Hungry for a snack? Think of your infographic, video, or report as the entrée. Microcontent is like a snack or amuse-bouche — it gives your audience a taste of the larger content while not weighing them down with an entire plateful of information to digest.
Sometimes you need a bit of snack-sized visual content to tease the larger entrée or share just a small morsel that’ll get their mouth watering. These bite-sized bits of visual content are called microcontent.
What is microcontent?
Microcontent is a category of small graphics, often used for social media. Microcontent can be static or animated and can include social media graphics, link preview images, quick videos or motion graphics, social media stories, and more. If you’re looking for ways to lead your audience to larger pieces of content, microcontent can be a great preview and promotion tool.
Microcontent is one type of what we call “divisible content” — content that can be sliced up into smaller pieces or repurposed into different formats to share across a variety of mediums or channels. Learn lots more about divisible content, including a downloadable content plan template.
Microcontent can also simply deliver a bite-sized bit of information to your audience in the right place at the right time. After all, there are times when just a snack will do — you don’t always need to go on to the larger meal. Likewise, microcontent can sometimes stand on its own. For instance, if your message is quick or geared toward top-of-funnel awareness, a social media graphic (or a few!) can do the trick. Or if you’re creating a microcontent series, the pieces can build on each other to reinforce a message or theme across multiple posts.
Microcontent terms to know
Let’s get some definitions straight. Microcontent is a broad category. Familiarize yourself with the terms below and you’ll be speaking Lemonly lingo in no time.
Static and animated microcontent
We’ve established that microcontent refers to small, bite-sized graphics that are often used on social media to preview or promote larger pieces of content. These can be static or animated — both are umbrella terms.
Static microcontent doesn’t include motion. You look at it. It’s beautiful. It stays still on the screen. For example: social media graphics, link preview images, or social media carousels.
Animated microcontent includes motion. If static microcontent is a picture, animated microcontent is a picture in the Harry Potter universe. For example: short videos (<15 seconds), social media stories, looping animations (GIFs), or other motion graphics.
A social cut is specifically used to drive traffic to a larger piece of content. A social cut often uses a specific illustration or segment cut from an infographic or larger project to promote the piece on social media. A common example is repurposing the header section or hero illustration of an infographic to use as a link preview image or website thumbnail.
Social cuts are often sized as squares, rectangular link preview images, or vertical social media stories, but we can easily accommodate custom sizing for your unique specs — just let us know at the beginning of the project.
We typically include two social cuts with every infographic (depending on your project’s scope) to help you promote the project. We can also help expand your brand and fill up your social media calendar with more microcontent in the same style — that’s where standalone microcontent or a series is especially useful.
A GIF is a type of small image file that can be animated. GIFs are easy to use and share — and the Lemonheads love throwing a reaction GIF in Slack channels — but they’re limited in image quality, length, and complexity (i.e., ≤256 colors). GIFs fall under the animated microcontent umbrella.
Note: Some folks might use the term “GIF” colloquially to refer to any short, looping animation, but this can get confusing since .gif is a file type with specific limitations other types of animation don’t have. We prefer the term “animated microcontent” to encompass all short animated content created for social media — including GIFs, videos, stories, and other motion graphics — and “GIF” just to refer to the .gif file type. Your animated microcontent from Lemonly will typically be delivered as an .mp4 file to make sure it looks as lovely as possible in whatever context you post it.
Why use microcontent?
Visuals make information clearer, more engaging, and memorable
The power of visuals is kinda Lemonly’s whole thing. Visuals are the best way to communicate your message. They catch your audience’s attention in a crowded social media feed with a pop of color, an artful illustration, or a bit of motion. A picture’s worth a thousand words, so visuals make your message not just more concise, but also easier to understand and remember. Polished visuals also make your brand more exciting, polished, and thoughtful.
Get more eyes on your larger pieces of content
Full infographics shouldn’t be shared on social media, but they can definitely be previewed or promoted on social, directing viewers back to your website to view the infographic in all its high-res glory. The same goes for ebooks or reports, which are often used as gated lead generators. You’ll want some smaller visuals to tease the larger piece on social media, elsewhere on your website, in an email, etc.
Depending on where you publish your final content, chances are you’ll want to grab potential customers’ attention elsewhere (i.e., social media) and bring them to the table for the main course. Think of it like asking shoppers to try a sample of that new cauliflower-crust breakfast pizza while shopping at COSTCO — you give folks a taste as they’re passing by (scrolling social media), hoping to entice them to make a detour down the frozen food aisle (visit your website).
Extend the lifespan of your big pieces of content
Having one or a few pieces of microcontent to promote your larger piece means you can re-share that content multiple times — getting more eyeballs on your best brand pieces — without sounding like a broken record. It’s easy to deploy a full-blown campaign with just a few pieces of microcontent that highlight different parts of your larger piece of content or feature different colors or graphics. It helps you get more mileage out of your major pieces while keeping your social feeds from feeling stale.
Resources and more to chew on
- EBOOK: Your Guide to Microcontent & How It Can Help Tell Your Story
- CHECKLIST: Perfect Infographic Posting & Promotion in Three Easy Steps
- Learn all about divisible content
- How to share your infographic on social media
- How to share your infographic on Facebook
Let’s create some zesty microcontent for your company
From animations to social cuts, microcontent supports a strong divisible content strategy, reinforces your brand on social media, and helps you get the most out of your Lemonly projects.
Want to create some snack-sized sweet visuals? Let’s talk about how Lemonly can help.