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Micro Content vs. Macro Content

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Do you have 60 seconds to watch a short video? What about 10 minutes to read an informative blog post? If you answered 'yes' to both, you're in tune with both micro and macro content. We'll examine both in this lesson.

Micro and Macro Microsoft

The technology company Microsoft not only develops new programs and hardware to keep our computers up-to-date, they also keep us informed with their social media channels and a blog-like section on their website called 'Microsoft Story Labs.' On its social media feed, viewers can find a recent post of a short, two-minute video talking about the changes in the industry over the past 50 years and what consumers can anticipate in computing's next major update.

On the Story Labs sections of its website, Microsoft looks deeper into computing topics, including ones related to the theme of its two-minute social media video, such as a lengthy post written by Asta Roseway titled, ''One researcher's bold vision for the future of just about everything.''

So, we have two similar topics on two different channels with very different formats. What gives?

Microsoft is making use of two different platforms to embrace different avenues of its content strategy; that is, the creation and delivery of relevant written, audio, or visual content to an audience. Inside a content strategy there are different types of content, and each type has a preferred channel (such as a social media network or a blog post) where it works best.

Let's talk about the two different types of content - micro and macro - that content strategists use in their marketing plans.

What is Micro Content?

Micro content, as you can judge from its name, means something very small. That means your content should be short, easy to digest, and eye-catching. It's something that viewers can grasp at a glance as they're scrolling through their phones during intermission at a concert or while waiting for a bus.

Social media is an effective place to provide micro content.
micro content, social media

You're probably exposed to multiple types of micro content every day, especially if you frequent social media. Here are some of the things you've probably seen:

  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Graphics
  • Audio clips
  • Cartoons
  • GIFs or memes
  • Photos

Micro content isn't just for social media, although it works well in that medium. It might be something you text to your loyalty program members or that you post on the home page of your website.

Micro content should be brief, useful and concise. If you can master that in a 60-second video clip or a quick-hit infographic, you will have succeeded in delivering effective micro content to your audience.

Importance of Micro Content

Micro content is an important piece of a comprehensive content marketing strategy for two big reasons. First, thanks to declining attention spans, most people are not able to process lengthy articles and time-consuming videos ... or they get bored and never finish them. Second, it's handy for today's ever-mobile environment. Most of us use smartphones on-the-go with a reading area about the size of a deck of playing cards. It's important for advertisers to take advantage of the small bit of landscape they have and design content (micro content, that is) that consumers can easily process.

What is Macro Content?

If micro content is very small bits of information, macro content must then be the opposite. Macro content may seem counterproductive, given the reasons that micro content is so important. However, it's still a necessary piece of the content marketing puzzle.

Macro content is more expansive and best fits on blogs or email newsletters.
macro content, websites, blogs

Why is macro content important? Because despite our waning attention spans, we do still have periods of time when we want - and need - deeper, more expansive pieces of content. We could be killing time while our significant other is in the grocery store or riding the subway on our commute home.

You might find macro content in these places:

  • Blogs
  • Websites
  • Email newsletters
  • Mobile applications

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