What exactly is “bite-sized” educational content? Find out more about this new marketing trend that’s providing quick, actionable results
People want shorter, more succinct information in quicker periods of time and one of the most effective ways to meet this demand is to showcase shorter, more succinct content known as short-form content.
In order to understand the benefits of short-form content, we’ll address the following points:
Popularity behind short-form content
Benefits of short-form content for businesses
Tips for businesses to create short-form conten
To get a better idea of short-form content, we can take a look at one of the most popular social media platforms at present, TikTok.
Originally launched as a short-form video sharing platform, primarily for lipsyncing and dancing videos, TikTok has grown into a fully-fledged video service, with content available for all types of viewers. But the kicker is that TikTok is still focused on producing exclusively short-form content.
Let’s take a look at some statistics presented by Business of Apps, a leading media and information brand for the app industry:
TikTok generated an estimated $1.9 billion revenue in 2020, a 457% increase year-on-year
TikTok had 837 million monthly active users in Q2 2020 and is expected to reach 1 billion by Q4 2020
In China, TikTok is accessed by over 600 million users daily
TikTok has been downloaded over three billion times
So, why do people love short-form content so much? Is this just a TikTok thing, or are people everywhere preferring short-form content across the board?
To answer this question, we’re turning to well-known entrepreneur, analytics expert, and investor, Niel Patel.
In a YouTube video titled, “7 Essential Skills Digital Content Writers Need,” Neil Patel highlighted addressed changes in consumer patterns due to technology, and the influence on and growing interest in short-form, or bite-sized, educational content.
“You need to have concise statements. […] A lot of people want quicker, on-demand content, so … bite-sized education works really well.”
He conducted a study with a friend where they tested out long-form and short-form content with the same audience. The result was that their audience was attracted to quick, actionable insight in the least amount of time rather than the longer pieces of information.
As technology continues to compact dense amounts of information into shorter amounts of time, what we find is a decreased attention span in humans. Not to sound too science-y, but this is what we’re currently experiencing as a species. Hence, short-form content does well — and TikTok’s statistics are proof that we’re leaning heavily toward content that is short and to-the-point.
From a scientific perspective, short-form content has its dangers (Neil Patel comparing the current human attention span to that of a goldfish is something to keep in mind. Because it’s true… the average human’s attention span is now shorter than goldfish’s). Not to mention the impact this has on brand awareness. But that’s another point for a different topic of conversation. Because, believe it or not, short-form content does have its benefits from a business standpoint.
Quick Consumption: For various reasons, many people prefer blog posts that they can read and benefit from without a major time investment. Some readers simply don’t have much time to spare, while others dislike reading altogether. Whatever the reason, short-form blog posts are useful for those inclined toward quick reads.
Quick Creation: Just as short-form posts don’t take long to read, they also don’t take long to write. This can keep your workload at a manageable level. You don’t have to stress about researching, drafting, and editing an extensive piece while still tending to other responsibilities. This can be a major advantage if you often feel that you’re short on time.
Mobile Friendliness: With so much of website traffic now originating from mobile devices, mobile friendliness is more important than ever… making it a good thing that short-form content gives you a head start when optimizing for mobile! This is because short-form content is easier to read on mobile devices due to its length (longer posts can be cumbersome to scroll through on smaller screens).
For more details to help you decide whether you should be producing shorter or longer content, we recommend Compose.ly’s article, “Long-Form vs. Short-Form Content: Which Is Better for You?”
Ideally, you want to keep it simple and memorable with one single idea that explain stories quickly. If your content is good, you don’t necessarily need to have a larger story because audiences typically only need certain elements and their brain will be able to fill in the story-making gaps. — The Tilt
1. Answer A Very Specific Question. Then Stop
You’re not writing a term paper. There’s no minimum page count, so don’t waste time with tangents, asides, or sweeping generalizations. Determine what purpose your content is meant to serve, declare and prove your thesis, and then simply step back.
2. Create (and Optimize!) Consistently Great Headlines
Headlines determine whether audiences choose to consume a particular piece of content at all. Great headlines are informative, memorable, and pique a reader’s curiosity. Take the time to determine whether your headlines are working effectively, and find the right testing tool to consistently optimize the final product.
3. Incorporate Interesting Visuals
Long blocks of text not accompanied by visual aids can quickly discourage readers. Use relevant images, videos, infographics, or embedded social posts to enhance the flow of your content and strengthen your narrative or argument.
4. Edit, Edit, And Then Edit Some More
You know what they say…kill your darlings. You may have agonized over crafting a really pretty sentence held together by a semicolon and an em dash, but does your reader have the time to make sense of it? Get rid of sentences or transitions that don’t add clear, concise information to the piece overall.
These are just a few tips from this list of creating better short-form content. We recommend you check it out so you don’t miss out on more insight!
As much as the research shows that we love our short-form content, there is still much debate about its authority and influence in the marketing world. So we say your content should be long enough to get the message across, but not a word longer. The key here is to serve your audience — not get hung up on what search engines like Google or others think. Really, it summarized best like this: “If you provide an incredible experience to your audience, they will come back for more!”
SEM Rush reminds us that what works for one business might not work for another. While you should consider and analyze the competition – both in terms of the formats they are using and the length of the content that they are creating – you need to figure out what works for you. Once you determine this, you can double-down on what is driving success and scale up your efforts.
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