Until recently, marketers believed that short-form content (350 to 600 words) was the best way to share information with current and potential customers. However, the latest research is showing that long-form content (typically 1,200 to 3,000 words or more) will get you noticed more effectively and more often.
Here’s why long-form content is better and how you can create it without spending hours at your keyboard.
Benefits Of Long-Form Content
- It Gets Shared More Often – The marketing site BuzzSumo recently analyzed eight months of social share data for over 100 million articles. They found that the longer the content, the more it was shared. A study of the most emailed articles in the New York Times also showed that longer articles were generally shared more often via email than shorter ones.
- It Ranks Higher On Search Results – That’s because you can use long-tail keywords (for example, organic, gluten-free cat food vs. cat food) more often in long-form content, and these type of keywords show up more often in searches. Long-form content also makes people stay on your website longer when reading it, which Google loves, and generates more backlinks to the content.
- It Give You Credibility – Long-form content allows you to be seen as a subject matter expert, which means more people will come to you for advice in this area.
- It Improves Conversion Rates – Once case study showed that a company’s long-form web home page increased conversion rates by over 37 percent compared to the short-form page. Enough said.
Tips For Creating Long-Form Content
- Make Every Word Count – First, be sure you’re writing something your audience will want to read. However, even if your readers are interested in the information, they won’t read boring content. Add stories or examples that trigger people’s emotions particularly laughter, amazement, and awe. Stay away from sadness and anger. And finally, memorize this mantra: Quality over quantity.
- Find The Right Topic – You can do this through keyword research, by analyzing your own testing results, and by checking out what your competition is writing about in their blogs or social media posts.
- Break Information Into Chunks – Because there’s so much information, you must make it easier to read and digest. (This can also make writing it less difficult, too.)
- Use short, crisp sentences.
- Never use more than four sentences in a paragraph.
- Add headers, sub-headers, bullets, lists, italics, and bolding to break up and highlight information.
- Use images, graphics, or embedded videos as needed. Research shows that having at least one image will lead to more shares on Twitter and Facebook.
- Make Sure It’s The Right Format – There are times when long-form content really won’t be the best option. On-going research will help you understand which format will get the best response from your audience. Just FYI, list articles (X Ways To Build A Mousetrap) tend to make easy writing and easy reading as long-form content.
Remember that what’s most effective is a mixture of both short- and long-term content. Use each for their specific purposes as part of a well-designed marketing plan that includes a sound keyword strategy and solid distribution plan. Now that you know some secrets to long-form content, go see how much it can do for you.
Lisa Tynan is the owner of Benchmark Writing Solutions. She is a certified Writing Virtual Assistant and Marketing Professional with proven experience in both short-form and long-form copywriting that has helped business owners improve their market reach and build their customer base. To learn more about Lisa’s writing services, contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.