Its a Long(er) Story: Long-Form Content

As a member of the last generation to be born without the Internet, I definitely used to be better at reading. I’d routinely rocket through a few books a week in high school and college, so imagine my surprise when I received a free subscription to The Atlantic (for donating to WBEZ, because I am a clich??), and found reading a long-form articlechallenging. I realized it’s been awhile since I read anything that required me to commit to it.

And it felt amazing.

My brain was zapping, my thoughts were flying, and I felt myself engaged on a deeper level.??Ah yes,??I thought,??I like this.??Months later, I’d be hard pressed to recall many of the shorter things I’d read that day, but I still remember the article. And when I received a subscription renewal notice, I thought about how valuable I found the content and I decided I was willing to pay for it.

I’m not the only one favoring long-form content it turns out to be a significant digital marketing trend. Long-form content (let’s say around 2,000 words and more) can be a powerful part of a content marketing strategy. Search engines??tend to favor it, readers tend to like it, and it can provide more lasting value than shorter pieces.

Long-form content takes more work and time to produce, of course, but there are some things it’s actually easier to do in a longer form, such as:

  • tell a story that has more than one plot line
  • explain a complicated problem and your innovative solution
  • explore the history of an issue
  • provide context for your mission
  • deliver a lot of information
  • show both sides of a disagreement
  • make a complex argument
  • teach someone how to do something that has several steps

Offering something of value to your readers/customers engages them more deeply. Instead of clicking, reading, and moving onto the next thing, long-form content entices them to spend some time with you, and maybe even come back.

Things like:

  • case studies
  • tutorials
  • e-books
  • long articles
  • reports

are often more memorable than a quick??blog??post or list.

Of course, this is a short??blog??post. So if you’d like to do more reading, check out:

KISSmetrics??guide to long-form content.

What kind of long-form content can you bring to your business or nonprofit website?

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