What Is Digital Snacking?
The other day, we mentioned the term “digital snacking.” Specifically, we mentioned that blogs were not (usually) a platform for digital snacking. So what exactly is it? We view digital snacking as a reference to the consumption of bite-sized pieces of content.
Can you think of anything that might fit that bill? Browsing through RSS feeds is a form of digital snacking. Pinning on Pinterest, re-blogging on Tumblr, sharing and liking images and video through Instagram, Viddy or other services are examples of digital snacking. Memes are another great example. Even updates on Facebook and Twitter are examples of digital snacking. But just because something can be consumed in bite- sized pieces, doesn’t mean it can’t account for a significant amount of time. You may “snack” on multiple pieces of content for long periods of time. In fact, that is one of the reasons that Pinterest is so addicting to some. No doubt there are people who spend hours sharing, liking, pinning, and posting across their preferred networks.
Sometimes you don’t want to have an in-depth experience. Sometimes you just want to browse. Sometimes you’d rather snack. Digital snacking is less about what you need, and more about what you want. Brands and organizations now have the opportunity, especially in a digital world, of making sure that their audiences have content to consume.
What do you think are some great examples of digital snacking content?
In Support Of Agency Blogs
You may have recently come across an article from Digiday titled, Agencies Ditch Blogs for Social Media, commenting on how agencies are dropping blogs for social media. Marketer Chris Brogan, a prominent blogger himself, replied with his own post noting that people don’t read boring blogs and that you need to have value. Well, we’re here to say that we support blogging.
Sure, you’ll find us on Facebook, Twitter and many other platforms, but we still choose to blog. Why? Because we have something to say and we believe it provides value. Different platforms have different audiences, and as such, we use each in a different way. A blog is simply one of your digital outposts (but more on that in an upcoming post). So is your Facebook page, your Twitter account and so on. Blogs aren’t for digital snacking; they’re for something more substantial. We use our blog, The Halo Group Effect, to provide our thoughts, guidance, and experience, and to create a digital marketing and communications toolbox.
Blogs take time and effort, and that may be one of the reasons that brands and agencies are jumping ship. In fact, here’s a direct quote from the Digiday article, “Simply put, a social media presence is far less labor intensive than maintaining a blog.” Is that it? It’s simply easier? The value of your blog is directly related to the value you provide and the effort you put into it. Let’s look to provide some value instead of cloning what’s already being said. Maybe a blog isn’t the right platform for you, and yes, you should absolutely be using multiple platforms. But don’t get caught up with the “hot thing” or the “platform of the moment.” Look at your strategy and see how a blog, or any other communication tool, fits in.
Remember — listen, participate, and provide value. If you do this and put in the effort, there’s no reason why blogging shouldn’t (still) pay dividends for you.
How Can I Get More Readers For My Blog? A 5-Point Process
“We just started a new blog, how can we get more readers?” This is a question I hear often. Blogs can be a valuable and effective tool for both businesses and individuals, but first, you need to get people to actually see your content. But just how exactly do you do that?
Here, I’ve outlined a 5-point process that will help to not only increase readership/traffic for your blog, but also increase your social footprint and level of engagement with your audience.
Perhaps the simplest way to promote your blog is Email integration. Almost every email sent from a business or an individual includes a signature. By including a link to your blog in your email signature, you’re making sure that each time a new message goes out, it includes an entry point to your blog.
Do you have an email list? If so, people have opted in to receive messages. Depending on the purpose and content of the list, it may be okay for you to send a direct callout and link to your blog (as well as other social touchpoints).
A blog is another social touchpoint, and should be treated as such. It’s likely that you’re on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. The important thing is to use these channels as additional conversation streams that can drive traffic. Make sure the content you’re sharing is appropriate for each channel and that the tone you’ve created (or want to create) is consistant.
Equally important to promoting your content is ensuring its shareability. Make sure you have social-sharing buttons enabled so people can easily share to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Don’t forget to include an RSS feed. Many readers are going to read your posts through a feed (such as Google Reader) and not actually on your blog. By not having a RSS feed, you risk losing repeat readers, and limiting your reach.
Guest Posts and Interaction
A great way to attract new readers is by bringing in people who already have an audience by tapping into friends’, colleagues’ or partners’ blogs. They can provide value and fit your tone, and even guest blog. They’ll promote their “appearance” and should bring over some new readers. You can also guest blog. Mashable and AMEX Open Forum often have guest contributors, and are a great way to reach a wider audience, share your content, and position yourself as an expert in your field.
Another way to gain readers is by interacting with colleagues and thought leaders. Search out relevant blogs and forums, and join in the conversation. By sharing your views, people will recognize you as “someone in the know.” Remember, you’re not talking at, you’re talking with. Becoming part of a community is one of the best ways to grow your own.
Optimization. Notice the headline for this post: “How Can I Get More Readers For My Blog? A 5-Point Process.” Why not something like “You’ve Got A Blog, Now What?” Because that’s not how most people search. When creating headlines, make sure that you’re to the point, search friendly and that you incorporate keywords in your title and the body of the post. While meta tags used to be very important, search algorithms tend to focus more on content these days.
Clearly, content is the most important feature for your blog. You have a blog because you have something to say, but its content should also be something the general public comprehends. A great way increase readership is by focusing on hot topics and current trends.
Be sure not to headline hijack though! Hot topics alone, without offering anything of value, are going to push readers away. Find where your voice, opinion, and expertise fit in within current trends and you’ll be well on your way.