The debate rages on in the content marketing world. Which form of content is better: long-form or short-form. To be fair, there are benefits to both methods, however long-form content has a few benefits that short-form content just can’t compete with. Therefore, creating long-form content is a value-driven strategy that your business can take advantage of.
What Is Long-Form Content?
At the risk of sounding obvious, long-form content is, well, long. Exactly how long your content has to be in order to be considered “long-form” is a matter of some debate. However, it is generally considered to be articles, blogs, guides, and eBooks that eclipse 1,200 words and often much more.
It is also important to note that long-form content is not exclusive to the written word. Long-form video content consumption is also on the rise. In 2017, long-form video was the top-ranked form of content across all devices (phone, tablets, television, PCs, etc.).
For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus more on the written form of long-form content, however the reasons for long-form success, in general, are similar across different mediums.
Why Long-Form Content Is Winning
There are many reasons why long-form content is succeeding. Despite claims you may have heard that our technology has shortened our attention spans, there are multiple benefits to creating quality, long-form content.
It Ranks Well on Google
Google is not the only search engine around; however, they do account for the clear majority of all web searches. Google has not been shy about the fact that their ranking algorithm will, and does prioritize long-form, in-depth articles.
As a result, articles with a word count of more than 2,000 words tend to receive the most organic traffic.
It Builds Authority
Google and other search engines are focused on the problem-solving business. Each search query is, in effect, a problem that needs solving. Search engines want to provide their users with answer to the questions they seek.
With long-form content, you create rich and detailed solutions to what are sometimes complex problems. When your content ranks well, you see an increase in organic traffic. This helps promote your content organically while building the overall authority of your site.
It Sees Higher Engagement Rates
According to a Pew Study, articles containing 1,000 words or more see higher user engagement rates. What’s more, the length of engagement increased for articles with 5,000 or more words. While short content may be easier to digest; rich, detailed content has a greater chance of holding interest over longer periods of time.
It’s Shared More Often
Long-form content often provides a detailed analysis of important or complex issues. People love it and are more apt to share content that is longer. Analysis by BuzzSumo and OkDork has shown that the number of shares increases with the length of the content, with content between 3,000 to 10,000 words receiving the greatest number of shares.
Go Long For Big Gains
There will always be a place for both short and long-form content. In many ways, a mixture of both is ideal for an effective, long-term content marketing strategy. However, long-form content holds benefits that short-form content can’t compete with and should be an important part of your content strategy going forward.
Looking for more ways to make great content that connects with readers? Download The Modern Marketers Guide to Content Creation today.