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Why SMBs need to know about snackable content

Why SMBs need to know about snackable content

Posted 04th October, 2018 by Aidan

Whether you own or work for a small to medium business there’s a good chance you’re up to your eyeballs in buzzwords every day. This year, the words disruptor, tribe and even flearning have become popular in boardrooms and at networking sessions across the country. Yes you heard right, we said flearning – it means failing but learning a valuable lesson as a result.

Then there are the buzz phrases. People are no longer ‘writing things down’ they’re ‘capturing’ everything, they’re no longer ‘going into things in more detail’ they’re ‘deep diving’ or ‘drilling down’.

So at this point of the year, you probably don’t want to know about another buzzword.

But you should.

In this article we’ll deep dive into snackable content and by the end of it you should come away with some helpful tips on how to share that type of content with your tribe!

What is snackable content?

Snackable content is essentially website, blog or social media content that’s easily digestible.

Don’t think this makes it the anti-essay, though. It’s still possible to keep populating your site with the sort of quality, helpful high-word-count content that SEO experts believe Google loves, but make it snackable at the same time.

Why does snackable content matter?

Human attention spans

In 2015 The Telegraph newspaper ran the headline : “Humans have shorter attention span than goldfish, thanks to smartphones.” In its article, the newspaper reported: “According to scientists, the age of smartphones has left humans with such a short attention span even a goldfish can hold a thought for longer.

“Researchers surveyed 2,000 participants in Canada and studied the brain activity of 112 others using electroencephalograms. “The results showed the average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000, or around the time the mobile revolution began, to eight seconds.”

What does this mean for online content? Basically, it means that your website and blog copy needs to be served up in bite-sized portions to allow for readers to get distracted and pick up where they left off a few seconds before.

SEO

While web pages and articles with [more words are through to place more highly]() in the search engine results than those with a lower word count, in general, there is an SEO benefit to making sure your website contains snackable content, too. As we mentioned above the two concepts are not mutually exclusive, after all.

The SEO benefit is linked to Google’s featured snippets section – that’s the place above the search engine results where Google tries to solve or answer your search query without you having to click through to any website.

Google explains as follows: “This featured snippet block includes a summary of the answer, extracted from a webpage, plus a link to the page, the page title and URL.”

These snippets usually contain around 30 words.

Google explains how is chooses which site content to feature in this section as follows: “When we recognize that a query asks a question, we programmatically detect pages that answer the user's question, and display a top result as a featured snippet in the search results.

“Like all search results, featured snippets reflect the views or opinion of the site from which we extract the snippet, not that of Google. We are always working to improve our ability to detect the most useful snippet, so the results you see may change over time.”

Ergo, if your website features plenty of snackable content, especially snackable content that answers a question, you’ve got a better chance of featuring in the featured snippet at the very top of the search engine results.

The mobile phone effect

Research suggests that internet users spend less time digesting content when they’re looking at it on a mobile phone than when they are looking at it on a desktop.

In a recent insight document Facebook wrote: “Think about how you read a magazine or watch a TV show. How you experience each type of content is probably similar in that it is linear: you probably read a magazine article from headline to conclusion, and you probably watch a TV show from opening to closing credits.

“Mobile phones have disrupted this common linear content experience. People enter and exit apps without a second thought, looking at a piece of content for seconds before moving on but also easily returning to content that caught their eye during an earlier session.

“Looking at how Facebook content is consumed on different devices, we have seen that people spend on average 1.7 seconds with any given piece of content on mobile, compared to 2.5 seconds on desktop.8 These speeds are even faster for younger audiences.”

With 52.2 per cent of all internet traffic being generated through mobile phones, businesses need to adapt their content for the mobile phone user.

How do you create snackable content?

Structure

One of the simplest ways to create snackable content is to add a little structure to your web pages and blogs. Write a summary at the top of your web pages or blogs that gives an in-a-nutshell account of what’s to follow. Make sure you break long articles or pages up with sub headings. Include plenty of FAQ pages or articles on your site. Plus, use bullet points and lists liberally.

Visuals

You can utilise memes and photos to make all forms of content more snackable.

This seems obvious when it comes to social media, but it applies to websites, too. For example, you can break your web page copy up with curated, engaging images.

Ideally, when it comes to photos, you want to use images that are personalised and unique to you. However, if you’re struggling to take your own snaps, there are free image sites out there like Pixabay that allow you to source and use quality images for free.

In terms of memes, there are a few free meme-making tools on the internet, too, like imgur.

Video

The thought of creating video content can be off-putting for small to medium business owners and their workers. Once upon a time it was costly and time consuming to create video content. Today, it’s neither.

Video is becoming so popular that you can’t really afford to ignore it either. Research suggest that views of branded video content increased 99 percent on YouTube and 258 per cent on Facebook between 2016 and 2017. Plus, on Twitter, a video Tweet is said to be six times more likely to be retweeted than a photo Tweet.

When it comes to creating snackable content videos, consider including a 90-second intro video on your home page or similar length clips on your product pages.

In terms of social media, don’t be afraid of being creative with video, harnessing video production apps and technology like Vimeo and in-platform solutions like Facebook Live, to create everything from quick how-tos to 60-second interviews.

Categories: Tips, SEO, Blogging, Marketing, Small Businesses

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