On social media, the trend is for short and impactful content that users successively share and appropriate, generating a viral phenomenon: this is known as snack content. But what exactly is snack content? And how can you produce your own successful snack content?
What is snack content?
In marketing, snack content refers to short and easily retainable content, essentially targetted to social media. This content, which can exist in different formats, is designed to catch a user’s attention in a quick glance, provoking a positive reaction and encouraging engagement.
Snack content is the opposite of slow content, long and informative content found on blogs, websites, and up to a point on social media. With snack content, the object is to generate a maximum reaction using minimum content.
A few examples of the snack content format
Concretely, snack content comes in different shapes and sizes. It’s not so much a precise format as a type of content which can adapt to a variety of mediums. Formats most frequently used are:
- Memes, those humorous images with captions which spread very rapidly on and outside of social media.
- Gifs, animated images that make it possible to express a feeling very quickly in a comic format, which is very appreciated online.
- Social media posts, which are always truncated, even without limits on the number of characters. Quotations can be included in this category, as they catch attention easily and generate high engagement.
- Short videos, the very best viral format, explain the success of TikTok and Instagram Reels.
- Computer graphics, both graphic and textual documents, which sum up in one glance the essence of an article or product.
And lastly, short articles (fewer than 200 words) can also be considered as snack content. Generally speaking, it’s not so much the chosen format that counts, but the ability to deliver an impactful message in a minimal number of words and images.
Why create snack content?
This short and easy-to-remember content presents many advantages over slow content. The ever-increasing use of snack content in marketing can mainly be attributed to its high potential to go viral.
Standing out with original content
Snack content differs from classic content by its original and quirky tone. Producing a short video or a popular meme require more creative effort: you have to juggle between originality and brevity, all the while taking into account your audience’s behaviours and expectations. That being said, it’s more than worth it! Short content has a huge impact on audiences. It’s powerful and easier for users to remember, helping you stand out from the mass of competing content. It’s ideal for standing out from your competition and gaining awareness! The only condition is that you create original content that really does stand out from the rest.
If the popularity of short content like TikTok videos shows one thing, it’s that the public’s attention span is increasingly volatile. There’s more than one explanation for this, the main ones being changes in usage (people increasingly consume content on mobile phones) and information overload (people are presented with an enormous volume of information every day). In such a context, the only way of attracting a user’s attention is to produce as powerful a message as possible in the smallest possible space and time.
A high potential for engagement and going viral
Engagement and viral status are the main aims (and advantages!) of snack content. We know, for instance, that engagement rates on TikTok are vastly superior to those of other social media. You need only spend a few minutes on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to notice the number of shares and reactions generated by memes. It’s a real viral phenomenon! Brands that master this kind of content guarantee themselves high engagement rates, as well as unrivalled exposure.
A few tips for making successful snack content
How can you master snack content to create content that is both short, efficient, and viral? Here are some tips to get you started.
Diversify form and content
People online get bored quickly, especially in the era of memes, Instagram Reels, and TikTok videos! Snack content is a real creative sport which requires an effort of perpetual renewal. The goal is to achieve an element of surprise; mundane situations fail to retain attention. To grab and retain your target’s attention, it’s important to create varied content and dare to use different formats while staying on brand. It’s a whole balancing act!
Create content adapted to every platform
Every social media has its own culture: Twitter likes speed and wit, TikTok likes humour and spontaneity, LinkedIn and Facebook like storytelling… when you create short content, you should always keep in mind the platforms on which it will be shared. These last few years, we’ve noticed a uniformisation of social media around a TikTok-style format, with Instagram Reels, YouTube shorts, and Snapchat Spotlight. This general trend makes it easier by concentrating thought on short videos, which can be shared on different platforms.
You can always rely on humour
Humour is a recurrent key component of viral content – it is, for instance, the baseline of all memes. When a user scrolls onto funny content – branded or not – they automatically want to share it with their friends and family. Laughing is a crucial element in social connections! This is why successful viral content tends to be funny and offbeat. Naturally, the humour involved must always be coherent with your brand and the objectives of your campaign.
Make use of current affairs and trends
Whether it’s in the form of your content (format, vocabulary, music) or its substance (what is it about?) a good way of ensuring the success of snack content is to draw inspiration from current trends. Hence the importance of monitoring trends on social media: what news themes do you see time and time again? What kind of meme, video, or post works best? It’s easier to surf an existing trend than to attempt to create one, though this isn’t impossible. Going viral depends in large part on relevant and original use of a general trend.
Include a CTA and measure results
You’re trying to make your content go viral and encourage high engagement, but not just for the fun of it. It’s vitally important to include a CTA in your content. It could be a CTA button, or just a link to your website. These buttons enable you to get concrete results and measure your campaign’s efficiency.
Results of a snack content strategy are first measured in impressions and views, which is a good indicator of how viral the content is. That being said, engagement rates are the main indicator of how powerful your campaign is. This is particularly true for snack content, whose main goal is to generate interactions and mass sharing.