We all enjoy snacking a bit from time to time. As long as you’re able to keep your snacking habits under control, getting your snack on is, mostly, delicious.
When it comes to content, it’s really the same way. In our busy lives filled with children, work, our social lives and hobbies, we don’t always have the time to read long-form content or watch a whole 10-minute video. Sometimes we only have time for a scrumptious little content snack. One that fills our content need for a little while, so we can make it to content dinner.
Content snacks for trainers
So, how do you, as a trainer, use this snack analogy to your benefit? A course is almost never snack-able and will inevitably consist of long-form content. That doesn’t mean you can’t offer your students content snacks to tide them over till the next big course on the menu.
Let’s take a look at how you can make sure your content snacks add to a healthy diet. According to our Dutch nutritional organization (Voedingscentrum - Dutch), a healthy lifestyle has a few characteristics, which I have translated to content:
When it comes to content snacks, variation is key. Don’t just write a short-form copy. Use images, video, infographics and other formats to highlight the important parts of your content. You can also reuse these formats within your long-form content. If, for example, you have a longer video, you can link to an image with the 5 most important takeaways. This way, your students can snack on what matters. Or, if you’ve written a long-form article, use bullet points at the beginning of your article to highlight what matters most.
Everything in moderation, except moderation itself. Over snacking is unhealthy and leads to weight gain. The same goes for over snacking on content. Don’t make too many snacks for your students. Find the perfect mix between short, to the point content on one hand and longer, more in-depth content on the other. Remember: you are trying to teach them something new. You cannot achieve this by making everything bite sized. At some point, they will have to eat a more balanced and larger meal to get all the benefits. The snacks are there simply to tide them over.
Being healthy is not just about what you eat. Having an active lifestyle matters too. Translating this to content snacks: tell your students how to get moving after they have snacked on your course content. What is the call to action? How can they use this to get ahead? Where should they go next? Don’t just upload an image with a quote on it and be done with it. Help them move along to the next bit of information they need, by linking to the long-form or a video directly from your snack or maybe follow up by email or messenger to remind them there´s yet more to learn.
Students love to check if they are up to speed during your course. At the end of each module, you probably already have a test. But tests can be snacked just like other content can. You can make mini quizzes at any given point in your course that enables your students to see their progress. This gives them an opportunity to feel good about themselves AND your course, without first having to study for hours.
Is everyone going cray-cray over your content snacks or do they end up in the wastebasket? As with everything you publish and share online, you should test how well received your content snacks really are. Tally the downloads of that image, the views on that video, the click-through rate for the link under your infographic. Gain insight and use it to make your snacks even better in the future.
How about you?
There you go: the recipe for a well-balanced diet that’s still enjoyable. Do you use content snacks in your courses? I would love to know what your best practices are.