I know that Brussels sprouts have recently had a resurgence in the culinary arts. That being said, I HATE them. To me, there’s no getting around their bitter taste, so I don’t care how big a nutrient punch they pack. I’m not going there. If I want a snack, I crave something sweet, salty, or savory … and Brussels sprouts just don’t fit the bill.
When it comes to snackable marketing, the same principle holds true: you have to make your content attractive to the people you are speaking to. You have to give them what they crave. You can’t approach snackable marketing like a dietician who objects, “But Brussels sprouts are good for you!” People don’t care. They want what they want, and you’d better give them what they want. That is the core of compelling marketing.
As I scan the Web, I see plenty of “Brussels sprouts” being offered today. Here are five ways companies do not dish up appetizing content:
Give too much, too quickly. Quite frankly, some companies don’t get that, by definition, “snackable content” means SHORT. There’s no friggin way I am going to wade through ten paragraphs of content or watch ten minutes of video when I am cruising the Web. I devote that amount of time and effort only to something I know I am interested in. Snackable content is supposed to get me interested to learn more, not deliver the whole package. It’s an initial step on the proverbial buyer’s journey.
Use poor imagery. Snackable content depends heavily on visual aesthetics: it needs images that grab people. Yet companies persist in using the same tired images year after year, or grab generic stock photos that communicate precisely nothing, or put in pictures that have no dynamic appeal. If you don’t have modern, contemporary images that jump off the screen, no one will ever get to your words, even if it’s the best content ever written.
Work from the inside-out, not the outside-in. Don’t you hate it when you’re talking with someone and the first word of every sentence out of their mouth is “I or me too? It is a self-centered perspective that is very irritating. But companies do it all the time in their marketing: “We do this … we do that … we are great …” That’s an inside-out perspective that centers on the company, not the customer. For snackable marketing, an outside-in approach that focuses on the customer’s needs is crucial. That changes the focus from “we” to “you.”
Assume that one size fits all. Companies sometimes come up with a good bit of snackable content but then plug it into every social media venue there is – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. – without further thought. Wrong! Each social media venue has a slightly different format that works best, so even good snackable content needs to be crafted into multiple versions to meet different venue and audience requirements. Understand your target audience and adjust accordingly.
Make your reader work for the message. Ever read or watch content online and wonder, “What the heck was that about?” Yet companies lose sales all the time by making their content so cool and funky that it goes over the consumer’s head. At the risk of being obvious … be obvious! If your target market doesn’t get what you’re saying in a nanosecond, you’re done.
To sum it up, delicious snackable content is short, attractive, customer-centric, tailored, and straightforward. That’s what your target market craves, and that is what you have to deliver. Simple. Oh … for those of you who actually like Brussels sprouts? I know just how to market to you!