When you sit down to start writing a piece of content, ask yourself: “What is the ultimate goal for this content?”
Are you trying to drive the visitor to request more information about your services? Do you want them to download a guide? Or, are you trying to get them to convert into a marketing qualified lead (MQL) or sales qualified lead (SQL) and want them to schedule a demo?
The choice of which types of content marketing you create will be based on your answers to the above questions.
However, should it be short form or long form content? Should this be written content, video content, an interactive website, or a combination of all of the above?
Furthermore, should everyone have open access to it, or should you keep it hidden where people need to give you something (contact information) to get something (gated content)?
What is Long Form Content and How Does It Differ from Short Form Content?
You may be wondering “What is long form content and how does it differ from short form content?” The exact definition varies depending on the marketing team you ask.
For some, anything over 700 words is considered long form; for others, it may be content that is in excess of 1,800 or 2,400 words (or 4,000-6,000 in some cases). To put this in perspective, the average length of a typical blog post is 1,151 words, according to Orbit Media Studios’ 2018 statistics.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of content marketing formats – some subjects or materials will lend themselves to short but not long form content and vice versa. If you write short form content, the benefit is that it creates quick-hitting information that people can use quickly and move on to other tasks.
Long form content, on the other hand, is significantly more in-depth and provides a whole new level of detail for those who want to deep-dive into a particular topic. Some of the benefits of long form writing include:
Increased organic traffic
Higher search engine rankings
Increased social media shares
Increased conversions — long-form blog posts are shown to generate nine times more leads than short-form blog posts, according to Curata’s 2015 research.
At Bluleadz, we’re all about creating different types of content marketing for our clients. How we choose to approach a project will vary depending on the needs, goals, and objectives for each of our clients.
We appreciate the works of other companies that create digital content and thought it would be useful to see some excellent long form content examples that hit the scene in 2018:
1. Written Long Form Content: Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing
WPromote put out a great piece of long form content on social media marketing that serves as an excellent guide and resource for businesses who are new to organic and paid social media.
This is one of those types of content marketing that serves as an enormous resource for social media marketing tips and insights. These insights help you build relationships with audiences, establish your company as an industry authority, and develop strategies that help increase conversions.
One of the things I like most about this content is that it lists a “chapter guide” of sorts toward the beginning of the article which allows readers to navigate quickly and easily to whatever section of content is of interest. Some of these topics include:
Organic vs. paid social
How to get started on social campaigns
Some of the different types of social media campaigns
Major social networking platforms
Key metrics to track
Social media tests to use
Tips for B2B and B2C marketing campaigns
The future of social media
The content follows some search engine optimization (SEO) best practices – using H tags, bullet points, bolded text, brief paragraphs, screenshots, images, etc. – which helps make it easier for search engines to crawl and users to scan and read quickly.
This valuable content includes a lot of relevant industry statistics as well as numerous links to internal and external resources that are helpful to those who wish to learn more on specific social media marketing topics.
2. Written Long Form Content: Blogging Stats and Trends from More Than 1,000 Bloggers
This 2018 piece from Orbitmedia is very insightful. The content features the survey responses of more than 1,000 bloggers and deep-dives into what makes some bloggers more successful than others, analyzing:
Length of time and frequency
Process and measurement
Content formats, original research, and promotion
In addition to sharing key industry statistics, graphs and charts, it also provides a variety of quoted insights from industry experts. Much like the previous example, this content also follows many SEO best practices such as using H tags, bold text, bulleted lists, brief paragraphs, infographics and images, etc.
Though the content is long, following these best practices makes the material easy to skim and read quickly. The page also features a clear call to action through its drive to get users to subscribe for email web marketing tips.
3. Long Form Video Content: Bertha Benz
Taking examples of long form content in another direction, I’d like to showcase an interesting piece of long form video content. The benefits of long form video content is that it provides more time to tell a story and allows you to communicate more in-depth information for your audience.
From the automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz comes the story of Bertha Benz, which is a heartwarming and inspirational tale.
In the late 1800s, a time when many women had limited or no access to formal education, Bertha Benz became the world’s first driver – not just the first female driver, but the world’s first driver, period.
Believing her husband’s prototype Benz Patent Motor Car was ready to go on the road, she set out without his knowledge on the world’s first long-distance motorized journey with their two sons.
This long form video content is from the Mercedes-Benz USA channel on YouTube. Although the video itself is only 2:16 in length and features no spoken dialogue (just brief and poignant text cards that pop up on the screen), it conveys a riveting, engaging, and powerful message encapsulated in the final message: “She drove more than a car. She drove an industry.”
Many other long form content examples are also extremely valuable — web influencer and marketer Neil Patel covers several examples of these in one of his blog posts. Hopefully, some of these will serve as an inspiration for your next content marketing initiatives to help boost your rankings and increase conversions.