Online marketing and social media tips for business from Shannon Belew, best-selling author of "Starting an Online Business For Dummies, All-in-One"
It takes only a few seconds for someone to visit your website or blog and decide whether or not it’s interesting enough to stick around and keep exploring. If your site lacks that certain appeal, the visitor is likely to bounce, or immediately leave and continue searching for something more relevant. The type and style of content you offer is a key factor in attracting that sticky traffic to your site. Tempting your visitors with good, snackable content is one way to quickly hook your audience and to encourage social sharing (so even more folks can consume your message).
What exactly is snackable content? Just as the name “snackable” implies, it’s a type of content that is easy to consume. Just because it’s easy, that doesn’t mean it’s light on calories – or that it skimps on quality. Snackable content should be filled with good, usable information.
So what makes content snack-worthy? There are varying opinions as to an exact formula for this style of easily consumed information, but here are some key components agreed upon by most experts.
In terms of writing articles or blog posts:
– Stick to 500 words (or so): Snackable content can be longer, but to make it easier to consume, a good rule of thumb is to stay around 500 words. That’s enough to get your message across, without overwhelming the reader.
– Create a solid headline: If the snack doesn’t look yummy, it’s probably going to sit on the shelf. The same applies to content – and in this case, it’s the headline that grabs attention and makes the content look appealing enough to read. Use catchy, but to-the-point titles that tell readers what they can expect to get out of the content, or how they will benefit from the information.
– Stick to your point – and get to it: Similar to the importance of an attention-grabbing header, your introductory paragraph should provide good, solid information right off the back. Follow up that strong start by keeping on message throughout the article. You can still use humor to entertain and helpful facts to back up your story, but make sure those elements are useful, and help keep the reader engaged.
– Use images: Who doesn’t like pretty pictures? Using images that are relevant to your article and help tell the story are great tools to get and keep the attention of your reader.
– Include bullet lists: Style choices, or how the content is presented, helps a reader stay focused. Using lists or bullets are quick, easy ways to display your content and make it visually appealing and easy to consume. Calling out key words or phrases in italics or by making them bold, are also helpful style choices that make your content easy to digest.
– Offer call-outs of quotes: Like other style choices, using call-outs is an effective, visual tool to highlight a key idea or other pertinent information or comments that appear within your article.
Snackable content is one way to quickly hook your audience and to encourage social sharing…
Visual content works, too.
We like pretty pictures. Wait, that was already mentioned. But it’s worth repeating. In fact, you don’t always need the written word to convey good information. Visual content is a fantastic way to offer, quick, easy to consume snackable content. Infographics and short videos (think 60 to 90 seconds) are popular ways to get your point across. A meme every now and then doesn’t hurt either. And your audience not only enjoys consuming visual content but they also love sharing it!
Speaking of sharing….
All of the above tips help make your content snackable, and snackable content makes for great information for your readers to share on social media. But for good measure, make sure your content includes social sharing icons or buttons that make it easy to share. It also doesn’t hurt to include a request to share the information at the bottom of the content.
With that said, I hope you’ve enjoyed snacking on this piece of content and I would really appreciate it if you share it with your networks on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+…… well, you get the idea.