When we’re in such a social media dominated era, where most posts are short and snappy or quick-witted, we may be more hesitant to use long-form content. It may even seem like long-form content is, well, dead.
But it’s not. At least, not completely. Basically, if you can create long-form content that is genuinely educational and creates engagement then you’ve nailed it. And when we say creates engagement, we mean capturing your audience just as new seasons dropping on Netflix do. (Guiltily, I spent my entire weekend binging a show in anticipation of its new season dropping. Woops.)
Holding the attention of the audience like that can sound daunting, especially when relying on long-form content to do it. But that long-form content is what can establish you as an authority within your field.
What Is Long-Form Content?
When you think of ‘long-form content’, what are you actually thinking of? Articles, books, maybe even hour-long videos?
Because if you are, you would be right.
However, it can also be something as short as a 20-minute YouTube tutorial which does seem short but it’s long-form. Just as 60-minute webinars and podcast episodes over 30-minutes are. Surprisingly, you’ll find that those longer, paragraph-filled LinkedIn and Instagram posts also count as long-form content.
If long-form content really is ‘dead’, how come we find ourselves consuming it so regularly? And it’s not just regular consumption, it’s regular mass consumption. It really just depends on how that content is created.
Over 20 years ago, the average attention span of a human was 12 seconds. 10 years later, it was 8 seconds. Wonder what it is now, another 10 years on. Definitely lower than a goldfish’s, by the way, because theirs is 9 seconds.
Yet at the same time, we can get through an entire season (or multiple, in my case) of a show in one sitting. What exactly is it about different types of long-form content that either holds our attention or loses it?
How To Create Long-Form Content?
So… How are you gonna use long-form content to establish yourself as an authority in you field? Incorporate it into your marketing strategy.
Have A Purpose
Your content should always have some sort of purpose, otherwise you’re creating just to create without any other reason.
Always target an audience with every piece of content you put out, even if it’s a similar audience every time. Ask yourself who your content is for, how the content will help them, and also how it’s relevant still to you.
That will help you when it comes to creating the content.
With long-form content, the most important thing is to create engagement because that tells you your post is doing what it’s supposed to. People are checking it out, reading or watching and sharing it with others.
If streaming platforms can do it, why can’t you? Relevant content that is purposeful and pulls people in with a story to keep them engaged… You’ve really done it now. Keep that story all the way through and you really will keep people scrolling due to their investment in what you’ve put out.
What’s Your Message?
A purpose, relevant, a story. What else?
A message. Your message, your brand’s message, both. But hopefully they align so it’s one message overall.
The intention behind any content creator is always to bring something new or relevant or education to the table. Even if it’s a topic that’s been spoken about by so many different people – everyone has their own views and those can actually help us. Bigger picture and all that.
When you listen, read, or share content from someone, you usually find yourself siding with the information in some way. Maybe you learned something new, discovered an easier way to do something, agreed with the information, it could be anything. But the reason you read or listened right to the end is because you were engaged, interested.
And this is so much easier when the content or message is something you align with yourself.
Include images, videos, graphics, anything visual that breaks up large chunks of text; your audience will thank you for it. Seriously.
With humans having such low attention spans, we love having things to quickly scan over: bullet points, numbered lists, short sentences, italic font, visual elements. Anything that makes the experience not only more enjoyable but also easier.
Think of those poor mobile users, too. Their screen is already small enough, you don’t need to bombard them with an entire screen of endless text.
The best part: promoting your content! Majority of the heavy-lifting is done at this point – you’ve created, designed, and uploaded your post. All that’s left is to sell it. After all, the whole reason you created it in the first place was so that people could see it.
Tell everyone you know about it, put it on every social channel you have, yell about it on the street if you have to. Just make sure you promote it. But think about how to promote it in the most efficient way.
Is it likely that everyone who sees a tweet with the article link will click it? No. Instead, you can create a Twitter thread with some of the highlights, maybe tweet questions that leave them curious so they have to check out the article.
How about a short-form video with the highlights posted on LinkedIn or Instagram? Think about your audience, too. If it’s something that will benefit multiple audiences, try creating different promotion posts that targets each individually.
- Long-form content is more about the value you give your audience and how well they engage with your content.
- Your field will heavily influence the length of the content you create. Articles, blogs, guides focus on word count, and books on page count. Because where a book may require 250 pages, the average blog needs just 1,500 words.
- On average, Google’s first-page results are typically always over 1,000 words. Considering that Google aims to provide search users with the most helpful results, this can only mean one thing. Users are enjoying longer content.
Get In Contact with GrowTraffic
Hopefully, this blog made quite the example of content that’s long-form. Broken down with bullet points and… headings. So many H tags.
Long-form content is a great way to establish yourself as an authority in your field. eBooks, white papers, journal articles: all equal types of long-form content which show off your knowledge. It’s giving research, it’s giving education, it’s giving informative.
They’re actually a really great way, also, to attract high-quality leads. They would find a benefit with you as you would with them.
Finding long-form content daunting or finding yourself too hesitant? Contact GrowTraffic today!
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