One question has plagued content marketers for a long time: Do people read long-form content?
In a world where the attention span of humans is equivalent to or less than that of a goldfish (3 seconds!), marketers feel an immense pressure to create shorter and crisper content across platforms. And yet, ebooks, articles that are upto 2500 words, and even reports, all these formats have not only stood the test of time but are considered important lead magnets to attract customers.
Make a note of this:
- Longreads of 3000+ words get 3x more traffic than average length articles (901-1200 words).
- Articles with word counts between 2,250 and 2,500 earn the most organic traffic. (HubSpot)
- Google rewards long-form content: Articles on the first page of Google results pages on average contain 1,890 words. (Brian Dean)
So should you or should you not adopt long-form? Let’s dig deeper.
What is Long-form Content?
Long-form content, also known as in-depth content, is almost like a guide you offer to your readers. Anything that goes beyond 1500 words is classified as long-form content. It comes in various forms. You could create guides, ebooks, etc., that showcase how things are done. A 4000-word ebook can help the reader understand the nuances of the niche.
There are several benefits of long-form content. It provides the user a detailed insight into every issue they are likely to confront and the solutions.
What are the benefits of writing long-form content? Let’s take a look.
Benefits of Long-form Content
1. Improves organic traffic
One of the main reasons to market your business is to drive more visits to your website. Long-form content is believed to be a successful source of organic traffic.
According to this graph above, you will see a boost in your traffic when you write anywhere between 2250 and 2500 words. This word count will also get you more backlinks as compared to short assets.
2. Helps with decision making
From all the types of content marketing long-form content is the most informative for the user. With this content piece, users can know everything about a particular service or solution.
For instance, when you talk about a guide that helps to grow a business, it will talk about the challenges, the tools, and the solutions. This guide will also talk about the risks involved and ways to mitigate them. Basically, it will be a complete document on how to run a business.
Similarly, if the guide is on hosting solutions, it will take the user through the need for hosting, why it is essential for their business, and the steps involved in choosing a good hosting service. It will convince the user that they need a hosting solution.
3. Establishes authority
What’s the difference between a 2 hour movie on a subject and a 10 episode web series on the same? The movie gives you a condensed version of the events that happened whereas the 10-part series gives a lot of more to chew on. It means more fleshed out characters, more information, more detailing and overall a more in-depth understanding of the event at hand. Long-form content has quite the same impact on the reader. A blog post on say, ‘5 Benefits of Marketing Automation’ and a 15000-word ebook on ‘The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Automation for Your Business’, will have a very different impact on the reader. No points for guessing which format will establish you as an authority on the subject.
4. Acts as a lead magnet
Evergreen content is an essential asset for your business. It is a lead magnet, can help pull people to your website, and is always relevant.
Long-form content that you work on for your niche is one such evergreen content that you should have.
Evergreen content attracts backlinks and stays in tune with user’s requirements at all times. For instance, a complete guide to learning basic piano is something that everyone interested in the instrument will want to read.
Similarly, a beginner’s guide to Facebook ads will be relevant every time a business considers paid marketing.
How to Use Long-form Content
A few brands are nailing long-form content. Let’s read a bit about it.
You can use a slice of life or evoke emotions through long-form content. The content needs to match your vision and mission statements. Chevrolet had the mission statement that cars take you from point A to B. However, their mission statement did not limit itself to vehicles. What they meant was, when your goals are set, it becomes easy to navigate from one point to another. They showcased how one can achieve their goals through hard work and a determined mind using documentaries. This long-form content helped them build excellent customer relationships and inspire minds. With long-form content, they managed to connect with their audience.
One of the top technology brands, IBM, has been using long-form content to attract and nurture its audiences since a while. They use a mixed bag of video, audio, and text formats to communicate.
Their storytelling abilities and immersive approach makes the content exciting and engaging. Users are compelled to read the entire piece. They have inspirational tales that surround the creation of an innovative solution. Most of their long-form content pieces are motivating and highly successful.
This is a brand that is known for being at the top of its content marketing game. The company has understood how content works and what format interests people the most. They have successfully converted long-form content write-ups into lead magnets for their business.
They use vlogs to create awareness among people regarding their product. Similarly, they showcase how a ransomware attack can cause problems for people using computers. They stress on the importance of networking and security through their videos and text content.
Long-form content can boost rankings and improve website credibility if created and used correctly. You can leverage this content type for your business and increase your revenue generation opportunities.
Before working on the long-form content, be sure to align your goals and mission statement with the long-form content strategy. Research and understand your target market before you jump into writing.
Identify what resonates with the user and what kind of content they are most likely to read. If your research is not laden with insights, you might not succeed with your content writing efforts.
Finally, stay patient and let the content reap the rewards. It takes a while before long-form content helps your business succeed.