Long-Form vs. Short-Form Content
Before we begin, it is important to understand that the best way to approach content marketing is to first understand who your audience is, what they want and how you can provide it to them. Your end goal is to create content that not only provides value to your audience… but also helps grow the brand and business in the process.
There are many different types of content, and they all benefit your business in different ways. While a blog may help rank your website on that first page of Google, a quick informational video may get you 100K views on TikTok and now you’ve gone viral. At Peralta Design, we spend a lot of time planning, writing, and publishing content with the intention to grow our clients’ audience and drive new prospects further along their marketing funnel. We use the long-form to short-form strategy that helps us create valuable content to the audience, fast.
- What is Long-Form Content?
- Benefits Of Long-Form Content
- What is Short-Form Content?
- Benefits Of Short-Form Content
- How To Turn Long-Form Into Short-Form Content
What is Long-Form Content?
Long-form content is considered to be content that is more than 1,200 words. This type of content engages your audience due to its deep dive of the topic that it covers. Long-form content is created with the intention of educating individuals who are looking to answer a specific question or learn more about a topic.
Long-form content is important for two users – the visitor and the crawler.
For the visitor, if a reader visits your short-form article and skims it looking for their answer, you only have 1,200 words to get it right. If you don’t provide the answer they’re looking for, they are going to look to other resources. With long-form content, you have more chances to meet their needs.
For the crawler, the focus is on factors like the site’s overall authority, speed, performance on mobile platforms, related keywords, and content length. The crawler is trying its best to discern a page’s overall quality which in turn impacts its relevance to the search engine and where it ends up ranking when it comes to displaying search results.
Common examples of long-form content include:
- Detailed and lengthy blog posts
- Long videos and Podcasts
- Evergreen pages
- Guides and tutorials
- Whitepapers and eBooks
- Webinars and virtual events
- Pillar pages
Benefits Of Long-Form Content
Long-form content performs better in search engines
With content creation as a huge part of most marketing strategies today, content saturation and competition in organic search have increased tremendously.
Google’s algorithm focuses on the user, and is designed to bring quality content to the top of its search rankings. It not only focuses on how many times a keyword appears on a page, but also on many other factors. These include the site’s overall authority, speed, performance on mobile platforms, related keywords, and content length which impacts the time a user spends on the page. When you ask Google a question, it places what it believes to be the highest quality post at the top of your search results. To outrank your competition, you must create high quality content that delivers more value than that of your competitors.
Long-form content increases traffic to your site
Studies show long-form content that provides the most complete answer to your reader, gets rewarded. According to The State of Content Marketing by Semrush, “long reads of 3000+ words get 21% more traffic, 24% more shares, and 75% more backlinks than articles of average length (901-1200 words).”
This is because long-form content helps you take a reader from the beginner stage to advanced, in terms of topic knowledge, within one post. Ideally, you will have answered all of their questions in one place; saving them from having to click onto another site. Providing this level of value not only delights users, it motivates them to share it with others.
Long-form content helps you build trust
When you are known for offering full-coverage on a topic, it helps establish you as a knowledgeable expert in your industry. This then tells your audience to continue to refer to you when they have industry questions.
While we can all agree that long-form content has many amazing benefits, it is important to mention that this type of content is not easy to produce. It often requires a significant investment of time and resources.
What is Short-Form Content?
Short-form content is typically considered to be content that is fewer than 1,200 words. It’s quick and easy to digest. Think “snackable content.” This type of content typically covers a specific area within a set topic, rather than going in-depth on the whole topic.
Common examples of short-form content include:
- Short blog posts
- News articles
- Social media content
- Short Videos
Benefits Of Short-Form Content
Short-Form Content Caters to Short Attention Spans
The material isn’t too heavy and won’t take consumers long to read. Consumers are busy, they’re constantly on-the-go and don’t necessarily have the time to read an in-depth description of a topic. Short-form content is the best way to provide quick bits of useful information to people while keeping their interest.
Short-Form Content Caters are quick and easy to create.
It’s less resource-intensive than long-form content, and can actually be pulled from the long-form content. The goal of short-form content is to get one single message or piece of information across to your audience quickly and effectively, keeping it simple.
How To Turn Long-Form Into Short-Form Content
Every successful content marketing strategist includes both long-form and short-form content into their planning. A great way to make good use of the effort-intensive long-form content is by using your long-form content to create short-form content.
For example, our founder, Ramon Peralta, videotape himself when he presents a BrandU workshop, or any speaking engagement. Why?
- To pull audio and convert it to text for a new blog post on my website.
- To chop it up into “snackable” size content of 15-30-60-90 second lengths to share on social media platforms of choice.
- To create a paywall where I can ask for an email in return for the video.
Other sources of longform content can be:
- Your appearance on a local podcast – Ask if you can either record the session for yourself or try and secure the content from them after it is broadcast.
- Taking your own photos during events to document the event on your social platforms.
- A steady stream of content being posted before, during and after your local speaking events or engagements will keep you active in search results and visible on the radars of your target audiences.
- Have a knowledgeable blog post? Take snippets of it to create social media content, whether it is posting a quote from your blog on your social media, turning the information provided in you blog into a TikTok, or creating a short email blast providing a segment of your blog (and of course, linking it back to your website).
Overall both long-form and short-form are key to any great marketing strategy and it’s important to understand when and how to use them to your advantage.