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.
- case studies
- long articles
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?