What comes to mind when you think of long-form content? A 3000+ word article, blog post, a comprehensive research paper, or in-depth guide? Long-form content is known for its information-packed structure and often lengthy length.
It’s quite different from the many short articles or snippets of content you might come across on social media, and it requires a special set of skills to write effectively. This article will discuss the art of crafting engaging long-form content and why it’s important for your business.
What are Long-Form Content
Long-form content is a type of writing that goes beyond the content length of a typical blog post or article. It generally contains in-depth research and analysis and is often lengthy—typically over 1,000 words. While writing requires more effort, in-depth content can effectively engage readers and increase website traffic.
In addition to being longer than the average blog article or post, long-form content also covers a topic more comprehensively and in greater depth.
For example, while a blog article may discuss the basics of a particular subject, long-form content might explore the history, current trends, and potential impacts or implications of that subject. It often includes interviews, case studies, and multiple sources of helpful information.
Long-form content can be a great way to capture attention and keep readers engaged. Research shows that longer articles and posts receive more comments, shares, and likes than shorter ones, likely because readers appreciate their added depth and value.
What Is the Difference Between Long Form and Short Form?
Long-form and short-form content have their purposes, but they are vastly different in length and style.
At its core, long-form content is typically much longer than short-form content. Generally speaking, anything over 1000 words in average length can be considered long-form. Longer pieces of content can range from 2000–10,000 words or more.
Long-form content delves deeper into topics than short-form content ever could, allowing you to explore a topic in-depth and provide comprehensive information that covers all angles. This type of content is often seen as an authoritative source, making it valuable for readers and search engine rankings.
Short-form content, on the other hand, is much more concise than long-form content. Any writing that’s less than 1000 words can be considered short-form.
This type of content is often used to convey information quickly or break down complex topics in a way that’s easy for readers to understand. It may not go into as much detail as long-form content, but it’s an excellent way to pique readers’ interests and get them to dig deeper.
Long-Form Content Examples
You can find long-form content in various formats, from articles to blog posts. Here are some examples:
Articles are in-depth writing that typically takes on a more conversational tone than other types of content, such as blogs or newsletters. They focus on giving readers interesting, useful, and fun content while also letting them connect with a company.
Articles can be used to bring complex topics to life, making them more interesting for readers and easier to digest. A great example of a long-form article is “The Definitive Guide to Productivity” by Arman Assadi. This article provides an in-depth look at productivity, including summaries of various strategies and tips and links to further reading.
The longest type of long-form content comes in the form of whitepapers. With formats varying from in-depth guides to research studies to educational content, whitepapers are designed to provide readers with a deep dive into complex topics and highly detailed information.
For example, a healthcare provider may create a whitepaper about increasing the quality of patient care. This could include the latest research on the topic, case studies, and detailed information about best practices.
A well-researched whitepaper can give readers a comprehensive understanding of a complex topic and make them aware of how it applies to their industry or business. They also allow businesses to showcase their expertise on a topic, which can be used to attract new customers and establish credibility.
3. Case Study
If your business has a success story, a case study is ideal for showcasing it. Crafting long-form content in this manner provides a great opportunity for you to share your successes with others. Case studies allow you to showcase how your product or service provided a solution for a customer’s problem in detail.
This form of content marketing strategy requires extensive research and data-gathering skills, as you’ll need to look into your customer’s problem, the solution you provided, and the results of that solution. Results may include an increase in sales, a decrease in costs or average time, or even an improvement in customer service.
Benefits of Creating Long-Form Content
Generating long-form content, usually longer than 1,500 words and generally in the form of blog posts or articles, can bring about a host of advantages for both readers and writers. Here are some key benefits that come with creating this type of content:
SEO is something that all businesses strive to achieve, and long-form articles are one tool that can help you get there. When written with the right keywords, this type of content will push your web pages higher in search engine results and make it easier for readers to find your website.
Long-form content tends to be more detailed than shorter pieces, and search engine algorithms favor lengthy content as it indicates that the website offers much information.
Longer website posts tend to get more attention than shorter ones because people often find them more informative and complete. Several studies back this up.
