Why Create Long-Form Content & How to Do it
Content creation plays a vital role in digital marketing. Therefore, marketers strive hard to create high-quality posts. But, the length of an ideal content is still a debate.
Some web experts prefer short and crisp blog posts, while others focus on detailed and comprehensive pieces of information.
From the SEO perspective, there is no better option than long-form content. Since readers get complete information from a single source, they are less likely to switch to other sites.
But what is long-form content, and how can we create it? Let us discover all this and a lot more in this article. Keep reading!
What Is Long-Form Content?
As the name suggests, detailed content covers all relevant information about the topic. Starting from the basics, we proceed systematically so that readers can easily understand everything.
But understanding the word count rule of the platform where you are going to publish the content is imperative. Like there is a character limit of 63,206 characters for Facebook posts. Likewise, we cannot exceed the tweet from 280 characters on Twitter.
WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, and other blogging platforms give you the freedom to write as much as you want. However, if you are writing a blog post or a page content, thoroughly go through the writing guidelines of your website and check the word limit. You may also need to check your competitors, especially on the topic that you wanted to write about. You can use the content optimization software link InLinks.net to analyze your topic and give you the data you needed.
Commonly, a word range from 1000-to 7500 words falls under the category of explicit content. Many social media sites also give us the benefit of writing content within this range.
Let us learn more about these sites:
Thankfully, some social media platforms offer a separate app for publishing detailed content. LinkedIn Publisher is a wonderful example here. It allows us to write, edit, and publish long blog articles to connect the readers to the website.
Twitter is also planning to facilitate users with a similar feature. As per an article on Tech Juice, Twitter is about to remove the character limit on the Tweets. Thus, users will be able to post long-form articles with ease.
Benefits of Long-Form Content on Social Media
The power of social media is undeniable. Whether a start-up or a well-established brand, every business owner now prioritizes social media strategies. And, publishing detailed posts on these channels brings endless benefits. A few of them are mentioned below:
- Millions of people are on social media, which increases the probability of our content being noticed.
- Brands work hard to increase their followers. And, content on social media is automatically shared with these fans.
- Social media channels are no short of features. We can use tools to see how many people have read our post.
- Competitors must have been posting valuable information on social media. Consistently using the long-form content opportunity lets us beat the rivals.
- Potential clients might be observing our activity. Detailed information about relevant topics sheds light on our expertise.
Apart from social media, posting long-form content on a website’s blog is equally beneficial. Still wondering how? Let’s find out:
Why is Long-Form Content Important?
Here are a few key reasons for creating long-form content:
1. For Boosting Engagement
An ultimate goal of a content creator is to engage readers. And long-form content provides a perfect opportunity for it.
Compare a short 500-word blog post with a detailed 2000-word article. Which one helps you explain things in a better way? Undoubtedly, the latter one looks more appropriate. Users will find the content easier to comprehend when you provide detailed information backed with examples, visuals, and studies.
Apart from it, when we explain things in detail, we can connect the subject with several other topics, providing more value to the readers. Thus, chances of engagement increase automatically.
2. For Developing Trust
Almost all of us trust websites that provide extensive information. The knowledge we gain from the platform is the mirror image of their expertise on a particular subject.
Additionally, we feel overwhelmed after getting all the material from one place. It seems time-saving and effortless. No one wants to search several websites to gather information. Thus, readers start developing trust.
Instead of viewing any other platform, they visit the same site with comprehensive content the next time. In this way, this tactic gives birth to many loyal and repeated visitors.
3. For Enhanced Brand Exposure
As mentioned above, writing content in detail lets us cover several topics under one source. It broadens our target market, which is great for brand exposure.
For instance, we are writing a detailed post on digital marketing. In this post, we can describe each element of digital marketing in detail, like explaining content creation, SEO, mobile marketing, email marketing, and much more.
This helps us target a variety of readers, including content creators, search engine experts, email marketers, and even novice business owners. Furthermore, people from all these backgrounds may like and share our posts on social media.
However, in short-form content, we can barely describe all the components of digital marketing. Discussing the benefits and limitations, providing tutorials, and explaining industry trends will be challenging due to a low word limit.
That is why our short post on the same topic will target people only interested in having a basic knowledge of digital marketing.
Thus, our brand gets more exposure when we provide more information to our readers.
4. For a Better Search Engine Rank
When people start relying on your site, they spend more time on it. Google is brilliant, and it keeps track of every activity. When Google notices the increased traffic along with an increase in the average time spent on your site, it boosts your search engine ranking.
Apart from it, when we write content in detail, we get multiple opportunities to add links to other relevant sites. A link back from these sites is essential for SEO. Thus, detailed content opens room for an improved search engine ranking.
Long-Form Content Examples
Since we are also writing a long-form piece, we will now provide examples of brands successfully using this strategy. These brands include:
A top-notch technological firm known as IBM needs no introduction. Digesting technical information looks dry and boring. Therefore, the company adopted a long-form strategy to engage its readers.
It uses a balanced combination of audio, video, and text to deliver its message. Most importantly, the articles are written in a simple and lucid style. It makes even the non-technical people understand the core technology-related concepts.
Unlike the traditional videos, Airbnb took an entirely different approach. The firm published its detailed report in 2012, which was a great success.
Apart from insights into the company’s growth, the report includes images and audio files of its users. It enables potential clients to hear the real-life stories of their clients.
These inspiring stories have developed a huge list of loyal clientele for the firm.
Whenever you feel doubt about the long-form content, have a look at Google. Can this business giant survive without comprehensive content? Never!
The firm perfectly presents information in the form of various long-form sections. It covers everything from sports and movies to TV shows and tech trends.
