By Julie Simon
Three ways to slice and dice your content into snack-able, yet nutritious bites.
Do you know why I go to Costco? Sure, it’s to have a well-stocked pantry and find those items I can’t seem to get anywhere else at the right price (hello, Kirkland Signature wine!). But mostly it’s for the samples. Samples give consumers the confidence to go ahead and take a chance on a product.
The same goes for content. As marketers, we need to give our audience better and meatier samples of our content to inspire them to take a deeper dive into our product. Enter micro-content.
Micro-content is simply short-form content. Ideally, micro-content is educational, yet whimsical and serves your brand by engaging your audience and building loyalty. By providing micro-content samples across various platforms, you increase awareness, promote lead generation, and stay top of mind with your customers and prospects without burdening them with a cumbersome article, white paper, or data sheet.
Of course, providing content samples takes more than a hair net and a pair of plastic gloves.
So where are the opportunities for bank marketers to leverage micro-content?
Social media platforms are the perfect vehicle for micro-content. Like it or not, we are becoming accustomed to shorter messages (thanks, Twitter!) and more visual stimulation (hello, Instagram, YouTube, SnapChat, etc.). If your bank doesn’t have a social presence, you’re missing a great opportunity to connect and engage with your customers.
Next, think about what your content marketing (both long and short) should be…
- Is it educational?
- Is it whimsical?
- Is it visual?
- Is it interactive?
- Is it human?
Meeting all of these criteria isn’t an easy task for bank marketers, who are charged with taking potentially dry subject matter and turning it into a compelling story. Couple that with the challenges of shortened audience attention spans and the rigors of compliance, and some bank marketers may just head back to bed.
There is hope. Here are some practical ways that bank marketers can drill down into long-form content to find those short, shiny, attention-grabbing gems:
- Turn survey results into infographics.
Survey says: An infographic is more readable than a data sheet of survey results. With the right tools, it’s easy to gauge feedback from your audience. Surveys also have the added advantage of generating loads of content for you. What percentage of your customers are satisfied with their banking experience? What percentage of your customers use electronic deposit vs. walking into a branch? Look for key data points to illustrate the story you want to tell. An infographic is an easily digestible and fun way to show your strengths (and thanks to ABA for sharing their infographics with bank members!).
- Share mini-audio and video clips of your customers, employees, and executives.
The voice of your bank comes from your customers and your employees, so why not have them share their stories? At Signature Bank, we have an audio library of about 20 customer and executive testimonials on our website. Our bankers use these clips when communicating with prospects about the bank. At roughly thirty seconds, each clip has a different angle and doesn’t require a huge time commitment from the listener. Whether highlighting one of our woman-owned business customers or an early stage technology customer or even a local charity talking about the bank’s support for their mission, these mini-clips are authentic because they come from actual customers and friends of the bank.
- Pull quotes out of interviews and articles.
Quotes are another meaningful—and humanizing—way to connect with your audience. While most people won’t read an entire article or watch a long video about your bank, they will check out a simple quote posted on social media that might tempt them to take a longer look at an article on your website. Joe Shanahan, our customer who owns a popular music venue in Chicago by Wrigley Field, was kind enough to say some nice things about Signature bank when he was a guest on a radio program. We did not let that opportunity go to waste. If listeners missed the program, they could see his quote on social media and follow the link to a full interview on our website.
As in life, there is a long game and short game in the world of content marketing.
The good news is that once you have your long-form content established, you’re free to pillage those articles, white papers, blogs and surveys for these snack-able samples of micro-content that will fuel your short game. Decide on your angle. Develop your voice. And don’t worry about starting small—it is micro-content, after all.
Julie Simon is vice president of marketing at Signature Bank in Chicago, Ill.