Keys to success with short, visual content

22 September 2022, By Canela

Currently, there is an interesting dichotomy in the world of content marketing that we have already pointed out in our trends for this year. It consists of the following: while long-form content ranks better in search engines and converts better, short and visual content for quick consumption is better viralised on social networks and obtains higher levels of engagement.

So which of these options should you go for in your brand’s content marketing strategy? How can you get the best of both worlds? A smart use of short-form content, without sacrificing more depth where necessary, is the answer to maximising the benefits of each format.

Combine long and short content

When designing your content marketing campaigns, rather than relying on a single format, it is better to opt for a combination of different lengths of content:

  • Short content: some examples of fast content you can use are banners or image carousels, micro-videos, infographics, Stories, tweets and social media posts, GIFs and animations, audiograms, snippets, quotes from testimonials, etc.
  • Long-form content: among the best performing long-form content are blog posts, interviews, case studies, tutorials, lists, podcasts, reviews, ebooks, etc.

Create different levels of depth

By handling content of different formats and lengths, you can create hierarchies. The idea is that users who are interested can access more in-depth content to learn more about the campaign. The key is that all the contents, whatever their length, share the same messages and are synchronised with each other, so that you can reach a larger target audience with your campaign.

In addition, short content has a more ephemeral life than long content, so you will have to periodically renew the short pieces to support the positioning of the longer ones.

Linking different types of content

Apart from being coordinated, the different media and formats of your content marketing campaign should be perfectly linked to each other. For example, an animation can lead to a video or podcast that develops the story you want to tell; an influencer’s opinion can lead to a product analysis; a tweet can introduce a post, etc. 

By disseminating them on different social media and platforms, a “network” of campaign content is created that increases the chances of achieving wider dissemination and impact.

Adapt content to each profile and platform

Although it may be short and visual content, the same piece cannot reach all the audiences and profiles that can be found on the different social media. Appealing to Instagram users is not the same as connecting with professionals on LinkedIn.

Therefore, within the same campaign and with common messages, you should develop content that is adapted to each recipient and profile or segment. If possible, also personalise each content along the lines of the Smart Marketing we have already seen.

Invite users to interact

Make sure all content includes a clear and easy-to-execute call to action to increase user engagement with the campaign content.

It doesn’t always have to be an invitation to click on your brand’s website: often, it works better to encourage them to share the content if they liked it, give their opinion in the comments, etc. 

Opt for creativity and humour

To stand out and get users to notice your campaign, you need to differentiate yourself. One way to do this is creativity, creating content that surprises and intrigues. Humour is also often an effective way of gaining visibility, as well as generating proximity to your target audience. 

However, fresh or short content does not mean that it is of lower quality: the shorter the format, the more elaborate the message has to be.

Include user-generated content

Sometimes, what works best to achieve greater engagement is to invite users to join the campaign. Competitions, raffles or giveaways are an effective way to encourage users to participate. However, it is true that, on occasions, affinity with the brand and the possibility of becoming known are sufficient incentives to participate. For example, look at how Apple promotes on social networks the stories created by users with their devices using the hashtag #ShotoniPhone.

That the current trend is for short and visual content is a reality. However, as we have seen, we cannot forget to include this type of content within a global strategy that takes into account different platforms and styles of communicating with our audience.