5 Tips to Improve your Digital Curb Appeal

September 30, 2015 Nick Begley

Thanks to HGTV, we all know that curb appeal is important when selling a house. A green lawn, healthy hanging plants, freshly painted front door and other finishing touches capture the attention of prospective buyers as they approach for a viewing.

In real estate, curb appeal is micro-content that leads to macro-content – the inside of a home. If you don’t put time and effort into the micro-content, many buyers will never make it inside.

Marketing in live entertainment is no different. Organizations tend to focus on the macro-content – beautifully designed websites, tightly organized infographics and well-crafted email campaigns.

Unfortunately, micro-content is too often an afterthought. The choices you make for subject lines and social media images are just as critical, yet they don’t receive the proper attention. And the focus on micro-content is even more important with shorter attention spans, saturation of mobile devices and the way consumers are now living in micro-moments.

Micro-content is by no means a new concept. Bold and outrageous headlines sold newspapers far before we had the Internet and social media. An article written by Jakob Nielsen – coined ‘The Guru of Web Page Usability’ by The New York Times – in September 1998 focused on micro-content as it related to writing headlines, page titles and subject lines. In it, Nielsen provided tips and tricks that focused on the “40-60 characters” that summarized the macro-content in emails or on web pages. His ideas continue to ring true today.

Times were simpler in 1998, even for online marketing. While subject lines and page titles are still very important gates to our macro-content, today we must pay special attention to digital media that looks great and can be quickly consumed.

The images we share on Facebook must be unique and eye-catching.

GIFs we Tweet must be attention-grabbing.

Videos short and powerful.

And infographics visually appealing and highly educational.

Here are five tips for your micro-content:

  1. Keep It simple, silly. Including every possible piece of information in everything you do makes for very noisy marketing messages. Have someone edit your work as a second set of eyes. If you don’t need it, delete it.
  2. Less is more. A character limit isn’t a character goal. According to Buffer, Tweets of less than 100 characters get 17% more engagement.
  3. Don’t round peg, square hole it. Write copy and crop media specifically for the digital vehicle you’re using to share the content (shameless plug for my Twitter image size blog post).
  4. Make it mobile-friendly. Audiences are consuming more and more digital content on smartphones and tablets. A recent comScore report reveals that mobile devices account for an astounding 60% of total digital media activity.
  5. Focus on ROI. Test and measure. Your customers are unique to your business, so use your data to best understand the micro-content that best resonates and leads to conversions.

Although digital assets can be fleeting, the individual parts make up the whole that represents your brand. If your micro-content is created correctly, consumers will consume your macro-content, which ultimately leads to transactions.

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