For the seventh time this week I’m vacillating between thoughts of murder and suicide.
Staring down the barrel of the eternal slumber evoked by dull, static web content will do that to a man.
I want to kill someone, or maybe several someones.
No. Actually, just the guys responsible for the boring-as-beans pig slop Google keeps serving up when I’m looking for answers online.
It’s alright, no need to be clutching your faux pearls Shirley, it’s just an exaggeration.
Though the part about the pigslop was bang on point.
And er, talking about death, I admit, I’m in a woebegone state of grief. I’ve been lamenting over the gangrenous corpse of formerly well written content.
RIP buddy, you’ll be missed. We’ll try bury you before the dogs start gnawing on your jimmies, or the local street urchins use your kneecaps for hockey pucks.
I don’t know.
I don’t know.
Yeah I don’t know how we got here, but we’ve definitely got a situation on our hands. Well penned stories are facing an event horizon, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the creation, and the first victim that slipped its way down the cosmic drain-hole appears to have been creatively written web articles.
Apparently some sneaky bastard strapped a Dyson to his back and has been systematically crawling through the air ducts of the internet, sucking up all the juicy stuff bit by bit. At least, it seems so anyway.
It’s like we’re being forced to live through some unremarkably shite, budget re-do of the Terminator. Instead of some ripped badass with a shotgun, iron jaw and steel fists kicking ass and taking names, we’re made to slowly watch as a bunch of half-baked AI’s (slapped together with cardboard, duct-tape and the novice coding of an LSD microdosing Silicon Valley beatnik) slowly replace real raw written content online.
It’s killing me man.
But it’s not all misery and doom. The creative humanity that has been blotted out from so many long-form online articles is- like an irrepressible weed- simply springing up elsewhere.
Hope “springs” eternal eh?
While these days you may not get so much of a relatable fix of humanity from the tip of the web-writer’s pen, there’s nevertheless evermore to be found out there… and especially so if you’re bereft of spare time.
You’ve heard of Tiktok no doubt. Youtube. Snapchat. Instagram.
Not so much a rebel alliance as a Mötley Crüe of Corporate big shots, each of these companies has stepped in to fill our cranial void with never-ending streams of wacky, outlandish, wild, unique, mesmerizing or just plain funny short-form content from their millions of individual creators.
Because they luuurve mankind, and just want us to enjoy the fruit of each other’s very human, very real creative labors?
Ha ha ha. No. Wrong.
It’s a simple question of money.
In the unholy techno tombs of steel and glass, they figured out something- A whole lotta people have less time these days, and ever shorter attention spans.
They realized that there is a helluva market for short videos. And that even those predisposed to long-form material often find themselves time-starved and in need of a rapid infotainment fix.
From within the fiery crucible of Silicon Valley, Short Form Marketing was forged.
Cool story bro, you may say. But what’s the significance here?
Well perhaps you haven’t had your own lightbulb moment, but that’s where all this has been leading to.
If you’re marketing, you need to know something.
Go look at the explosive growth of TikTok. Check out all the platforms I mentioned. They’re all heavily investing their effort into some form of “shorts”.
Look I love to spin a story, but obviously there has to be a point to my ramblings, no?
Here’s the point:
And it’s not just videos either. It’s punchy little messages served up on Twitter. It’s short Facebook posts. Short messages accompanying Instagram photos.
You want attention. You have a hot little idea. Do you need to market your idea effectively and quickly? You need to market your idea in short form. Simple.
Now, obviously longer articles like the one you are reading have their occasional benefit, just like ebooks also have their place. Long-form ain’t going anywhere, the truth be told.
George R.R. Martin has certainly made that clear.
But you’re likely not some dusty eccentric that has years to blow scratching out elaborate screeds to garner a dime. Like me, you probably want the dinero, and you want it now.
If so, let’s poke around a little in the details and see what short form content marketing can accomplish for you hey?
Short form, you say?