According to one study, a blog post of 2,000 words or more receives 56.1% more social media shares than content less than 1,000 words long.
Additionally, since longer pieces require more effort and time to read, they are also considered higher quality and authoritative by readers.
Creating long-form articles is an excellent way to establish authority in your industry.
Sure, you can cram all your research into a few thousand words, but why not create something people will remember?
By thoroughly exploring a subject, you demonstrate expertise and gather enough evidence to make even the most skeptical reader take notice.
Just think about all the benefits of long-form content. For starters, you get to show off your hard work and dedication to a topic — something essential when standing out from the competition.
Provides Value to Readers
Providing the needed information to your readers is an integral part and one of the primary benefits of creating long-form content. It’s not just about providing valuable information but also extensively discussing it.
This way, you can ensure that your readers have enough evidence, hard data, and facts to form an informed opinion on the discussed topic.
Long-form content allows for a more in-depth analysis of the subject matter, which can help readers understand the intricacies and nuances of the topic. By providing more detail, your readers can make better decisions based on their research.
Increases Social Sharing
Social media is where people share opinions, thoughts, and ideas. Long-form content that makes sense makes it easier for your readers to share their insights, which can help increase your brand’s visibility. Research has shown that long-form posts are shared more often than shorter ones. This means you’ll be able to reach a wider audience and get more eyeballs on your content.
You can’t tell a well-detailed story without using 500 words or more. Long-form content lets you write about the same topic in great detail; if done correctly, it can keep your reader’s attention longer.
With long-form blog posts, you can explain the story of a product or service in-depth, explore different sides of an issue or challenge, present data, or discuss an experience in great detail. You can also include interesting case studies and interviews to add value to the content.
Strategies for Crafting and Engaging Long-Form Content
According to Curata, producing longer blog posts can yield seven times more leads than their shorter counterparts.
Creating and engaging long-form content requires a specific set of strategies to be successful. Here are a few tips on how to create long-form content:
Identify Your Audience
To start writing well, get acquainted with your target audience through your content. This is a critical step in crafting engaging long-form content, as it will help you determine the type of language and format to use. Do some research on who’s reading your blog or who you want to target.
Are they tech-savvy millennials or experienced professionals? Knowing this information upfront can give you a great foundation for building your content. To ensure your content reaches its intended audience, ensure you are targeting the right people with the message.
Use data and statistics to assess your target demographic, such as age range, gender, location, occupation, interests, etc. This information will help you create content that they can easily connect with.
Choose a Topic
After identifying your target audience, it is time to select a subject that resonates with them. With this knowledge in hand, finding topics of interest for your audience should be simple!
To reach tech-savvy millennials, create content that speaks their language, like the newest technological breakthroughs, dynamic digital marketing trends, or revolutionary business ideas.
To ensure you choose content relevant to your audience’s interests, look at trends among specific audiences on social media platforms like Twitter and Pinterest. Utilizing the insights from Google Trends can also be useful when selecting popular topics.
Create an Outline
An outline also adds structure to your long-form content. This is essential for keeping readers engaged and ensuring they aren’t lost. Once you’ve got an outline of how the content should flow, it becomes easier to write out individual sections, and building connections between them becomes easier.
But that’s not all! When writing a long-form piece of content, you also need to consider other aspects, such as breaking up parts of the article with call-to-action buttons or even including a table of contents so readers can easily jump to any parts or other content they want to read.
Giving out the wrong information will stupendously jeopardize your long-form content strategy. This is why research is important.
When researching, go beyond the basics and strive to learn as much as possible about your topic. It’s also a great idea to conduct interviews to draw out different perspectives on the subject matter, which could help add value and credibility to your piece.
Also, keep track of your sources and reference them in your work. After all, you don’t want people to think that what you say is made up or unsubstantiated.
I find it off-putting to wade through a sea of words without visuals or other helpful imagery. It can be difficult to stay engaged when the first page of the piece reads more like a wall of text than an interesting and captivating story.
To capture the readers’ attention, it’s better to use visuals such as images, graphs, infographics, etc.; they will visually break up the content and make it more inviting.
Also, don’t forget about the videos!
