In any digital marketing strategy, content is still king. Today, more than 70% of marketers are investing in content marketing while 24% are planning to increase their investment in it. This is not surprising considering content marketing generates more than 3x the number of leads per dollar when compared to paid search efforts.
The best part is that because content is considered “owned media” and not “paid media,” you don’t need to continue paying for it in order for potential customers to see it. As long as the content you’re creating is regularly optimized to rank highly on the search engine results page (SERP), it will continue to serve your business well.
When digging deeper into the subtle art and science of content marketing, you’ll find a tactic that is gaining more popularity among businesses due to its unrelenting effectiveness – we’re talking about long-form content. In this article, we’ll discuss long-form content and its numerous benefits for your business.
Let’s get started!
There’s no question that content marketing is indeed a powerful tool. Essentially, what separates long-form content from short-form content is the number of words that it has. Short-form content is anything below 700 words. Meanwhile, long-form content pieces usually range from a minimum of 1000 words to around 3000 words.
Long-form content can be defined as high-quality and well-researched written content (e.g. evergreen pages, blogs, guides and tutorials) that offer in-depth information on strategically selected topics. The main goals of long-term content are to (1) deliver plenty of value to the target audience and (2) establish the authority or credibility of the business.
We all know the study that told us our attention span was less than a goldfish – at eight seconds. This would mean that the shorter the content, the better. However, this isn’t entirely true; strategic long-form content can perform much better than short-form content if done right.
Long-form content is intended to engage your audience, educate, and inform about any given topic. If your business chooses to implement long-form content, here are some of the benefits you can expect to get:
The algorithm for what makes content rank higher on Google’s search engine results page can be a mystery. However, it is clear that quality long-form content tends to dominate the high ranking spots, making them more visible to potential customers. In a study conducted by serpIQ, involving 20,000 search keywords, the average content length of the top 10 search results was around 2000 words.
Furthermore, Pandu Nayak, a technical staff member at Google, dropped a meaningful hint in the Google Webmasters Central Blog where he states, “Users often turn to Google to answer a quick question, but research suggests that up to 10% of users’ daily information needs involve learning about a broad topic… we’re introducing new search results to help users find in-depth articles.”
Organic reach pertains to the number of people who are able to find a content piece without the need for paid marketing efforts. Because high-quality long-form content is more likely to rank higher on the SERP, it means that more people are more likely to see it and open it.
For businesses, this can be a valuable touchpoint with potential new customers. As long as the quality of the content is maintained, long-form content pieces will keep bringing in organic traffic for your brand’s website.
The time spent by users on your website is one of the most important metrics for website performance; which in turn, affects how your site ranks on Google. Of course, longer content pieces will take more time to read but this isn’t the only reason why users stay on longer.
Long-form content, when written well, offers in-depth information that many users need. The value in the information is what they really stay for. And yes, users do read; according to Pew, users typically spend more than twice the amount of time on articles with 1000+ words than they do on shorter articles.
The main way to establish authority and industry expertise through digital channels is to offer valuable information regarding the pain points or questions that your customers have. Because long-form content is intended to cover broad topics, it is the number one type of content you can use for this purpose. Through long-form content, you are able to create a positive impression and uplift the brand image into that of being a subject matter expert in their respective field.
Customers are getting smarter regarding their purchasing decisions and along with this comes a rise in impatience. Therefore, even if your website is full of content, having a poor site map and content structure can increase bounce rates significantly. Nobody wants to go through a labyrinthian website. Going through numerous pages for information is inconvenient for customers – such as when they are searching from a mobile phone with a smaller screen.
This is why long-form content is able to boost conversion rates. With extensive information offered on one page, customers are able to make more confident decisions right then and there. As an example, CrazyEgg, a company that offers web analytics services, was able to boost their conversion rates by up to 30% solely through the use of long-form content.
Just imagine what long-form can do for your business!
One of the best ways to get started with long-form content is by publishing regular, high-quality blogs that can establish you as a thought leader in your industry. However, we understand that this is not always doable due to time constraints or the lack of employees to do the job.
We recommend putting your trust in a team of experienced marketing experts to create strategic long-form content for your business! If you would like to learn more about what we can do for you, please feel free to contact us.5