SEMRush, a well known company whose tool helps SEO enthusiasts, defines short-form content as anything under 1,200 words, though the exact figure is up for debate. The Content Marketing Institute categorizes long-form content as anything between 2,000 and 3,000 words. Short form content is succinct, sharp, and direct. It’s meant to be “snackable”, bite-sized pieces of info or entertainment that hit hard, fast, and in few words. Generally, if your work is fewer than 1200 words, it’s considered short form. With video, you are looking at something between a few seconds, to a minute. Beyond that, the content is too drawn out, and is no longer suited to the kind of aggressive and immediate attention grabbing that this form of content is most commonly used for.
While the idea of “keeping it brief” is certainly NOT new to marketing, the vehicles by which today’s short form messages are delivered, certainly are. Blog posts, infographics, emails, website landing pages, and online press releases are just some of the places where the deliberate strategic employment of short form can be seen.
You can use it anywhere really.
The smart money these days understands that the time-starved citizenry are very much infuriated with excess information. With our clients at CreativeJC, we aggressively and routinely push campaigns utilizing short form content, understanding that that is just how it is in the 21st century. It’s what works.
Yeah okay, so not everyone is allergic to a bit of reading, or indulging in a sprawling podcast- just look at the success of Joe Rogan’s hours-long podcasts, and you can see that. And we understand and have a strategy for that too.
But for those looking to smash sales and grab attention fast, Short form content HAS to be your vanguard.
Short form hijacks the mechanics of nature. You meet a guy. “Hey, how you doing, I’m so-and-so, what’s your name bro?”
That’s how people introduce themselves. That’s how short-form works. Here I am, here’s what I do. BAM. Done.
People can’t stand bullshit. Short-form lacks pretentiousness, so it’s a hand in glove fit.
Throat clearing, meandering, word-salad crap? You don’t have time for that in short-form.
Which is the other benefit. Discipline. On the anvil of hard deadlines, short-form content forces those wielding it to refine their message. Utilizing short-form, you’ll quickly get to the bottom of what really matters that you need to communicate with your audience.
Consistency, that other key to social media marketing success, is far easier to maintain. It’s a tough job cranking out regular long-form content. Obviously, that isn’t the case when your posts can be as little as a 140 character tweet, or even just a whimsical 15 second spot on Tiktok. Customer engagement is far easier to retain when your customers can depend upon you regularly pumping out fresh material of interest to them. Practically speaking, this means more eyes on you, and your products, and therefore (if you do it right of course), sustained higher sales figures.
Now, if you just can’t help yourself, maybe you are one of those kooky critters that loves their long-form material. Maybe you’ve got a podcast where you and the guys hang out and shoot the breeze for like 3 hours every week.
Whatever the case, short-form can be the springboard that gets people “through the door” to come and check out your bigger projects. Make someone laugh in 15 seconds, and they’ll come through and see how your comedic skills hold up in long form. Answer a difficult question in a 1 minute video on youtube or even a twitter thread, and that could be the beginning of a new subscriber trawling through your whole channel to find other answers to their questions.
Email in particular is well served by a high energy advertising campaign using shorter video content in particular (when those videos are served up via embedded links!) . The idea of receiving and opening emails from you or your company will be alot easier to digest when the person you are communicating with has had a chance to watch your content and get to know who you are. And easier still when they open your emails to find a short, meat-and-potatoes message that gets straight to the point in few characters.
It doesn’t come easy. But with short-form content, it definitely comes easier than it normally would. For the bargain-basement “price” of making a series of TikTok videos, you can purchase to yourself a loyal inner-circle of trusting followers, that will over time double as your regular customers, depending on your product of course.
Let me give it you in a nutshell:
There’s TOO MANY benefits to short-form content marketing for you to NOT be utilizing it as part of your strategy.
At CreativeJC, we love this stuff. It’s what we do everyday. If you’re struggling to figure out how you want to go about structuring your marketing via the use of short-form content, get in touch with us. We’ll help you smash those KPIs and get the reward for your labor you deserve.
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