It’s not surprising to say that our attention spans are getting shorter. The ubiquity of smartphones and fast data connections mean we’re consuming information at ever increasing rates. This internet-capable smartphone ecosystem has cultivated an applications marketplace that facilitates the production of even more content for even cheaper. Since we’re human, there’s a limit to all of this. Thus, your marketing should fit that constraint.
That’s why snackable content is content that doesn’t take too much time or energy to consume. Said in another way, snackable content takes less emotional commitment. The content can be a quick how-to clip, a short explainer, or a teaser video.
You’ve probably heard that humans now have an attention span shorter than that of a goldfish. It’s undeniable that Americans spend considerably more time now consuming media than they used to. In this attention economy, brands vie to break through the noise.
Despite all the hullabaloo you’ll see, information consumption has been moving in this direction we’ve been going since Thomas Edison plugged in his first light bulb, since Guglielmo Marconi sent his first wireless radio transmission, since the Lumière twins screened their celluloid at a local theater.
What Makes Snackable Content Effective?
Creating “snackable content” entails merely packaging your brand and its core tenets into a shorter format. The hardest problem you’ll have to solve is that your overall strategy, campaign objectives, audience targets, and asset delivery will have to be plotted out. Quite simply, everything will need a purpose.
If you only can make one impression on someone, what will you choose for it to be? How will this piece of content contribute to your brand as a whole? Like anyone who’s had to describe themselves in two or three words, you need clarity and concision to be effective.
As you pass by a complete stranger on your neighborhood sidewalk, what do you usually do? You smile. Before someone will be willing to give you their hard-earned money, what do they have to do? They have to trust you. Why? For the same reason why you smile to that stranger on the sidewalk. The smile on the sidewalk has nothing to do with cold, hard logic. You open with a warm smile because you want to emotionally connect.
Good creative is like that too.
A Creative Challenge
Snackable content can’t be boring. Given the condensed packaging on the asset, this will be apparent pretty quickly. Snackable content is that punchline to a joke whose set-up you forget. It’s the movie quote you utter to your friends over drinks. It’s a melody to a song you hum while preparing scrambled eggs for your kids.
This challenge can be daunting for some creatives, but it really shouldn’t be. Great creative has a blank canvas and makes it emotionally meaningful. That doesn’t matter if it’s 5 seconds, 5 minutes, or 5 years. A successful piece of creative content has to matter to the intended audience.
The demand on creative has merely increased. Because a 6-second video must immediately propose, develop, and conclude a brand’s campaign objective, there’s not much margin of error. These short form ads do work well. Creative will always rise to accede the raised bar of tighter constraints. There is so much noise in this attention economy, that your snackable content has to break through to become a signal to your target audience.
People who pick up their phones to engage with their social circles, information networks, interest engines, or errand apps. They don’t pick up their mobile devices to be sold to. When you can make a positive impression, you’re moving someone to learn about, consider, or act on. This is where purpose comes in. If you can imbue your collateral with a distilled sense of purpose, the passion that’s driven your company to success will always come out.
Creating snackable content needs to sell your brand in a way that’s easily digestible without the viewer feeling like they’ve emotionally given up anything. Since consumer attention is being bought and sold online, the only way to make your brand stand out is to give them a positive experience where they feel like they’ve gotten something of value.