The question as to whether to produce long-form content or short-form content has been a highly debated topic in marketing circles.
Here are the cases for both forms of content which will help you figure out which format would be better to communicate with your audience.
The Case for Long-Form Content
Long-form content could be defined as content with more than 2,000 words. The goal of long-form content is to dive deep into a topic and dissect it in detail.
Some example for long-form content include E-Books, Online Guides and White Papers.
Because long-form content aims to educate and inform those looking for answers for a specific question in great detail, it generates more engagement from its audience.
According to Buzz Feed founder Noah Kagan, long-form content gets shared more than short-form content.
Long-form content, when produced well, also generates increased time spent on your site. This will result in better search engine rankings as well. When people spend more time on a site, it signals to Google that the audience is finding the information on the site to be useful.
This is why Long-form content is considered to be the back bone of a successful SEO strategy.
Stacking multiple pieces of long-form content on top of one another will be highly impactful and would result in a steady flow of traffic and leads for your brand.
Producing long-form content positions your brand as an authority and an expert on the subject matter. The ability to speak in great lengths or create complete guides automatically reflects that you have a vast knowledge and experience on the subject.
Building an archive of in-depth, long-form content would get your brand the reputation of being the go-to source for such information in the future. And the more familiar your audience become with your site, the more likely they are to revisit it.
This would also increase the conversion rate. The high-attention given by the consumer and the intent behind the visit further contribute to the increased conversion rate. This is proven by studies done by Conversion Rate Experts and Crazy Egg.
Unlike short-form content, the interest and performance of long-form content don’t wane with time.
The higher number of back-links present on longer-form content also results in more social media success.
The Case for Short-Form Content
Short-form content could be described as content pieces with less than 1,000 words. The goal of short-form content is to help its audience quickly and easily digest specific topics.
Some examples for short-form content are Short blog posts, Infographics, Social content and Emails.
Short-form content will be extremely beneficial for consumers who are looking for a quick and concise answer to their queries. People are busy, and your short-form content will be able to provide them with information efficiently.
Simple definitions and brief explanations could be some examples for this.
The modern-day consumer has a short attention span. This is why social media platforms have restrictions on the length of content. Twitter’s limit of 280 characters per tweet and Instagram’s limit of 15-second per Instagram video which disappears after 24 hours.
The modern-day consumer tends to scan through the content instead of reading every single word. In this case, short-form content will prove to be highly effective.
Short-form content is more mobile-friendly than long-form. This allows this type of content to reach more people. Mobile content consumption is a factor that cannot be ignored by modern-day marketers.
Furthermore, producing short-form content is easier since it requires less time and resources. If you’re outsourcing your content creation, then short-form would generally be more affordable.
As the facts presented above suggest, a case can be made for both long-form and short-form content.
The ideal length of the content should be determined based on
- Intended goal of the content piece
- Intent of the audience
For example, if your goal is to get better Google Search rankings, then you should use long-form content.
Whereas if your goal is to create awareness around a product launch, short-form content distributed through newsletters or social media would be ideal.
If the intent of your audience is to educate themselves, then you should present them with long-form content where as if it was to entertain them or keep them up-to date with the latest news, short-form content would be more effective.
What are your thoughts on this? And which form of content has been most effective with your marketing activities? Let us know on the comments section below.
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