We’ve all heard these comments around the Web:
  • The current generation of internet consumers lives in a world of instant gratification
  • In this age of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) the best way to reach someone is in those in-between moments when they’re flipping through content on a mobile device
  • Content that works best is usually bite-size
  • The human attention span is one second less than that of a goldfish (Statistic Brain)
Rather than argue the value of bite-size content vs. long-form content, I believe that both have their place in any content marketing strategy for your franchise.
  • Bite-size content is the best method when trying to catch those who are always on the move, especially if your target audiences use “quick” social media channels like Twitter, Vine, Instagram and Pinterest, but…
  • To fully engage and inform your audiences you’ll need more than one-liners and pictures to tell your entire story. Your website, the intended final destination of online search and social media, is where you’ll require informative and engaging long-form content

When Bite-size is the Right Size

Knowing your target audiences is critical to creating effective content, no matter the length. Determine which channels your audiences use to connect with you and create content that is appropriate for each channel. Keep in mind display constraints, especially on mobile, and design content that smoothly transitions from device to device and channel to channel.

Twitter is the most popular bite-size content channel with 645,750,000 active registered users. It is extremely engaging and addictive by being real time. With their “on-24/7” teen audience, Taco Bell’s retweet of Selena Gomez’s tweet created a flurry of engagement with 7.1K retweets and 11K favorites. Who knows how many teens immediately went to get some Taco Bell…just like Selena.

Instagram (owned by Facebook) has 200 million monthly active users. Since images are easy to create and the most widely shared items across every social media channel, having an active Instagram account can reap exceptional marketing benefits. Ben & Jerry’s very active Instagram account has 403,250 followers and half of the photos are from customers showing how and where they enjoy Ben & Jerry’s.

Pinterest is another images-only channel that inspires phenomenal engagement. With over 70 million users, most of them female, it’s a good place to represent the culture of your company without hard-selling your product by having pin boards that touch on the various interests of your audience. Juice It Up’s Pinterest account has 25 boards with subjects such as recipes, inspirational and motivational quotes, fitness, healthy kids, and holidays that resonate with their audiences.

Vine uses six-second video clips to grab that less-than-a-goldfish attention span and make a connection. The Dunkin’ Donuts franchise has mastered the art with fun and entertaining snippets. They cover nearly every holiday or cultural event (like Super Bowl) to reach out to their followers. The loop count on the 4th of July video: 54,802. They even did a Twitter promo Vine—hint, hint, join us on Twitter too!

Bite-size content doesn’t mean weak content; in fact, the exact opposite is true. Bite-size content needs to be compelling and targeted. Make one point and make it good.
  • Be attention-grabbing and captivating
  • Point to your customer rather than you
  • Reflect connection, personality and humor
  • Inspire, educate or entertain

Tips for delicious bites:
  • Highlight one customer benefit with a strong image
  • Add a comment or #hashtag to your image to generate engagement
  • Solve a problem with a quick “how to” (#LowesFixin Six)
  • Localize the content around events and special offers
  • Provide a sneak peak of new product releases, events, etc.

When One Bite Isn’t Enough

Bite-size content is vital to an engaged and growing online and social community. But when a user’s interest is piqued, they’ll go to your website for more information. This is where longer content is necessary to answer questions about your franchise, its products and services, community involvements, corporate culture and values, franchisee locations and your franchise business opportunity.

Taco Bell is known for its fast and funny social media, but the company goes much deeper with the Live Más™ campaign, donations to Boys and Girls Clubs and the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens which encourages kids to stay in school and graduate. All of this vital information is on their website and shows how this franchise is definitely about more than just food sales.

Like bite-size content, your longer content needs to focus on audience wants and needs: answering questions, providing solutions and connecting on a human level. Be real, be transparent and above all, be interesting!

If you need help in creating content, 5 Tips for Creating Engaging Content to Supercharge Your Franchise Social Business, can help.