As a content marketer, do you often ask yourself, “is long-form content better than short-form content?” If so, this article for you! Read on to know what long-form content is and if it’s the right kind of material for your content strategy.
In this article:
- What is long-form content?
- How is long-form different from short-form content?
- What are the pros of long-form content?
- What are the cons of long-form content?
- Is long-form content better for my online presence?
Writing Long-Form Content | 5 FAQs Answered
1. What is long-form content?
There’s tons of debate online about what really defines long-form content.
Some content marketers consider 700-word long pieces to be long-form. Others consider 1,200-word content as long-form.
One thing’s for sure—word count is the criteria that content marketers seem to agree on when determining whether a piece of content is long- or short-form.
For this article, let’s define long-form content as pieces with at least 1,200 words.
Aside from meaty blog articles, here are other examples of long-form content you might have come across online:
2. How is long-form different from short-form content?
Aside from word count, content marketers choose to write long- and short-form content based on specific goals of their content marketing strategy.
Long-form content is best written if you want to accomplish these marketing goals:
- To help build awareness for the customers who are at the early stages of the buyer’s journey
- To give your leads in-depth information about your product or service
- To explain to your customers how technical or higher-end products work
- To entice other businesses to avail of your product or services (business to business transactions)
Short-form content, on the other hand, is best written for these kinds of situations:
- When your customers are already familiar with your product or service
- When you’re offering a product that isn’t as complicated to use or operate
- When your leads have committed to purchase your product or avail of your service
- When the platform you’re using to talk to your customers requires short copy (e.g., email subjects, pay-per-click copy, promoted Tweets)
3. What are the pros of long-form content?
Contrary to popular belief, today’s readers are hungry for information. Wordcount isn’t much of a deal breaker for readers anymore.
As such, readers are looking for content that’s meatier and more informative.
This makes it beneficial to include long-form content in your marketing strategy.
Aside from satisfying your readers’ need for information, long-form content also has a lot of benefits for your business’ online and offline presence:
- Gives your readers valuable information
- Allows you to express your brand personality fully
- Lets you add more internal links to keep your readers on your page
- Helps you establish brand authority
- Improves your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) rankings
4. What are the cons of long-form content?
Perhaps one of the biggest cons of writing long-form content is that readers don’t always have enough time or patience to read 1,200-word articles.
And yes, this still happens even though readers are hungry for more information.
One of the ways you can get around this is to format your long-form content pieces well. Make use of headers (i.e., H1, H2, H3) and subtexts to segment your content correctly.
A well-formatted piece of long-form content also makes it easy for your audiences to read your article.
Plus, the headers allow your readers to skim through your content and get valuable information at the same time.
Keeping your content exciting and engaging also helps you keep your readers on your page.
This goes without saying that adding value-adding information to your articles also keeps readers interested.
5. Is long-form content better for my online presence?
As people’s appetites are growing more than ever for information, it seems content marketing strategies are slowly moving towards long-form content.
Not only does long-form content rank better on search engines, it also resonates well with readers and keeps them coming back for more.
Plus, being able to publish long-form content shows that you’re knowledgeable about a topic.
If you’re able to give your readers value-adding information, they’ll end up trusting you.
This doesn’t mean you have to revise your entire content calendar to create just long-form content!
One way to know how long your long-form article should be is to base it on industry standards.
Neil Patel compiled data on the average number of words that most long-form content per industry has:
- Gadgets: 300-500 words
- Fashion: 800-950 words
- Tech: 800-1,000 words
- Recruiting: 900-1,000 words
- Home and Gardening: 1,100-1,200 words
- Food: 1,400-1,900 words
- Film: 1,500-1,700 words
- Retail: 1,500-1,700 words
- Travel: 1,500-1,800 words
- Manufacturing: 1,700-1,900 words
- Real Estate: 1,800-1,900 words
- Health: 2,000-2,150 words
- Fintech: 2,000-2,150 words
- Sales: 2,500-2,700 words
- Marketing and Advertising: 2,500-3,000 words
A better way of going about this is to assess your business’ goals and align them with the benefits of long-form content. This way, you maximise your resources and put your efforts to good use.
With that, you now know the answers to the most frequently asked questions on long-form content. Before you start investing in crafting long-form content in your marketing strategy, make sure you review your goals first. This way, you can enjoy the benefits of long-form content without wasting any of your existing marketing efforts.
Do you have more questions about whether long-form content is better for your business? Connect with us on social (links below!) your questions there. Or just drop us a line directly. We’re happy to help!