In the world of content marketing and blogging, there is an ongoing debate around the merits of long-form versus short-form content. Some argue that in the age of ever-decreasing attention spans, short, snackable content is the way to go. However, long-form content still has tremendous value that cannot be ignored.
Long-form content generally refers to in-depth articles, blog posts, guides and other content over 1,500 words or more. The defining characteristic is the word count rather than the subject matter – long-form pieces provide ample space to explore topics more comprehensively. That said, certain topics naturally lend themselves better to the long-form format. Tutorials, how-to guides, list posts, ultimate guides and detailed reviews are all excellent candidates for longer content.
Here are some of the key reasons why long-form content should still play a major role in your website or blog’s content strategy:
Lengthy, information-rich content has major search engine optimisation (SEO) benefits. The additional word count allows you to naturally incorporate relevant keywords in a way that reads well for users. Long-form posts also tend to rank well for a higher volume of keyword phrases and long-tail variants around a core topic. All of this signals to search engines that your content comprehensively covers a given subject.
Enhanced Authority And Trust
Publishing in-depth, well-researched content showcases your brand as an authority and subject matter expert. Readers intrinsically tend to trust brands more when they consistently offer value through meaty content rather than only pushing products. Long-form content demonstrates your willingness to invest time and resources into delivering the best possible user experience.
Contrary to some assumptions, long-form content – when well-written and broken down into scannable sections – can achieve stellar engagement metrics. Scroll depth tends to be higher as readers get immersed in an almost story-like unfolding of information. This also has follow-on benefits for your website’s bounce rate. Additionally, longer content provides more opportunities to incorporate interactive elements like graphics, quizzes and videos that further boost engagement.
Gets Featured More Often
Influencer marketing and guest posting remain tremendously effective for content amplification. Landing these opportunities generally requires providing excellent, high-quality content of value to external audiences. That’s significantly easier to achieve through long-form posts that enable you to showcase your expertise while also aligning with the publisher’s needs. Your content pieces are simply more likely to get featured or linked to by influencers and other brands.
An exhaustive piece of long-form content positions your brand as a trusted expert that readers can rely on. Instead of constantly selling to them, you are focused on delivering maximum information and help. This nurtures positive sentiment and makes readers more receptive to any calls-to-action or offers you present further down the conversion funnel. Essentially, long-form content plays an invaluable top-of-funnel role that still ultimately supports conversions.
Here are some tips to help you develop truly stellar long-form content that delivers all the benefits highlighted above:
Choose topics strategically – Opt for themes around commonly asked questions and pain points your audience faces. Topics should also lend themselves well to in-depth exploration over thousands of words.
In closing, despite the rising popularity of things like tweetstorm threads and LinkedIn posts, long-form content remains a vital component of an impactful omnichannel content strategy in 2023. Matching comprehensive, immersive, insightful content to topics your audience truly cares about guarantees they keep coming back for more. That loyal readership and trust ultimately pay dividends across all your website’s key performance indicators.
So don’t shy away from lengthier posts – embrace them as an opportunity to demonstrate thought leadership and provide real value. When well-executed, long-form content can be incredibly engaging while also delivering on multiple fronts from branding to conversions and everything in between.