A Guide To Long-Form Content

Meet Sonya: A content marketer who’s keen on the latest trends, like snappy tweets and seven-second TikTok videos.

With all that 7-second content, it’s no wonder Sonya is hesitant to start searching for 2,000-word blog articles. She thinks to herself, “Is long-form content dead?”

Then I came across this article you’re reading now, and just like you, she’s curious.

From my point of view, long, thin and boring content is dead, yeah.

But, valuable long-form content that works—and really stands the test of our ever-declining attention spans—is all about creating engagement, not length.

So, how do you create content that engages your audience like a 10-hour Netflix marathon?

Let’s now take a deeper look.

What is long-form content?

What comes to your mind when you think of “long form content”?

Is it an endless blog article? What about the book?

In fact, the long content is also:

  • 40-minute podcast episodes. (Am I the only one who indulges in marketing loops pumped to my day?!)
  • 20-minute YouTube lessons.
  • 60-minute webinars.
  • Longer circular posts on Instagram or LinkedIn.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that we already consume a lot of long-form content on a daily basis.

long content vs. Short form content

Let’s address the question “Is long-form content dead?” Debate once and for all.

To give you a little context about what we’re working with, Microsoft mentioned that 20 years ago, the The average attention span was 12 seconds.

Today, we’re at 8.25 seconds.

On the other hand, we are binge-watching Multiple episodes of 60-minute TV shows in one sitting (including me).

So when you are in a quandary about how long it takes you to create long-form content, keep these factors in mind:

  • It comes more How well you interact with your audience and the value you provide Instead of just creating long content.
  • The channel you create content for greatly affects length (For example, a blog article might be an ideal length of 1,500 words because that’s the amount of space you need to cover the topic, while a book might need 250 pages.)
  • After analyzing 11.8 million Google search results, Backlinko discovered that the average first page result contains 1,447 words. Considering that Google’s goal is to provide the most useful results that users likethis highlights it Users enjoy longer content.

For short content:

  • repeatedly, The channel affects the length. For example, especially with email marketing, the message needs to get through right away, or you’ll reduce the chance of getting noticed.
  • With social media channels like Twitter or TikTok built with brevity in mind, Character limit It forces you to keep your message short and sweet.
  • Not all landing pages have to be short, it’s more about Convey the important information your audience needs.

According to peep laga from CXL:

Worried your copy is too long? No. If someone is ready to buy after only a short cut (after reading about 20% of the copy), they can just skip forward and click Buy. No problem.

But if someone has read all of the text on your site and still has questions and doubts, you have a problem. This is why long copy works so well for sales pages.”

So, while there are certainly times and places where short content is a must, long form content is still very much alive and well.

How to write long content

Remember Sonya from earlier?

We’ve included Sonya because she’s probably a lot like you: a content marketer who’s struggling with deciding how to incorporate long-form content into her marketing strategy.

It creates the story in this article because it is linked. As a content marketer, I’m constantly arguing about how long it takes to create content, so I totally understand her dilemma.

So when it comes to your content, how do you craft a story that brings the entire piece to life?

And how do you successfully integrate long-form content into your marketing strategy?

Let’s now dive into that.

Step 1: Find the purpose of your content

There’s something I need to be very clear: no matter the length, don’t create content just to create content.

Every piece of content needs to have a specific intent for a specific audience.

So, consider these questions before creating content:

  • What problem is this content helping my audience solve?
  • What kind of person would read this article?
  • How does this content align with and support the rest of my marketing strategy?
  • What channel am I promoting this content on?

Once you get clarity there, what you need within the content becomes clearer.

Step Two: Create an engaging story

Unfortunately, long-form content has a reputation for being boring, but when it entertains people, they will be eager for more.

When in doubt, always remember: If Netflix can create a story like Squid Games, subscribers have watched it 2.1 billion hours Since its release, you can then create long-form content that keeps your audience glued to the screen, too.

You can do this by creating relevant content that engages people with a story to appeal to their feelings and connect with their deepest challenges.

