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Monday
Feb172014

Micro-Content Offers Storytelling Solutions for SMBs in 2014

I’ve talked to dozens of SMBs that just don’t have time do write blog posts, develop how-to guides, or do any of the content creation efforts that’s essential for digital marketing in 2014. Fortunately, SMBs can still engage consumers using micro-content, something that takes less time to develop and consume. New media - Snapchat, Vine, Instagram - provides business owners with the tools to create micro-content. But why micro-content?

Micro-content is extremely beneficial to business owners that don’t have the time for sophisticated social media marketing or SEO strategies. It’s a great way to tell stories about your brand in a quick manner. For instance, Jolly Rancher uses the six second social video app, better known as Vine, to show the little hard candies doing a variety of things. My favorite in recent weeks is the close up of a flipping candy that flies across a room and into someone’s mouth, ultimately knocking him to the couch with the impact of mouthwatering fruit.

Perhaps the biggest remembrance of micro-content was the viral Harlem Shake meme that hit over a billion YouTube views in just 40 days. It seems as if everyone - companies and consumers - were creating their own Harlem Shake videos to get a piece of the viral action. 

The next time you’re out in public, whether it be a bar, an auto shop, your favorite restaurant, or the grocery store, pay attention to how consumers are engaging with the content on their mobile devices. You’ll see that they are constantly touching the screen - swiping, pinching, and tapping feverishly through videos, pictures, and status updates. Marketers must find ways to tell their stories in a short amount of time. 

According to Ooyala’s Global Video Index, mobile devices are on track to double their annual share of streamed and downloaded video. It only makes sense for advertisers and SMBs to execute on this new mobile video opportunity.

James Whatley, social media director for Ogilvy & Mather, recently mentioned that brands like Doritos and Taco Bell have used Snapchat to create “mission- impossible” style self-destruct vouchers and hyper-personalized customer content. He continues by saying, “This is a key trend for 2014, but it doesn’t work for all brands. If it’s relevant, then you need to have the right preparation and agility to ensure maximum impact. 

So, where do you start?

First, determine whether content marketing will work for your SMB. Micro-content works well for almost any brand selling a consumer facing product. Once you decide if micro-content is right for you, hop on these social apps and start immersing yourself in the content in the area of your business. You’d be surprised to see how many companies are active in these places. Start following them to get an idea of what types of content works.

After you start engaging on these apps, begin to understand who is engaging with the content in your industry. People use Snapchat, Vine, and Instagram for different reasons, just like Facebook and Twitter. It’s important to understand why people are on certain networks at certain times.

Micro-content begins at where your customer lives. They might be on Vine but not on Instagram. They might be texting instead of using Snapchat. It’s imperative to understand where they are engaging.

Promise me that you step back from your traditional marketing activities to ask yourself: where does my customer spend their time online and on their mobile phone? Remember how your mom, uncle, cousin, and brother said that they wouldn’t ever create a Facebook. Well, did they stay true to their word?

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