The purpose of long-form content and how to use it as part of your content marketing strategy.
1 month ago
We all know that having a website and a social media platform is useful to our marketing, but do you often wonder what more can be done to attract more people to them?
A large problem for many small business owners is that they don’t know what to write for social media and get bogged down with having to constantly come up with ideas. This often results in overwhelm and not doing it. Repurposing a piece of long-form content in a variety of ways can take away some of that pressure.
In today’s competitive and busy world, giving additional value through your content marketing is more important than ever. There is so much noise interfering with your marketing messages, you don’t have many opportunities to hook your audience in. Your customers want to learn more about what you offer and how you can help them so why not give it to them in a digestible way that reiterates your point across various mediums.
What is long-form content?
Long-form content is a longer piece of writing – anything goes but generally speaking the word count would be more than 1000 words, although some would suggest longer than 750 words and others 2500 words! What we are trying to say is – there is no definitive answer to what constitutes long-form content, so don’t get bogged down with word count too much, the content of the piece of writing is far more important.
Long-form content will take longer to read than a short blog or news piece, but with the benefit of adding valuable content that keeps the reader on the page, it is worth writing. Banklinko found that pages with a higher word page content kept people on the website for longer, which therefore resulted in higher search engine results page rankings. That’s not to say that you should always write long blogs for your website, a mix of short and long blogs will be more beneficial to the reader.
The types of marketing materials that long-form content would generally fall under are:
- Case studies – these are in-depth reviews about a specific customer and how you have helped them. They are a great way to prove that your solution will work for others in similar situations.
- White Paper – a research-based article that enables you to position yourself as a thought leader in your field of expertise.
- Long blog – blogs can be anything from 300-1200 words. The point is to have something on your blog page so don’t get bogged down with always writing something long and wordy every time, aim for 2-3 longer blogs to go onto your website each year.
- Website landing page – a longer more specific page, around 2000 words, that you want your audience to land on to get more detail about a specific product or service. Something that gives them all they need in one place without switching pages and searching for the information.
- E-books – are increasingly popular and range from bestselling fiction to classics and reference texts that are read in digital form. They are very versatile that can be either just text-based or include links, graphics, audio and video.
- Guide – a guide that is detailed and aimed at educating the reader, these can come in the form of a tutorial or walk-through a solution.
- Roundups and reviews – about a relevant product or service for your audience to read.
- Annual Review – either annually or a quarterly roundup of your business’s activities, content that includes what has been happening for the business and its employees, challenges, successes, meeting targets etc. that informs its customers and stakeholders of your brand.
- Brochures – a downloadable/printable detailed and informative piece that can include data, images, prices and detail about what you offer.
The purpose of long-form content.
The main purpose of long-form content is to invest the time in providing valuable information to your audience.
However, there are some wonderful benefits to doing so. It is great for SEO as it is longer in length with more opportunities for backlinks and keywords. A longer piece of content on your website often results in higher rankings on search engines as it takes more time to read therefore keeping your readers on the page. A longer piece of writing also encourages better engagement on your blog posts or social posts.
You might also find that conversions are higher as you are proving valuable information in the buying and decision-making process, which encourages people to make a decision quicker as they have all the detail and information they need.
Tips to use long-form content in your marketing
Some of the above examples can be used to enhance other marketing activities. By building a content strategy around it, you can get many benefits from one piece of content.
- PR – adapt it as a thought leadership piece and send it to relevant journalists and publications.
- Social Posts – break it down into bite-size chunks for your social media marketing.
- SEO – drive traffic to your website by including a link to the full article from your social post, using relevant keywords and keeping the attention of readers for longer on your website.
- Publish as an article on your LinkedIn business and personal page.
- News posts can be added on Google My Business.
- Newsletter – include a synopsis in your newsletter with a link to read more or download.
- Direct Email – send it to your segmented database of people who would find it of most interest with a personal email that says ‘I thought this might be of interest to you…’
- Lead Magnet – The one that is often more overlooked is to put the content piece behind a signup sheet so that you can capture who is reading your work and grow your CRM list.
Writing long-form content requires time, which is why we are here to help you to plan, research and write your content. Talk to us to find out more.