As a long time digital producer, I was never always fully aware of the impact that micro content has. It was a bit like water for a fish. Vital but not noticed. So time for a closer look on what micro content is and where it is used.
Three types of micro content
What is micro content in the context of digital information? Micro content is small or short bits of information, mostly text. Micro content explains or describes the topic at hand as a title or act as pointers for action, like buttons or links.
I see roughly three types of usage of micro content. One is to clarify the topic or subject, two is to label content and three is to indicate actions.
Used this way you guide the reader through a text with for instance subtitles and subheaders. They are clearly visible and often marked with a bigger or bolder font.
Micro content is also used to caption an image on a digital page, and most probably also when you use text to describe content in Facebook or Instagram.
A usage of micro content that has impact is the page title or email subject line. Will a lead click on your page in Google, or will they open your marketing email?
Labels to content
Digital content lives in a context, you also have micro content as metadata. Small bits of text that label the information for context. That can be used for a grouping of content, sorting, a search engine. Often this content is not visible directly to the reader. Sometimes it is visible, for instance as hashtags.
Pointers for action
Often there is micro content required to label an action. For instance, on a button or a link. These are mostly vital in the guidance of the reader. What will happen when I click, why would I click, how to undo a wrong action when shopping. They often convey a call for action.
Managing micro content
Often, micro content is made and stored separately from the main content. As such, they are differently managed as well. Mostly I make and add micro content on the fly. So for instance, I share an (existing) article on Social Media, I will add micro content like hashtags while creating the posts. Or write a title or subject specific to a purpose. The key is to align, orchestrate all these little bits of content and bring them in line with your story.
Conclusion on micro content
Don’t overlook micro content. Although small and short, micro content has a big impact on how your information is perceived and how it performs.