When we think about the content we consume on a regular basis, much of it is bite-sized. Whether you’re a millennial scrolling through a collection of 15-second+ videos on TikTok or a baby boomer reading a brief article, you’re snacking on text or graphics, not devouring a full meal of information. Snackable content maximizes engagement because of its appealing convenience and the ease with which it can be consumed.
People are busy juggling work, social activities, and a dozen other aspects of human existence. They don't have adequate time to sift through long-form content, nor do they have the attention span to do so.
Plummeting attention span
With attention span at an all-time low, it’s no wonder that short-form content has exploded.
Chances are you’ve found yourself checking your phone while watching a TV show or having to reread book pages, your mind drifting. We’ve all bought into the myth of multitasking, but really all we’re doing is constantly shifting our quickly depleted attention to new stimuli, overloading our brains to escape the stress of our daily lives.
Short-form videos are especially popular. According to HubSpot’s 2022 Marketing Industry Trends Survey, short-form video “has the highest ROI of any social media marketing strategy.”
TikTok is leading the short-form video takeover, having surpassed 1 billion users. That’s a billion pieces of evidence that snackable content is exceptionally engaging, especially when video is involved.
Instagram has followed suit, adding “Instagram Reels” to their package to diverge from being a platform reserved for pictures and disappearing stories. In fact, feed post engagement has dropped by 44% as reels gain traction, due in part to the app's algorithm favoring them.
We aren’t machines. We need time to breathe, which sometimes means watching an interesting clip on YouTube or a TikTok skit that makes us smile. Snackable content maximizes engagement and enjoyment. Its promotion of efficiency is the cherry on top.
Snackable content offline
Snackable content isn’t just reserved for the digital sphere. What are haikus but spoons of honey that readers can savor, rather than getting sick on a whole jar's worth of sweet lines? Same goes for general short stories and flash fiction. People still want to experience the transportive wonders of reading, but they don’t always have the time.
It only seems proper to recall Ernest Hemingway’s famous six-word story, another bite-sized trend in the literary space.
For sale: baby shoes, never worn
Those six words demonstrate the immense power of snackable content. They pack a punch, the effects of which will linger for many like a bruise to their heart.
Micropoetry has grown in popularity over the past several years, too, namely those written in free verse, offering up nuggets of lyricism that poetry fans can read whenever they please: before work, during a work break, in bed at night, prior to a morning meditation, etc.
The Pomodoro Method
People have long been finding ways to segment their time. Beyond the modern human's taste for short-form content is the telling need for breaks.
Think of the Pomodoro Method. I remember being introduced to this strategy for boosting productivity and staving off burn-out by one of my English professors. Created in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro Method calls for 25 minutes of work paired with a five-minute break...rinse and repeat.
It makes sense. Quick breaks keep your mind sharp for stretches of quality work. And what might one do during a break? They'll check out your ad, watch a short-form video, read a poem, and so on. Now are you beginning to see the prevalence of snackable content?
Snackable digital experiences
The same bite-sized structure should apply to your digital ads.
Remember, snackable content maximizes engagement only if packaged properly. Incorporate bright colors and attention-grabbing videos, emulating what has so captivated billions over the past few years on social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram.
Use storytelling to enhance your digital experiences. As we saw with Hemingway's baby shoes piece, you don't need more than a few words to tell an evocative story.
Cultivate empathy to connect with your audience. Include interactivity. Leverage personalization.
If you want to fit into customers' busy schedules, keep it short and to the point with engaging snackable digital experiences.
Create immersive, Instagram-style digital stories for your brand with STORYSOFT. Learn more.