By Patrick Burke published September 4, 2016

6 Times Less Was More in Content Marketing

less-more-content-marketing

Dubbed “10x” by Moz, interactive long-form content is the medium of the moment. But whether it’s GIFs, infographics, white papers, or anything else, great content is always born from a great idea, not a medium.

In fact, sometimes less is actually more in content marketing. In this era of micro-moments, reducing a lengthy idea to an easily digestible visual piece of content may be better than blowing it out.

An easily digestible visual piece of #content may be better than blowing it out says @Patrick_H_Burke Click To Tweet

Before investing a year’s content budget in an expensive piece of scrolling content with all the bells and widgets, get inspired to bring moments to your brand from these six interesting examples of viral short-form content.

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1. The Corporate States of America

Corporate-States-Of-America

Maps revealing information about the United States — or the world — are a popular hook for content. The Corporate States of America is no exception. The modest graphic was picked up by major publications including Adweek and Business Insider. The map, created by a graphic artist and published on his blog, received so much attention that he started selling posters — turning his content into a profit center.

2. The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies

Guide-To-Chocolate-Chip-Cookies

Amidst the countless recipes and cooking guides online, this simple photograph catapulted a chocolate chip cookie guide to viral success, accumulating over 600,000 social shares along the way. The image was accompanied by an article, but it was the no-frills, pragmatic image that exploded on social media.

3. How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Pain-Scale

In a similar vein, this image from Simply Recipes went viral by demystifying how to make the perfect hard boiled eggs in a clear and concise fashion.

4. New Pain Scale

Perfect-Hard-Boiled-Eggs

More often than not, what makes content successful isn’t fancy widgets or high-tech API integrations. It’s a relatable insight conveyed in a creative way. This comically revised pain scale from Hyperbole and a Half made its rounds across the internet, racking up over 170 million page loads.

Pain-Scale-Hyperbole-And-A-Half

5. How to Tie a Tie

Another powerful way to create content that people crave is answering a common how-to question with a practical video. A no-nonsense video like this one can deliver massive results (see: 17 million YouTube views). Not prepared to create a video? The same concept can be executed as a graphic, like this infographic depicting ways to tie a scarf.

Create #content that people crave by answering a common how-to question w/ a video says @Patrick_H_Burke Click To Tweet

Ways-To-Tie-A-Scarf

Google Trends can help uncover what people are looking for.

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6. The Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Periodic-Table-SEO-Success

Anyone who’s dabbled in SEO knows it’s a complicated subject. Countless books, videos, tools and guides are dedicated to the practice. That’s why boiling it down into a periodic table — a universally recognized symbol — is an ingenious idea by Search Engine Land. Bonus points for creating condensed, printable versions for marketers to stick up next to their desks.

If you can simplify a complex or confusing topic in your industry, your content definitely will stand out from the competition.

Simplify a complex or confusing topic in your industry & your content will stand out says @Patrick_H_Burke Click To Tweet
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Conclusion

Don’t get me wrong. I’m as mesmerized by interactive, scrolling web pages as the next guy. This isn’t an indictment of “10x” content. But there is a reason why you prefer watching Snapchat to reading Don Quixote. And it’s the same reason I’m ending this article before it gets labeled “TL;DR”.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Author: Patrick Burke

Global Associate Director of Content Marketing at MullenLowe Profero, Patrick is passionate about creating holistic content strategies for his clients using his background in writing, social media, SEO and email marketing. Find him on Twitter @Patrick_H_Burke and LinkedIn.

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  • http://Martin.Lindeskog.name Martin Lindeskog

    Patrick: I learned how to tie (pun intended) a scarf after reading this blog post! 😉

    • Patrick

      Martin, that’s a pretty great takeaway! Did you go for the Reverse Drape Cross 😉