According to a study by HubSpot, content with a word count that ranges from 2,250 to 2.500 words attracts the most amount of organic traffic. It is also said that the longer your content, the higher its ranking on search engine results pages (SERP). However, the long-form content must be of good quality and well-researched, and should match the user’s intent.
Among the various types of content used in digital marketing is short- and long-form content. There are over 600 million blogs out there. The chances of breaking out of this clutter seem low, unless you consistently create original, engaging, and high-quality content. While short-form content has a clear role in our fast-paced world powered by technology, long-form content is far from obsolete. Did you know that long-form content gets 77.2% more links, on average, as compared to short articles (according to a study by Backlinko)? But what is long-form content truly? Read on to find out.
What Is Long-Form Content?
Long-form content is any content whose word count is upwards of 1,000. It can provide you with the opportunity to create in-depth marketing material and get in touch with your target audience through valuable content. In general, the goal is to provide value and information to the audience at large.
However, it is not enough to create long-form content; you need to amplify and promote it as well. You need to reach the right people so that you can improve your lead generation speed. In this blog, we will discuss long-form content best practices and the strategies you can use to promote long-form content. Later, we will also discuss content amplification, how to do it, and its importance in long-form content creation.
Long-Form Content Best Practices
It is possible to make long-form content a lead magnet for your company. Read these tips to know how.
1. Know your objective
What is the purpose of your long-form content? What do you aim to achieve by creating it? When you can answer these two questions, you will be able to refine your long-form work to suit the business’ needs.
If your goal is to offer something well-researched and valuable that will help the users decide better, you will have to progress with the research accordingly. If you plan on providing solutions, then your content should offer answers to queries. The answer to the above two questions will also help you come up with CTAs and effectively introduce them into your content.
2. Provide value
When a user carries out a search online, they need quick and informative answers. For instance, when they look for the best books to read, they don’t just want a list of great books. They also want to know why they are good, the author’s achievements, and how to pick one for a particular situation.
Every question has an intent, and your content should be the answer. It should fulfill the intent by being in-depth and insightful. If your long-form writing fails to offer the said information, people might not view it, leading to a fall in its visibility as well as search engine rankings.
3. Stay true to your promise
You must create content that matches what you are offering the user. The key is not to overpromise and underdeliver. When you follow through with the promise you made, people will love the content, and more users will follow your business. It will not only boost visits, but also improve your credibility. The number-one rule of web content writing is to ensure you put out authentic content at all times.
4. Explore different topics
While creating long-form content, it is important to choose relevant topics. Selecting complex topics will allow you to explore more and prevent you from getting stuck anywhere. This is because you can always break the topic up into different articles. The topic should allow the writer a lot of room to get into the details and establishing brand relevance.
5. Select the correct format
You can use different types of long-form content, such as articles, listicles, blogs, white papers, and more. The format will support you in identifying the information that is needed and help you decide on the length of your content. Identifying the best-suited format for your content is required, as it will help you create content seamlessly. You can also try and mix two formats up, depending on the topic.
10 Strategies to Create Long-Form Content
Below, we discuss some useful and practical tips for creating long-form content that can drive conversions.
1. Begin with a short introduction
An introduction is like the hook of your story. It can make or break your piece. Write it in a way that makes the audience keen to read the entire piece. Hence, it is essential to keep the introduction short, sweet, and exciting. It should give readers an idea about what they can expect ahead, yet not give everything away.
2. Make it comprehensible and conversational
Readers will be more interested when they can understand the content clearly. Using simple terms makes the reading experience even more appealing for them. Use comprehensive and short sentences while creating long-form content. Also, the content should be conversational so that the readers can connect with the content.
3. Use ample visuals
To keep the readers engaged, it is essential to make use of visuals. They help break the monotony brought about by text. Breaking up the content with quality visuals can help enhance the overall appeal of the long-form work.
4. Utilize rich media
Using rich media is considered one of the highly effective methods to keep the reader invested and engaged. Using high-quality images and videos, statistical charts, GIFs, and other forms of rich media helps add value to long-form content.
5. Use captivating headlines and short paragraphs
Write compelling headlines and subheads. It is the key to driving more traffic. Do your research to understand what works the best for your niche. Also, it is vital to avoid long paragraphs. Break your content up into short paragraphs and bullet points in order to make it scannable.
6. Include expert insights
We have all noticed the power of influencer marketing and expert opinions. You would have bought a product because the influencer you follow vouched for it. Influencers and experts are a great way to reach your target market. They help explore the untapped potential in your niche. However, you need to reach out to the right people in your target market to make it valuable.
Connect with experts, take notes on what they say about the topic, and add them to your piece. The content will gain more traffic when these experts share it on their social channels.
While collaborating with other people, make sure that:
- You always give them due credit when you are adding their insights.
- Connect with them once the piece has been published.
- Tag them on social channels so that your work gains credibility.
7. Explore guest posting options
There can be nothing better than a guest post to improve your reach. Guest posting allows you to host high-quality content on your site, thereby improving your credibility. It usually entails the publishing of content by an industry expert or thought leader on a third-party site. This helps the author earn organic traffic, and it helps you position yourself as a brand whose content people can rely on.
8. Send emails to your network
Leverage the network you have painstakingly built to improve the readership for the new content you posted. It will also help you nurture the audience already connected with you, and help increase the visits to your web page.