Developing billions of users would never have been possible if Google could not explain things in detail.
How to Create Long-Form Content?
After knowing the success stories of these brands, you must be curious to know how to create detailed content.
Do not worry!
This article will serve as an ultimate guide for creating a long-form post. Let’s begin:
1. Choose a Relevant Topic
Topic selection is a time-consuming process. But spending time and effort on long-form content will be useless if the topic is irrelevant. To choose an ideal topic, you need to follow the below steps:
Know Your Target Audience
Try to understand your audience to choose a topic that can spark interest among the readers. Study their pain points and see what they want to learn. Know their present knowledge and consider how your content can resolve their concerns.
Use the Right Tool
After having a fair idea about the audience, get your hands on one of the most trending tools. Thankfully, many tools are there to generate content ideas and suggest topics. Ahrefs, Inlinks.net, UberSuggest, Feedly Reeder, and Content Strategy Generator are a few big names.
Knowing the relationship between search volume and competition is essential when using any of the above tools. Apart from other sections, these two portions are present in every tool.
- Search Volume: It indicates the number of searches a specific keyword receives.
- Competition: It shows whether the content on a similar topic is already present. When the competition is high, a lot of similar content is present on the given topic. However, if it is low, only a few similar content pieces exist.
A topic with high search volume and low competition is an ideal choice. The combination shows that many people want to know about the topic, but the online library has less content.
Therefore, it gives us more room for engagement.
Study Your Competitors
Look at the content marketing strategy of your competitors. Notice which subjects they use and how they are engaging the consumers. It will give you more ideas about the topic.
But, refrain from writing content on the same topic. Try to stand out with something different and more valuable. For instance, if competitors are writing about the benefits of content marketing tools, you can produce content about the right way to use each tool.
Again, looking at the search volume and the competition level is essential.
2. Perform an In-Depth Research
Once you know the topic, get ready to do extensive research. Try your level best to research everything about the topic. Give ample time and use multiple resources.
If you have no clue about the research sources, here is a list for you:
- Google books
- Reliable websites
- Research papers and journal articles
- Tools like Sample Size Calculator, Living Facts, Pew Research Center, and Think with Google.
3. Choose a Suitable Tone
Apart from providing valuable information, the success of long-form content also relies on a suitable tone. When your writing style matches the audience, they engage better and get a positive image.
For instance, adding a dash of humor in your writing style when addressing B2B clients, stockholders, and managers looks inappropriate. In this case, you can adopt a serious and professional tone.
4. Create an Outline
One big challenge in writing a detailed content piece is maintaining flow. To overcome this, content producers always create an outline.
The outline presents all the main and subheadings of the content along with their brief description. Consider it your writing plan and jot down all the key points in it.
It will help you stay on track and connect one paragraph with the other.
5. Write Comprehensive Content
Sit in a non-distractive environment where you can give exceptional attention to content creation. Recall the audience, the goal of the content, and the outline.
Try to start with an exciting introduction. Give your readers a reason to go through the following content. Besides this, shed light on the topic’s significance, discuss the benefits and reveal how the content will help them.
Then, write the main body considering the headings present in the outline. In the end, conclude your write-up in an exclusive style. You can discuss the key takeaway of the article and give some valuable suggestions.
6. Add Engaging Visuals
No one wants to go through the text-bulky paragraphs. You can add an exciting appeal through visuals. They bring engagement and help users understand critical concepts.
Moreover, visuals develop an emotional bond, save time, and build credibility. But understanding the various types of visuals is essential. Here are the main types of visual content you should take advantage of:
Videos have the power to demonstrate things that words can fail to describe. Long-form videos are over 10 minutes in time. Therefore, you can easily describe various things in a single video. For instance, toy brands can use videos to show how to assemble a Lego car.
If you aren’t familiar with video making, look for companies that provide video marketing services.
A quick view of the images can help the reader understand what your content talks about. Therefore, never compromise in adding relevant images.
Real shots from a professional photographer are always ideal. But you need to spend a hefty budget for them. If you want a pocket-friendly option, try purchasing stock photos. Additionally, you can customize these images to match your brand’s scheme.
Screenshots are a great way of building credibility. They serve as evidence of what you say. People usually share screenshots to display the results when sharing tips and tricks.
Additionally, you can add screenshots while giving examples. Like if you are talking about a website design of various brands, sharing a screenshot will let readers understand the difference easily.
Infographics relate to pie charts, bar graphs, flow charts, and other graphical representations. They present information in an appealing style, making it easier to digest.
For instance, if the graph is about the percentage of various elements, users can tell which element is the highest in percentage at a glance.
7. Proofread Thoroughly
Like other humans, content writers also make mistakes. But proofreading gives us a chance to eradicate all the errors. Not just this, it gives us new ideas for improving flow, using better vocabulary, and connecting various sentences.
Proofreading is the last but significant portion of your explicit content. In this step, try to read your writing piece from the reader’s point of view. Cut unnecessary and confusing sentences. Also, give links to various research sources for adding weightage to the content.
Aim to proofread thrice for exclusively polished content. You can also use tools like Grammarly, Zoho Writer, Scribes, and Jetpack for help. They highlight grammatical mistakes and give suggestions for content improvement.
Wrapping It Up
In short, this competitive online landscape demands detailed information for business survival. Due to higher engagement, better SEO ranking, and excellent brand exposure, top-notch firms are producing long-form content.
But this change in the content strategy is not as difficult as it sounds. We can start with a relevant topic, perform research, write an outline, and create an informative article.
Adding visuals is another key step. Search for the best images or create some compelling videos. Lastly, don’t forget to proofread your work.
It might take some time and require dedication, but the efforts will pay off.
Best of Luck!