Same goes for B2B because at the end of the day – you’re still selling to people.

In fact, the (attention-grabbing) hook is one of the most important pieces of content; So when you can weave a story throughout, it keeps your audience moving until the very end.

Step 3: Write enough to get your message across

The goal of long-form content should not be “keyword stuff” or just write to achieve word count.

The goal should always be to add value, include new ideas, clarify difficult concepts, and ultimately make people’s lives easier.

For example, think of your favorite marketing podcast – even if it’s 60 minutes long, you’re probably eager to keep listening and won’t stop until the end (even if it takes a couple of days).

If the content is important to your readers, they will stick with it until it’s over.

Step 4: Divide the text into images and a well-designed page

Readers will lose interest almost immediately if you don’t appeal to their needs visually.

Humans love things divided by periods, italics, short sentences, and visual images.

Just as if you were in first grade learning to read, a full page of text without pictures seemed daunting.

The same concept applies today. Oftentimes, people like to scroll through the entire blog article to view the main points before consuming everything.

So, by keeping it quick and well-designed, you will increase your chances of reading the entire blog.

This is an example:

Eddie, owner VeryGoodCopydoes an exceptional job of keeping its content short, sweet, and to the point:

Screenshot from VeryGoodCopy, October 2022

By adding photos, great dialogue, and short sentences, he has built his subscriber list of more than 48,000 marketers.

Last but not least – don’t skimp on mobile optimization.

Readers are likely to keep an eye on their phones, and if it’s wonky, they’ll be out right away.

Step 5: Promote and Repurpose

Now comes the fun part – promotion and reallocation.

The whole point of creating content is for people to read it. So, shout it from the rooftops, and make sure to promote it multiple times across multiple channels.

A great way to do this is to break down the topics within your article into small pieces of content.

For example, I can create:

  • A circular post that summarizes the points made in this blog article.
  • Twitter topic.
  • Short video on LinkedIn.

3 examples of high-quality long-form content

Most learn by example, so here are some of my favorites for highly engaging long-form content.

Example 1: Refine Podcast Labs

An example of a podcast long contentScreenshot from Revenue Vitals Podcast, Refine Labs, October 2022

Why is it so cool:

  • Very attractive ringsup to an hour or more.
  • It features live commentary from CEO Chris Walker and questions from the audiencewhich leads to building a strong community.
  • Don’t focus on sellingbut informing the public to really improve the way marketing works
  • Highly forwarded on LinkedIn.
  • He educates his audience on ways to really improve their marketing strategiesregardless of whether they work with Refine Labs or not.

Example 2: Blog stats for 2022 from Orbit Media

New blog stats for 2022 orbit media contentScreenshot from Orbit Media, October 2022

Why is it so cool:

  • It aggregates real data based on surveys rather than simply summarizing other people’s research.
  • Surveys are from real people who work on blog articlesso the data is trustworthy.
  • It is updated on an annual basis, So the information is always updated.
  • Summarize useful visuals with charts The most important information in an easily readable way.
  • the Subject matter expert comment Adds credibility.
  • it’s a Perfect for generating natural backlinks.

Example 3: Patagonia’s “Wolfpack” documentary

Example of wolfpack contentWolfpack, Patagonia, September 2018

Why is it so cool:

  • It uses a strong focus on emotionBuilt directly by real people.
  • Builds a relevant brand story And the general public, but does not sell.
  • Remains true to Patagonia Brand mission to help the environment.

With the right strategy, long-form content can win

After reading this article, Sonya is now convinced to conquer 1,500 thrilling articles – so where does that leave you?

If you decide to create long-form content, just remember:

  • Make sure to anchor a specific purpose to your content.
  • Gather enough information to get your message across clearly.
  • Make it valuable and worth your readers’ time.
  • weave into a story.

And don’t forget to promote and rehire them!

More resources:

  • How to repurpose long-form content into supplemental content
  • 8 elements of a successful content strategy
  • Completely optimized content from start to finish

Featured image: Inside the Creative House / Shutterstock

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