Here’s why long-form content works

November 15, 2018

You may have heard – humans now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish. Marketers have responded –  six-second ads are becoming mainstream, and bite-size ‘listicles’ are a common sight on most social media platforms.

However, if your audience can still binge on a season of Game of Thrones in one weekend, they are not just snacking on content – they just have higher expectations. We all do.

When used strategically, long-form content can help you gain visibility and authority. It may also be cost-effective in the long-run. Here’s why:

 

Visibility: get your content out there

Publishing a well-researched piece of long-form content online helps with search engine ranking for your niche or topic. According to SerpIQ, an SEO research house, the average length of articles ranking in the top 10 search results exceeded 2,000 words, with the top two hits exceeding 2,400 words.

Longer articles also do well on social media: they get more social sharesthan shorter or mid-length ones. This is because the availability of more useful ideas in a longer post naturally encourages more social engagement (especially in the form of post shares).

 

Authority: establish thought leadership

But bite-size content can only capture a fraction of the expertise that resides within your company.

Having long ‘hero content’ – comprehensive guides or analyses about an industry topic – gives you enough room to address your audiences’ pain points in detail and elaborate how your solutions can help them live better lives.

Long-form content establishes authority for your company when it’s evergreen. It can remain relevant months and even years after originally published, helping your brand be a thought leader in its niche.

 

Cost-effective: Repurposing your content

In our Future Content survey of 100 marketers in Asia, we found that one of the main challenges that marketers face is idea generation. And we get it – as one of the busiest departments in a company, it is not easy for marketers to constantly come up with new ideas.

By nature, long-form content has more research, sources and case studies – which makes them versatile and easily ‘cut-up’ into bite-size pieces as needed. They can even be published as a content series over a period of time, which saves you time and energy.

We saw the benefit of re-purposing long-form content with a client infographic that we did on the business of Christmas in China. Each segment of the infographic detailed a specific segment that can then be sliced and posted on LinkedIn to promote and improve web traffic.

 

Go the distance with long-form content

Today’s audiences are already bombarded with content and marketing messages every day. They are more discerning and have no qualms to scroll through the same ol’, same ol’ content.

Long-form content should be a key piece in every marketers’ content strategy – but it needs to be engaging and relevant. How, you ask? We’ll share tips in our next post – watch this space!



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