What comes to mind when you hear the phrase "long-form content?"
Is it a never-ending blog post? What about writing a book? Long-form content can also be:
- 40-minute podcast episodes.
- 20-min YouTube tutorials.
- 60-min webinars.
- Posts with longer carousels on Instagram or LinkedIn.
The more you think about it, the more you realize we consume a lot of long-form content on a daily basis.
Long-form vs short-form content
Microsoft reported that 20 years ago, the average attention span was 12 seconds. Now it's at a whopping 8.25 seconds.
However, we watch many 60-minute episodes of TV shows in one sitting. So if you're having trouble getting started with long-form content, consider these factors:
- It's more about how well you engage your audience and deliver value than it is about creating extensive material.
- The length is highly influenced by the channel you're creating content for.
- Backlinko determined that the average first-page result comprises 1,447 words after analyzing 11.8 million Google search results.
For short-form content:
- Again, the length is influenced by the channel. For example, when it comes to email marketing, the message needs to get across quickly or you risk losing interest.
- Character limits on social media platforms like Twitter and TikTok, which were designed with conciseness in mind, force you to make your message short and sweet.
- It's not necessary for all landing pages to be short; it's more about communicating the critical information your audience requires.
How to write long-form content
How can you tell a tale through your own material that brings the entire piece to life?
And how do you integrate long-form content into your marketing strategy?
Find your content's purpose
Don't create content for the sake of creating it, no matter how long it is.
Every piece of content must have a defined goal for a certain audience.
So, before you start developing content, consider the following:
- What problem does this material assist my audience in resolving?
- What kind of person would read this?
- How does this content fit into and complement the rest of my marketing strategy?
- Which channel am I going to promote this content on?
- When you have clarity in that area, what you need inside the material becomes clearer.
Long-form material has a bad reputation for being boring, but if it entertains people, they'll want more.
This can be accomplished by providing meaningful content that engages individuals with a story that appeals to their emotions and connects with their deepest challenges.
The same is true for B2B because you're still selling to people at the end of the day.
In fact, the hook (the attention grabber) is one of the most significant aspects of content, therefore weaving a story throughout keeps your viewers browsing till the conclusion.
Write enough to convey your message
The purpose of long-form material should never be to "keyword things" or to create in order to meet a word count.
The goal should always be to add value, introduce new ideas, simplify difficult concepts, and ultimately make people's lives easier.
If your content is important to your readers, they will stick with it to the end.
Break up text with visuals
Readers will lose interest almost instantly if you do not visually appeal to their demands.
Bullet points, italics, short sentences, and visual imagery are popular ways for humans to break up text.
People frequently browse through the entirety of a blog piece to view the important points before reading the entire thing.
So, by keeping it brief and well-designed, you enhance the likelihood that they will read the entire blog.
Promote and repurpose
The entire purpose of producing material is for others to read it. So, shout it from the rooftops, and make sure to promote it via different media.
A fantastic technique to accomplish this is to divide your article's topics into micro-content.