Short-form vs long-form content

Well, producing powerful content is the most essential part of content marketing strategy. Now whether it should be a Long-form or a short-form? Actually, both types of content play a crucial role in any content marketing strategy of your business.

We are all aware of the importance of creating a solid and proper content strategy and the constant growth that this can deliver when you get it right. But there are also so many misconceptions in the content marketing world.

The best way to increase your business’s online visibility, credibility, and website traffic is by investing in content marketing, which can help your site gain exposure and ultimately, generates leads for your business. But while you must be aware of the importance of content creation, you may not necessarily be sure how to tackle it. One of the most common things business owners wonder about is whether they should be producing shorter or longer content. To answer this question, you need to clearly understand each type, along with their respective benefits and limitations.

Nowadays, you have probably been given advice at some point that the longer the piece of content is, the better it will perform. Or that every piece of content on your site should be at least 1800-2000 words. 

And the reality is that these are neither true nor untrue — does it make sense?

Both short-form and long-form content can be helpful in any successful content marketing strategy of your brand or business, and both can be the most impactful tools in your marketing strategy.

What is Short-Form Content?

Short-form content is normally defined as content with less than 1,000 words which includes emails, small blogs, and social media posts such as captions for images and videos. It is often helpful in conveying crucial information in a concise format.

Benefits of short-form content:

  • The goal of short-form content is often to get a single message across faster and effectively. It is all about sharing one idea and keeping things short and simple.
  • Your audience is already familiar with your business or brand and your products or services. Such people are looking for some accurate information that will help them make a purchase. You wouldn’t want to waste their and your time by providing unnecessary details.
  • If you are selling relatively inexpensive and commonly used products or services then such products or services often benefit from a to-the-point brief description instead of a lengthy one.
  • Modern consumers are always occupied and multi-task, marketers have long assumed short-form content will be the best way to provide information to people and keep their interest.
  • Short-form content is naturally faster to create and if you’re outsourcing them, they also tend to be more affordable for your business. From a productivity standpoint, short-form content will be better than long-form content. 
  • With so much traffic on your website now originating from mobile devices, mobile-friendliness is more important than ever it was. Making good short-form content gives you a head start when optimizing for mobile!

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What Is Long-Form Content?

Long-form content is typically more than 1000-1200 words. This type of content dives deep into a topic and covers it in great depth. These types of content cover such formats as lengthy and detailed blog posts, evergreen pages, guides and tutorials, whitepapers and eBooks, webinars and virtual events, and pillar pages.

It’s not intended as quick-to-consume content, rather content aimed toward educating and informing those looking to answer a selected question or learn more about a topic. 

Benefits of long-form content:

  • Long-form content performs better when it comes to search engines, assuming that the search query demands detailed results. It also generally ranks for a higher number of keywords due to covering more depth of a particular topic.
  •  Long-form particularly earns more backlinks than short-form content, further increasing the page’s performance and rankings. The SEMrush tool titled “The State of Content Marketing Report 2019” disclosed that pages that are more than 3000 words in length can earn 3.5x as many links as those of an average length of between 900 and 1200 words.
  •   Longer posts offer you more room to develop and showcase your business or brand. They permit you to share your unique brand personality, style, tone, and values. As a result, your audience can develop and deepen their connections to your business.
  •  Long-form content can provide examples. One of the main drawbacks of short-form content is the lack of space to provide examples in your content and evidence to support claims. Using examples, you can explain better about your brand or business. By attempting for a larger word count, you can provide examples, quotes, links, and other information to add extra value and insights to your article.
  • It helps to position you as thought-leaders in your space and a voice in your field. It’s natural that your audience looks at you as a market leader if you regularly create content that educates, informs, and helps them make decisions.
  • The conversion rate of long-form content is mainly higher, largely due to the attention given by an audience and the intent of their visit. A study from Conversion Rate Experts and Crazy Egg concluded that the conversion rate of a page increased by more than 30% when increasing landing page length by 20x.

Choosing Short-Form vs. Long-Form Content:

The truth is that any well-planned content marketing strategy should balance both short-form content and long-form content to meet the needs of their targeted audience and gain more traffic.

By taking some time to understand your audience and how they engage with your product or service, you will be able to determine the right content to create.

About the Author

My name’s Semil Shah, and I pride myself on being the last digital marketer that you’ll ever need. Having worked internationally across agile and disruptive teams from San Fransico to London, I can help you take what you are doing in digital to a whole next level.

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