With more handheld gadgets than ever, print magazines aren’t the only medium readers are using to enjoy long-form content.
The Long-Form Content Champion
Long-form content, or an article longer than 2,000 words, allows brands to tell a story and engage their base at the same time. Though prioritizing long-form content may seem like a time-consuming project on the surface, the myriad of benefits are leading companies to explore this strategy.
The short, buzzy listicle will always have a place on the Internet, but don’t overlook long-form content as a feasible way to boost leads and engagement. Entrepreneur points out that an extensive, in-depth article is just as likely to succeed on social media as the snappy listicle.
Search Engines Love Longer Content
Search engines are a saving grace for subject matter that doesn’t have “viral” capabilities on social media. This is where long-form content shines. A 2012 serpIQ study of more than 20,000 keywords found the average count of the top 10 results was 2,000+ words.
Long-form isn’t a one-trick pony. Users will not only stay on a page longer to read lengthier content, but also they’ll look at more pages than the average visitor. In addition, holding a reader’s attention for more than three minutes (as opposed to one minute) makes it over twice as likely that they’ll return to a website. With the power to generate loyal readers through longer content, marketers have a valuable tool on hand.
Content Strategy is Key
Despite the benefits content of all varieties can bring, many brands are still becoming acclimated to the idea of strategy. In fact, only 30 percent of marketers have a consistent or integrated content strategy. But companies are quickly taking note. According to one projection, 51 percent of brands in 2017 will have an executive dedicated to content marketing strategy. It isn’t a leap to assume that many of them will integrate long-form into their outreach initiatives.
It may seem intimidating out the gate, but given the payoff, integrating long-form is a no-brainer. With so many moving parts, where should a company start? Like most successful marketing, content should be consistent, informative and engaging.
Long-form is no exception. Curating timely information relevant to audience segments and their interests means that over time they will make that content their “go-to,” offering more chances for conversion. Thus, brands need to understand their competition and what they’re churning out. This grants opportunities to bridge the gap and draw engaged customers to valuable offered services, while also boosting brand loyalty.
Getting Extra Value From Long-Form Content
Even then the job isn’t quite done—determining where and how you’ll promote this content is just as important as creating it. Though investing in ads on social media and search engines is a first line of attack (remember, organic results come easier with longer articles), successful content can—and should—be signal boosted in other ways.
Brands can take advantage of existing mailing lists and link to the content in newsletters. A more audacious move is reaching out to tastemakers to promote the articles to their audiences. Leveraging influencers to promote content of any length is a sure way to capitalize on valuable traffic and engagement.
Long-form content demands time and consideration, but if done correctly, it spurs new connections and sparks existing ones. It’s time to get writing.