Came across this interesting insight from The Next Web in a SmartBrief round-up this morning:
Today we have plenty of evidence that deeper, research-backed, and longer-form content has more potential to be shared and drive links over time. Sharing of magazine articles, which tend to be longer than 1,000 words, is up 11.3 percent since December. Longform and evergreen content remains the domain of B2B, but perhaps it’s time for more B2C brands to accept the data and its implications and stop demanding that everything be “snackable.”
Our B2C clients are already investing in longer form content. The longer content is more discoverable because it gives us more real estate to deliver relevant details, include quotes and data from credible sources (all linked back, of course) and makes it much easier to authentically include long-tail key words and semantical search terms that push search.
The benefits continue when searchers arrive at the site. Data shows that the longer articles help site visitors "self-serve" more effectively via contextual and related content links that guide them through out the site based on their own specific interests. And satisfied readers are more likely to share articles they find useful.
But some marketers blanch when they hear the call for longer form content. In many cases, this is because they're already having a tough time creating enough short form stuff. I hear you. But relax. It doesn't have to be so difficult.
To avoid the dreaded TL;DR, don't focus on just adding words. Instead, add information of actual value to consumers by augmenting content with crucial details:
- Examples are particularly valuable to people who aren't quite ready to make a decision.
- Explanations matter most to people who want to know more about an issue or process.
- Evidence is crucial for all content consumers, but especially for those who are ready to decide or need validation for their decision.
Here's how to add vital details and make content longer without padding it like your high school term paper:
- Mini Case Studies
- First-Person Accounts
- Hypothetical Situation
- How-to Information
- Quotes from SMEs
- Properly Cited Data and Facts
- Infographics, Charts and Graphs
- User-Generated Content
- Excerpts from Related Content on Your Site
These are the techniques our brand journalists use to produce those deeper-dive articles B2B and B2C consumers like to read.
Use these tips to write longer content from scratch, or to revise evergreen and other high-value content to provide more information. Deploy these with your internal team, freelancers and your agencies so all your content creators know how to add value with longer content.