and online publishers like Buzzfeed successfully tapping into this constantly growing mobile-orientated audience. 

Even established media giants are going small. In 2014 BBC News began sharing 15 second news reports via Instagram. Publishers such as Sky News, Daily Mail and CNN recently announced partnerships with Snapchat’s new Discovery feature. Many brands have connected with mobile users through Vine - the 6 second looping video app which now has over 40 million users. 

All of those platforms which are showing massive growth share one common feature – their content is quick to consume and it requires little commitment from a prospective new audience.  Everyone is spending more time thumbing through their smartphone, looking for instant entertainment and that almost certainly applies to your prospective customers too. So you need to make sure some of your content fits the new consumption model!

Our tips to creating micro-content

There is no exact science to creating micro-content but with a little bit of creative thinking, you can create something that connects with an audience and gets your brand noticed. One of the best ways to get started with micro-content is to repurpose your existing content into bite-size chunks which can be shared through social media. 

So nobody is reading that great 3000 word blog post you wrote? Try picking out some key stats and making a small infographic which gives people the content at a glance, or condense it into a 60 second YouTube presentation. Here are some quick general rules to follow:

  1. Keep it short

  2. Make it visual

  3. Tailor your tone to fit the platform

  4. Make sure it offers value

  5. Include a call to action

Examples of branded micro-content

A great recent example is Audi - who boosted their Twitter followers by 2500 and Facebook likes by 9000 during Super Bowl 2015, thanks to their humorous Snapchat campaign which connected with the ‘watching the game’ experience of millions. It can directly generate sales too; The Co-Operative used Snapchat to target students with an exclusive £30 off coupon for a new laptop.

Vine has a vibrant community in terms of creative branded micro-content - just take a look at the Brands on Vine blog for hundreds of great examples of how to connect with an audience in just 6 seconds! You can also find plenty of inspiration for infographics by browsing the highlights of Nerd Graph

Many of these brands already have established audiences, but it is creativity that wins the day on these new platforms and the potential audience is bigger than ever before. So when it next comes to creating content for your brand, approach it a little differently – try thinking smaller!