Videos are a great way of improving engagement and helping break down complex topics into more digestible chunks. They can also make your content emotionally compelling, which helps get people to take action after reading your blog post.
Tell a Story and Make It Actionable
Storytelling is a powerful tool for engaging readers with your content. It can help to take them on an emotional journey, immersing them in the story before they take action based on what they have learned.
That said, good storytelling requires more than simply putting together the pieces of a story—it’s also important to ensure that your story has direction and purpose. This means focusing on the details and ensuring your story has a clear beginning, middle, and end point.
Additionally, it’s important to make your story actionable by including calls-to-action (CTAs) throughout the text so readers can take action based on what they have learned in the content piece.
Edit and Proofread
Imagine reading content filled with grammatical errors or typos. Not a pleasant experience, right?
That’s why ensuring your long-form content is well-edited and proofread before publication is paramount. If grammar or punctuation mistakes slip through, readers will be distracted from your message and won’t take you seriously as an authority.
If you want to make sure your content is free of mistakes, you should hire an editor to review it before publishing it. If the budget doesn’t allow that, you can use a tool like Grammarly to help you catch any potential mistakes.
Promote Your Content
You sure don’t need anyone to tell you to promote your content; ensuring success is crucial. But there are smarter and more effective ways of doing so than others, depending on your content strategy.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn could be advantageous for sharing your long-form content with the world. Not only can you post a link to the content, but you can also create catchy copy that will encourage people to click through.
You can leverage influencer marketing by creating content and having industry thought leaders share it with their followers. A great way to do this is to build relationships with those who have larger followings and are more established in your field.
The Dos and Don’ts of Writing Long-Form Content
When writing long-form content, some dos and don’ts must be considered to make your content effective and engaging. Here are the dos and don’ts of writing long-form content.
- Research thoroughly, plan it out, and check facts. Long-form content lets you explore a topic in-depth, so take advantage of it!
- Use visuals like images and graphs to break up your content and make it easier for readers to digest.
- Utilize storytelling techniques to make the content more engaging.
- Make sure your content is SEO-friendly.
- Use headings and subheadings to organize your thoughts and add relevant keywords.
- Keep it interesting by including quotes from experts or personal stories from people who have experienced your topic first-hand.
- Make sure to proofread and edit your work before publishing.
- Don’t ramble or go off on tangents. Keep your writing focused and on-topic.
- Don’t use overly technical jargon or the complex language your readers may not understand.
- Don’t plagiarize or use someone else’s work without proper attribution.
- Don’t overlook the importance of formatting. Use headings, subheadings, bullet points, and other formatting tools to make your content easily readable and visually appealing.
- Don’t neglect the introduction and conclusion of your piece. These sections are crucial for engaging readers and providing a sense of closure.
- Don’t forget to consider your audience. Write for them, not for yourself, and consider what they want and need to know.
Frequently Asked Questions
A long form is a piece of content that contains more than 1,000 words. It may be an article, essay, tutorial, audio file, or book. Long-form content has been used to engage readers for centuries, and it continues to be an effective method for creating meaningful connections with audiences today.
Yes! Long-form content is better than short-form content because long-form content performs well in almost every way. It offers readers higher engagement, more learning opportunities, and a significantly longer lifespan.
Unlike long-form content, short-form content is typically more concise. It often consists of snippets, videos, or images designed to capture the reader’s attention quickly.
Whitepaper is one example of long-form content. Whitepapers are meant to give detailed information and data about a certain topic or industry and current trends, problems, and opportunities.
Yes! Long-form content can be great for your site and SEO. Long-form content has a higher chance of attracting more links than shorter posts, which can help boost your site’s overall ranking in search engine results.
In this digital age, time is essential, and attention spans are at an all-time low. If you take the time and effort to write long digital content, it must be interesting and useful.
In other words, it must be captivating from the beginning to the end! There is no room for boredom or monotony. After all, it’s not about the quantity but the quality of the content.
Content creators need to consider various elements when crafting long-form content, such as researching for facts and figures, understanding their audience, telling a story, using visuals, effectively promoting it, and ensuring the grammar is on point.
By following these tips, you can create engaging, long-form content that is both entertaining and informative.