Think Small — Is Your Microcontent Up To Par?

Here’s a superb article about microcontent from Jakob Nielsen, a leading authority on web page usability. It is full of excellent suggestions to dramatically improve your online conversions:

  • Generate more email opens
  • Generate more phone inquiries
  • Generate more inquiry form submissions

Microcontent is small snippets of content that pack a big punch, such as:

  • Email subject lines
  • Page titles and subtitles
  • Hints/tips/explainers

Because Nielsen and co-author Hoa Loranger do such a great job of explaining the key techniques of microcontent, I won’t get into it here. Instead, I’ll offer two observations about content development to think about in terms of your own organization.

  • Some companies spend all of their creative energy on big-picture concepts, grandiose ideas — the world’s most authoritative white paper, the industry’s most controversial editorial blog post, etc. However, web users are often more influenced by microcontent than by dazzling ideas. Shifting, say, 50 percent of your creative energy from big picture to little picture may put many more leads in your pipeline.
  • Reworking microcontent on existing content could very well turn underperforming and nonperforming content into lead-generating powerhouses. For example:
  • o Punching up the persuasive power of a headline and subheads on a product page

    o Resending an old email with a new and improved subject line

    o Adding a brief explainer to a call-to-action button that gives users an “aha moment”

There is definitely a time and place for long-form content (white papers, etc.), but in general, website visitors are skimmers. Microcontent is what gets read most of the time, so it needs to be top-notch. If you’re looking for ways to improve yours, please contact us.

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