- Give your audience a sneak peek into the content via a newsletter. Tell them what they can expect from the piece.
- Segment your email list before you send it to the users. It will help you make sure that the users do not receive the content at the wrong time.
- Don’t use a single message to promote the content. Make sure you personalize the email when sending it to multiple lists.
9. Share it on social channels
Sharing content on your social channels will garner more visits and engagement. It is one of the most important ways to connect with your audience and promote your new content.
People are following you because they want to know what you have to say. They are interested in your brand and like what you do.
- You might have to share the same message multiple times in a day. You should try and repurpose the content so that it reaches a wider audience.
- Tweak the content as per the platform you are posting it on.
- To reach more people, ensure that everyone who visits your social channel sees the content. So, pin the post, and it will appear at the top.
10. Promote the content using more content
At times, you may need to create more content in order to promote your long-form work. Write a short post pointing at one aspect of the original content. You can get people to visit the link or take any other suitable action.
- Take one part of the content that connects with people. It could be a pain point that people have. Highlight it and provide solutions using short-form content.
- Make sure to add calls to action that will make the users take the necessary action.
The above image is an example of how you can repurpose your long-form content into smaller chunks for promotion purposes.
These tips will allow you to write content clearly, helping you establish a connection with your audience. The aim is to maintain the quality of the long-form content so that it can engage the audiences instantly.
What Is Content Amplification, and How Can It Be Done?
Content amplification is a concept used to increase the value of content by repurposing it in various formats and distributing it on multiple channels. Amplify only your best content so that it can really contribute to success. It is an approach that helps your content reach a wider audience. Many techniques and methods are used to amplify the reach of long-form content.
1. Establish realistic goals
Find out what you want to achieve through content amplification. Follow this by listing the distribution channels you use currently. Find out about best-performing channels through market research, and shortlist the content that works for you. Lastly, know what reaction you want from your audience.
Setting realistic goals and expecting practical results can help realize the importance of content amplification. Measuring the growth of your long-form work throughout the process is equally important.
2. Select the right channels
Using suitable channels for content amplification is essential. Start with evaluating the current channels, and understand which channels should be used. Use any existing channel that is contributing highly to reaching the target audience. You can also use a mix of platforms.
3. Use different types of content
Utilizing different channels for getting customers’ attention helps in the success of content amplification. It is essential to use different types of content on other channels, depending on your business requirements and the stage of the customer’s journey. You can begin with the following:
- Outlining the point of interaction and the journey of the customer before purchase
- Finding out gaps in channels and content at every point of interaction
- Covering the identified gaps with the help of content or by using the missing distribution channels
- Evaluating and optimizing content at every step, and keeping a check on areas of improvements
What Is the Importance of Content Amplification?
Content amplification can play an important role in helping you stand out. It has been found that companies put efforts into creating high-quality and matchless content to contribute to building trust among audiences. But the problem they face is in reaching the right audience. Hence, to reach your target audience, content amplification is essential.
With the help of content amplification, it is possible to increase the reach and exposure of your content. This helps in increasing backlinks, which eventually helps in enhancing the visibility of your website. Having quality backlinks and valuable content can contribute to a higher rank in SERPs, resulting in increased conversions, traffic, and leads. Amplification of content will contribute to higher brand mentions, SEO optimization, and your brand’s promotion.
Long-form content offers excellent value to readers. It helps businesses connect with their users over a common issue by providing solutions. However, with long-form work, It is essential to be patient, not just while creating it, but also while promoting it and waiting for the returns. Long-form content is a long haul; it doesn’t generate results overnight.
- Long-form content is an effective marketing strategy that provides measurable results. It is a great way to offer in-depth, insightful, and valuable information to readers.
- Evaluating different strategies and choosing the effective ones for the promotion of long-form content is important.
- Promoting and amplifying long-form content on the right channels as per your need is key to ensuring it reaches the target audience.
- Amplifying your best content is important, and evaluating your existing content can help identify what works best for you.
Long-form content is a type of content marketing. It is a piece of content with more than 2000 words or detailed information on a topic. Long-form content is considered more attractive and can engage a large number of readers for a long duration. It is an effective content marketing strategy for companies to grab the audiences’ attention by providing them with interesting and relevant in-depth information.
Long-form content covers a topic in detail, and readers can get all their answers in one place. Using long-form content contributes to increasing the engagement time of readers on the website.
As long-form content is used to grab audiences’ attention for a longer duration, its design and format also contribute to success. There are four ways that need to be considered for formatting long-form content:
Breaking down the content using heading and subheadings: Fragmenting the content in different sections helps improve SEO. Using descriptive subheadings helps readers to know what is about to come. Also, breaking down longer or heavier sections in points can help. Subheadings should replicate the outline of the article.
Add related images to break down content: To make it easier for readers to read long content; it is vital to break down the content using relevant photos as it helps provide value and increase engagement.
Use lists: Using lists improves the structure and enhances the design of the article. It makes it easier for the reader to scan the content.
Add table of contents: It provides an overview to the readers about the information available, and they can jump right to the sections they are more interested in reading.
Planning is essential when it comes to writing great content. Defining the topic, identifying the target audience, and setting your goals is important for your research. Content’s depth, scope, indicators to measure success, and tonality also need to be decided as they can help in writing the article well and getting the desired results.
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