In the marketing world, it used to be said that shorter posts were better for your blog. It makes sense: readers have more to read than ever, and less time to read it. So, by making short, punchy posts, you can cut through to what people really want and leave the fluff out. It was also better for SEO to keep the waffle from your blog or landing page. So, what’s changed?
Readers spend time reading
As obvious as it might seem, content consumers reserve some part of their day for reading and learning. Some websites exist purely to pack in as much information into an easy-to-read webpage, allowing users to browse their latest news confidently and easily in niche spaces or industries. The idea that consumers don’t have time to read long-form content has been born from the popularity of social media and its immediacy of information. But you can’t get answers to questions or specific industry insight from a tweet or social media post. So, you must visit landing pages and engage – people still have time for this, and those interested in an industry will go out of their way to seek knowledge, news, and data for it.
Web-users want specific answers to specific questions
We know people have the time to read, but what are they reading? In terms of behaviour, people using the web are becoming smarter every day. Your content should reflect this change in what people are looking for. Having a 2000+ word article that answers a niche question, packed with long-tail keywords, links to sources and other sites, and caters to a user’s needs, will benefit your site massively against having a short 300-word article that barely scratches the surface of the topic. As mentioned above, people have the time to consume knowledge that will benefit them. Start by making sure you can cater to these needs.
“Evergreen” long-form content is your best bet
Marketing guru Neil Patel has suggested that having ‘evergreen’ content is using your best foot forward when it comes to content marketing. The idea is that this is content used all the time, all year round, by various readers. Longer articles attract backlinks and more organic traffic on Google over time, making it “evergreen.” You must both want the article to work for it to work. Longer content gives you the appearance of being an authority in your field – with proper backlinks and sources to that work. You ARE that authority. You can also launch marketing campaigns based on just long content pieces. Businesses find that lead generation happens to a greater extent with long form content over a longer period. This “evergreen” method is a sure-fire marketing tool that you cannot ignore if you want your content to succeed in a sea of constantly updated content.
The Payoff is Worth It
One of the main reasons companies and content marketers baulk at the idea of writing articles that range from 1500 to 4000 words is the sheer amount of time and effort it takes. Most content marketers will tell you they can produce a professional blog article of five hundred words with relative ease. But when you must step up your output at least four times over, businesses start to take a step back and start analysing whether the ROI is worth it. But it is. HubSpot’s analysis of their site and posts makes it crystal clear that articles with a word count of 2000+ words earned the most organic traffic. They were also the articles shared most on social media and earned the most inbound links. Now we’re not just talking about theory – this is hard, irrefutable data. So, start practicing your long form content now!
You’re offering information – make it visually interesting
So, you have planned out a nice 2500-word article on your chosen topic, and you’ve uploaded it to your site. What does it look like? A wall of text? That’s right, and unfortunately, a monochromatic webpage with nothing that visually ‘pops’ from the page is going to mean little interest, along with a higher bounce rate. Having visuals peppered throughout your long from content – think of them as visual aids for your content consumers – will help break the content into more manageable portions that are easily consumable by a reader. At a time when there is always something else to look at or be distracted by, you must reinforce the idea to your readers that what you’re offering cannot be missed. Mixed text and visual posts will do just that.
Design for appearance
If you want to fix your car, the best thing used to be to go buy or borrow a Haynes manual. Why? Simply because it provided you with everything you needed to know about fixing your model of car, with step-by-step instructions and illustrations. Your content must follow this method. Consider detailing your content like a guide, with an introduction, step 1, step 2, and so on. Make sure your content flows, include sharing buttons and sign-up forms. You must design your content to appeal and make sure the copy backs this up.
Visitors will trust you more
Simply put, the more time people spend on your site, the more they will trust your brand or business. In this scenario, they also happen to be spending time on your site reading an interesting 2000+ word article on a given topic relating to your business. They find this so interesting that they find related content on your site or browse through the rest of your blog. They then share it on social media, tell friends and colleagues about it…the circle continues. By simply creating a valuable long piece of content, visitors are more likely to digest whatever else is on your site and promote your services.
So, overall, there are several certifiable reasons why you should be creating long form content and adopting it as part of your content marketing strategy. Follow our blog to learn more about content marketing and more!