Content StrategyGTM Success

Snackable vs. Long-Form Content

By March 4, 2020 No Comments

You shouldn’t be afraid to create detailed content, which raises the question of when to use long-form vs. short-form, or “snackable,” content. (I’ll go into what we mean by “detailed” next time.)

Snackable Content

Short-form content – textual, video, or imagery – is all about impact. If you have one idea or story to tell, then short really is sweet. With little room for intellectual arguments, focus on emotional impact. Tap into primal needs: acceptance, fear of missing out, fear of messing up.

We often see snackable content that fails to differentiate its creator from anyone else. The content feels like platitudes or hype, shouting generic claims like “Increase your ROI!” or “Rapid time to value!” I suspect the creators theorize this approach hits every possible persona with their copy, but in doing so, they don’t hit any one persona very well.

Focus instead on your personas and the details that will help them understand your value.

For example, if you’re targeting businesspeople, use business cases. In the real-time data and analytics world, it’s tempting to keep it high-level and fluffy because of complex, complicated technical details. Insert business details instead, highlighting where specific cost efficiencies or new business models can be found.

If your target persona knows something about the technology you’re discussing, skip what they already know and focus where your solution shines. Don’t spend time reeducating personals about the general benefits of “streaming analytics” — you won’t bring much new insight in 500 words anyway. Instead, focus on highlighting how deploying AI models with Kafka can improve an IOT scenario. You don’t have much room for details, so zoom in on one or two concrete issues your solution resolves.

Consider raising questions rather than making claims. You can’t answer every question, so invite new questions that help guide their approach to the problems your solutions solve.

Long-Form Content

I use lengthier content for better search engine optimization (SEO) and to give consumers proof of value or differentiation.

Improving SEO. Search engines change their algorithms periodically, so do your research before committing to long-form content. Generally, I target 800-1200 words or longer for SEO best practices, which allots plenty of room for keyword repetitions in multiple combinations and gives human readers robust, useful content.

Providing Proof. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read content and said, “Yeah? Show me!” only to reach the end of the content before I’m convinced or sold on the assertion. Snackable content leaves me with an impression, but that’s not enough for me to champion a business case to my boss. Long-form content does provide the back-up for the compelling statements you make in snackable content.

It’s not One or the Other

In the end, you’ll need both long- and short-form content, so it’s worth planning out long-form content that’s made up of snackable sections where possible. (It’s not always possible.) Efficient ways of incorporating lots of great multi-purpose content include:

  • Multi-part blog posts
  • eBooks with short, self-contained sections
  • Longer video interviews with extracted snippets