Content quality is an integral factor in any digital marketing strategy. It establishes your credibility, reputation, and has a significant effect on your search engine rankings. Determining the best content for your brand is an important process that requires you to understand your target audience and the goals you want to accomplish.
When the time comes to begin planning your content, there are many decisions to be made including the type and length of content you’ll be posting. One of the most common dilemmas when deciding what content to publish is the choice between long-form and short-form content. It is important to understand both types to better understand when and how to effectively use each.
Long Form Content
Long-form content includes detailed posts like guides or how-to articles. It is normally targeted towards a highly motivated audience that is looking for valuable information. Hubspot Blog states that a long-form content post usually consists of 1,000 to 7,500 words.
Why should I use Long-Form Content?
This type of content provides deeper insight into a given topic. This gives brands an opportunity to provide examples and support for claims. With long-form content, businesses can also preemptively answer common questions and comments. It is a great tool to gain more eyes for your website and increase user engagement. Because of the increased opportunity for keywords and backlinks, long-term content creates better SEO results and works better with Google.
When should I use Long-Form Content?
- When your audience has little knowledge on your business and services.
- When you are explaining your product(s) in detail.
- When you are launching a new brand, product, or service.
- When you are offering a guide or a “how-to” article.
Short-form content requires much less critical thinking, is easy to digest, and covers a more specific topic. This is commonly seen on social media through captions and infographics that are conveying a simple message. Other types of short-form content include short articles, emails, and simple blog posts.
Why Should I Use Short-Form Content?
This content requires less commitment from your audience, making it great for social media. Less research and resources are required to create short-form content, so it is easier to consistently post. This type of content is easily consumable which means the reader is more likely to understand the key points.
When Should I Use Long-Form Content?
- When you are creating content for mobile marketing.
- When you are targeting a younger audience.
- When your audience is already informed on your topic.
- When your goal is to get your audience’s attention.
Short Term vs. Long Term: Which is Best for me?
A successful marketing strategy is going to have a mix of both long-form and short-form content. There are benefits to using both content approaches. Short-form content will engage and connect with your target audience, while long-term content will provide extensive knowledge and be informative.
Determining the best type of content is dependent on the context. The best approach is to focus on creating content that is the right length and serves the purpose it is being created for. To determining what form is appropriate for your purpose, consider the following:
Though somewhat obvious, this is the most important step. Knowing what your end goal is and adequately planning for how to get there will help place you in a position to determine what form will work best. For example, if your goal is to raise awareness about an upcoming event, short-form content such as an infographic might be the best way to go. But, if your goal is to increase visits to your website, long-form content with backlinks and keywords could be more effective.
It is essential to take the insights you have on your audience into consideration when determining what type of content to create. Consider the content your audience engages with, what leads to higher conversion rates, and what leads to more traffic. For instance, if your short-form Instagram stories are leading more followers to visit your website, keep creating them. If your website isn’t receiving much attention from your audience, a new long-form type of content like a guide or tutorial might be more effective.
In order to maximize your user reach, consider what users are searching for. Learn what your audience wants to gain from your content. If your audience is looking to be educated on a certain topic, long-form content would be ideal. If they are simply looking for something smaller like a recipe, short-form content is a great option. Considering your user’s intent will help guide you to the right keywords and cater to their needs.
With the knowledge of the differences in short-form and long-form content, when to use them, and how they work, you’ll be able to boost engagement and create more traffic by choosing the best type of content for your audience.