Conventional Internet wisdom suggests that no one has the patience to read anything more than a couple hundred words. Then witness the popularity of Twitter, 140 characters; GIFs, nothing to read; and Mashable, digestible articles in list form. But the previously mentioned conventional wisdom is not entirely correct.
Though there’s certainly a place for short-form content on the web, smart entrepreneurs are increasingly noting the value long-form content can deliver to them and their customers. This could mean anything from extended blog posts exploring one topic in-depth to eBooks and whitepapers.
Long-form content isn’t a trend; it is a movement in content creation. In the near future, even more business owners will move towards developing long-form content across industries. Read on to find out how long-form content can help your business.
Improved Search Engine Rankings
It’s a simple fact of search engine optimization that one too many companies fail to heed: The higher quality your content, the higher your search results. Gone are the days when content mills could churn out 20 blog posts based on the same trending topic in a bid to gain website traffic.
Nowadays, Google rewards smart, well-crafted posts that are enhanced – not defined – by their keywords. This is one reason why long-form content is rising in popularity. It takes time and effort to craft a good, informative post. You need time to gather the information, spell out your point and address counterpoints. Once you have posted your piece, you’ll be rewarded with an accompanying spike in traffic.
Trust, Authority and Credibility
There is no greater way to establish credibility than by demonstrating your expertise. If you watch a plumber fix a leak, you’ll trust he knows what he’s doing. It’s the same with any other business.
A startup looking to establish its credentials in an industry needs to show in-depth knowledge. A long-form blog post is the perfect opportunity to do this. Fearless writing will ensure that your company is seen as a thought leader in its industry. Choose a strong and compelling topic when writing long-form content.
Online readers are easily distracted and will not invest time in your post if it’s boring. The most important thing is driving home your point, one that is unique to your company and brings real value to anyone who reads it. Try this tactic: break down a little-understood niche topic in your field which has received scant coverage elsewhere online. You’ll automatically be identified as an expert in this field, since few others have posted about it.
Better Social Media Content
You will need to do a lot of research to develop long-form content. However, this doesn’t mean you should not be posting anything else on your website or social media channels in the meantime. In fact, your long-form posts can help give you nuggets for your short-form content in the form of tantalizing social media posts teasing your upcoming big project.
For example, if you are a startup about to launch your first major product, you may decide to release an accompanying eBook to help educate customers about what you do. While conducting research for your eBook, you run across a surprising statistic about your industry. Rather than keep it to yourself until you release the eBook, why not tweet about it to draw people in? Your tweet might look like this: “Researching our upcoming ebook; Findings: 46% of people in our industry don’t schedule tweets. #wedo”
Improved Media Coverage
Let’s face it, as much as we live online these days, offline press coverage is still desirable, and a great way to get it is to produce long-form content to draw the attention of a local magazine, newspaper or television station. If they interview you about your new eBook, you’ll receive a flood of traffic to your site from people wanting to download it, a great form of free publicity.
It’s important to understand that long-form content shouldn’t be created for the masses; it is a specific tool created for your industry’s audience. It’s easy to believe most people prefer short-form content – the internet is overflowing with limited-character posts and infographics. However, long-form content is a must in order to promote your business’ brand.
Savannah Flynn is a public relations specialist and online marketing enthusiast writing on behalf of WebpageFX. She is devoted to staying on top of the latest online marketing, social media and public relations trends.
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