Slow content  are you missing a trick?

All you need to know about slow content and its benefits! 

Communication digitale

Slow content is a deliberate decision to shun the short, superficial posts so popular on social media. The idea is to produce fewer pieces, instead spending more time on each to offer better quality, more value and deeper analysis. If you’re wondering whether slow content will work for your online marketing strategy, read on.


Slow content

 What is slow content?


Slow content is a new approach to content marketing that is a reaction to the tsunami of throwaway posts that are overrunning social media. Yet it is no trendy flash in the pan. It even has its own manifesto.


Just to be sure, slow content is not just about going slow. Like other slow movements, starting with slow food in the 1980s, it is a conscious decision to focus on quality rather than quantity. Yes, it takes more research, more careful wording and design, and more detailed analysis. But the result is better value for your audience. If slow content were food, it would be an elaborate dish in a fine restaurant.



Snackable content


Snackable content is the opposite of slow content. It is bite-sized, visual pieces like mems, GIFs, infographics and short videos. Marketers and brands can produce it quickly and endlessly, and consumers can take in at a glance. In culinary terms, it’s a sandwich wolfed down on a bench outside the office. Sure, it fills the tummy. But is it enriching? Will you remember it?


To be fair, snackable content is not about being memorable. It’s about being noticed – and staying top of mind – through repetition. And through being easy to read for the lazy human mind 😉.


The snackable content paradox

But is bombarding an audience with snackable content an effective strategy? Well, if slow content is the marketing equivalent of a fine meal, snackable content is drinks and nibbles. Yes, it satisfies our cravings after a long day at work. But what tends to happen after a while? People eventually make their way to a restaurant, or simply go home. Having had their fill of amuse-bouches, they hunger for something more substantial.

It’s the same with snackable content. It’s everywhere. It’s easy to consume. Your audience sees the same brands and creators again and again as they churn out more and more of the stuff. When everything starts to look alike, it becomes harder to capture people’s attention.


Is the era of slow content upon us?

Many would say that it’s not. As proof, they will pull out the old story of the 8-second attention span and the goldfish. We’ve all heard it. Their argument is, why bother investing so much time in a long article if your audience loses interest after 8 seconds? And why bother producing elaborate dishes if people want fast food?


Their argument is flawed for two reasons:

  • First, according to a 2017 BBC article, the 8-second attention span is a myth. It has no scientific basis. No one knows where it came from. If a reader clicks away from your content after 8 seconds, they don’t do it because they’ve reached the limit of their attention span, but because they’ve decided that your content is not relevant.


  • Second, the human brain is not lazy. It does not want easy. As Adam Morgan explains, the brain wants unique, emotionally resonant content. When all we see is snackable content with superficial analysis and easy takeaways, it’s the carefully crafted piece that catches our eye. It’s the thoughtful wording that pulls us in. It’s the insightful thinking that sparks off new ideas.


Slow content has a promising future. When done right, it is unique, relevant and emotionally resonant because the content creator has the time – and patience – to do the research and get it right.


Slow content is also greener. Every post, video, GIF, infographic, upload and download generates data. And that data doesn’t live in “the cloud”, but on servers in data centers that consume climate-altering amounts of electricity and diesel while producing a toppling mountain of toxic and electronic waste. By consciously choosing to publish less, slow content creators are doing future generations a favour.


Bye, bye snackable content?

Not quite. We humans love to categorise things into binary opposites, like slow content versus snackable content. But real life calls for a little more subtlety and flexibility. Here are three reasons why you should be wondering not which content strategy to adopt, but how to use the two together to get the best of both worlds.


1. Different goals

An effective content strategy is built around goals. These might be to capture people’s attention, generate interest, establish authority or reinforce loyalty. If we take these four goals, for example, then snackable content is what captures the attention and generates interest, while slow content establishes authority and loyalty. Combining the two strategies produces better results. After all, what good is a fantastic blog post if no one knows it’s there?


2. Different points on the buyer’s journey

Slow content and snackable content also work well together because they target different points on the buyer’s journey. Snackable content is effective early, when the buyer is unaware that your product or service exists. It says, “Hey, look at me!” Slow content comes later, when you want to persuade the buyer that your solution is the best on offer. It says “Still not sure? Let me explain.”


3. Keep it fresh

And let’s not forget the importance of surprising your audience. There is nothing more dangerous than content that becomes predictable. If your brand only uses slow content, your audience may see your first piece and like it, and your second piece, but not your third because it’s Friday afternoon and they’re looking for something lighter. People won’t always want in-depth analysis or valuable insight. But they will always want something different. Try alternating GIFs, long articles, carousels, and long videos. Keep people guessing to keep them curious.


Combining slow content and snackable content


How can you get them working together when they seem to pull in different directions? Well, create an in-depth article for your website or blog, then break it down into bite-sized chunks for social media. That way, the slow content feeds the snackable content, which in turn drives traffic back to the slow content. Then create a new in-depth piece, break it down again, and so on. In other words, don’t choose one or the other; let each feed the other to create a virtuous cycle of content that delivers value and insight while still being irresistibly clickable.


Still not sure about slow content in your SEO content strategy?


By now, you might be leaning towards slow content or snackable content. Or perhaps you’re wondering how to take advantage of both in your online marketing. But digital marketing theories are easier to understand than to implement, especially if you’re trying to keep your strategy consistent across multiple languages.

This is where a multilingual SEO agency like Contentactic comes in. Contentactic offers strategy advice, content creation and SEO training. Click here to learn more about how we can help you develop your multilingual SEO strategy around slow content or snackable content – or both!


Author: Raymond Manzor, SEO Content Writer