What do you think would a group of content marketers say about long-form content? Chances are you will get two different answers. Half of them will tell you that long-form content is a risky gamble. Because it relays too much in the attention level of your targeted audience. Which most of the time tend to be rather minuscule.
The remaining will tell you that curating long-form article is one of the best ways to engage the readers. By offering them a genuine and rewarding experience.
But, which one is in the right? Is it the nay-sayers? Or the yay-sayers? Well, it is the latter, of course.
What Is Long-Form Content?
As simple as the answer might be, there are different definitions of what long-form content is. A large percentage of marketers consider 700 words article to be long-form. While others believe the content should be 1800 words or above.
To avoid arguments, let’s just say that long-form content has to be at least 1200 words.
Despite what some marketers say, the truth is that most readers have a sweet tooth for hefty articles. Thankfully, publishers have realized this and they are delivering.
Why Does It Work?
In the beginning, most editors were sceptical about long-form content. They would curate articles of up to 1000 words, focused on SEO and keyword optimization. The main problem with this strategy is that you will have as much direct traffic as search traffic.
To avoid this, editors began to incorporate more long-form content into their websites. Such increasing user engagement levels. This strategy does not only work well with search engines, but works well with the readers too.
To make long-form content work, marketers need to put themselves in the shoes of the consumers. Those who are about to start their own business or whatever their blog niche is.
They lay awake at night worrying about making their mortgage payments. Then one day, they run across your blog and find your guide on “How to Achieve Whatever You Have in Your Mind”. And unlike most rubbish online, this actually helps and contains all information necessary.
Two things are happening at that moment. Your long-form content has had a positive impact on the reader and it has generated a high level of trust on what you offer.
That means that every time that person requires information relating to your niche, he will come to you. Plus, whenever he or she sees someone with the same need, they will send them to your site, generating more traffic.
The bottom line is creating long-form articles is going to get you exactly what you want. Your blog/website will have more online exposure, and you will get more proof to support your level of expertise.
What are the benefits?
Before we dive into the powerful reasons why you should seriously consider investing time and resources into coming up with long-form content, let’s talk a little bit about its benefits.
Surely, you have read somewhere that people are ignoring long content posts and/or articles. However, this tactic is not out of the game just yet, because it works, it always works, if done properly. It will engage the reader and generate a lot of conversion rate.
Why you may ask? Well, there are far too many reasons to be listed, but this strategy is based on that adage salesmen are always using “the more you talk, the more you sell.”
One thing is for sure, the sales representatives you have encountered in your life were not reading from a five hundred words script, were they? Of course not, they tend to talk your ears out making sure they have conveyed the message and make a sale.
Well, the same principle applies to your long-form content. It does not make any sense to limit your marketing efforts just because you have the misguided notion that only short messages have an impact. You can use as many words as you want to make sure you send your message and provide your readers with valuable information necessary.
According to multiple studies conducted by some of the most prominent bloggers out there, longer content tends to perform up to 30% better than shorter content.
The power of storytelling is crucial for your marketing efforts as it provides a nice platform for you to sell your product/service. It is a well-known fact that we humans are hardwired to have a positive response to well-told stories. If you do not believe it, think about a book or a movie that had such a powerful message that resonated with your feelings.
Storytelling has the same level of impact in the field of marketing strategy. Tell a compelling marketing story which takes the reader into a wild adventure and becoming the hero and you will accomplished your goal of transmitting your message.
One of the many reasons why long-form content is such a powerful marketing tool is that they have the ability of captivating readers in a way that they will not realize you are trying to sell them something.
As a nice little bonus, using this strategy in your marketing efforts also reels in all the benefits associated with Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
In the particular case of Google, they have been working hard on their algorithm to give more power to longer forms of contents in the SERP, as long as said content features relevant images, keywords, and meets the highest standards of quality offering great value to the readers.
Now that you know what it is, how it works, its importantance and the benefits, it is time to know the 7 Powerful Reasons Why People Like Long-Form Content.
1. Increases Engagement
In case you were wondering, there is a good reason why landing pages tend to be unbelievably long. The longer you have your reader’s attention, the more likely it will be for them to click on “Subscribe” or “Purchase”.
It is important to use as many words as possible to convince the reader to become part of your business.
Longer content means higher chances of them doing meaningful things on your site. This is vital for generating traffic. It is not enough for potential clients to simply read through your long-form content. They would have to take action, which is the only way you will see revenue. As well as getting your page promoted in different media, from search engines to social media.
2. Improves Perception
One of the best ways to increase the user’s perception of your site is through long and more in-depth articles. They are going to make you look good. The deeper you go into the details of a specific niche, the better impression you are bound to leave on potential customers/readers, this a good way to show them you are an expert on the field you are talking about and can trust you.
The longer you make your content, the harder it will be to be seen as fake. Only by achieving the highest levels of user perception, you can consider having a successful blog/website.
3. Repeats Traffic
Every blogger worth its soul knows that posting content on a regular basis is a nice way to make people come back. However, most people mistakenly believe that in order to accomplish this, the content has to be shorter since you will be making daily posts. Well, that is not entirely true.
Long-form content made of deeper and detailed information has the same power of attracting repeat traffic just as much as shorter articles do, especially if its purpose is educational.
Simply put, people will always come back and read it one more time or as much as they need to. Long-form articles take time to read and it normally requires some re-reads to digest all the information you are conveying, this is extremely good for creating reader engagement.
4. Makes it Better
The hidden beauty in long-form content is that when you go into the details of a specific niche it becomes a tool for the better understanding of that niche. Having a better understanding helps to improve the conversation surrounding that specific topic.
The more information talks about a subject the healthier it becomes, and healthier communication reduces the levels of frustration and increases the levels of happiness.
Simply put, long-form content puts out more facts on a given subject into the world. The more information we have, the better, as we can make informed decisions that will have a positive impact on our lives.
5. Better Understanding
By making a subject to get better understood, you are also making yourself and your company to be better understood by your readers.
Short-form content has a very limited space. And in most cases tends to promote simple descriptions to complicated things. In other worst cases, it promotes simple solutions to very complicated situations.
Long-form content provides all the necessary space to provide a solution. Providing information, advantages, disadvantages and benefits to help people deal with their prolem.
The difference between a minor setback and a massive PR nightmare is the level your readers understand your content.
As mention earlier, long-form content gets better ranking at search engines like Google. All search engines are constantly updating their algorithms. They do this to provide only the best and most relevant content in their search results.
Longer content have a better chance of having something that is relevant.
7. Provides Greater Value
The main focus of the long-form content is to provide large value to the readers. It is not about writing filler content just to make up the word count, and expect to generate traffic.
Long-form content only works when it provides true value on a given topic and engages your audience. There is also the matter of relevance. Also, providing value to longer content you should also provide relevancy to it. A good strategy is to give updates if necessary to the longer content in your page to keep it relevant and useful.
Go ahead and write more words or hire someone to do it for you. Do not hesitate, do not believe the retractors. Writing longer content is truly beneficial for your marketing efforts. As long as you do it properly, people are going to respond to it positively. And in return is going to give your website priority on search engines and social media networks.
In the World Wide Web, there is enough room for both short and long-form content, each of them with their pros and cons. As a matter of fact, combining them into your blog will prove to be more than beneficial for you and your brand.
Make sure that when you are developing your content strategy to add them both. One can very easily support and complement the other.
Now that you have read why people love long-form articles, go ahead and give it a chance. Do not give up, you are not going to see results right away. But if you hang on long enough, you will start to see positive results.
Lastly, long-form articles have proven to be incredibly well-received in mobile devices. They actually get the same number of readers as short articles do.