Writing how-to guides, opinion pieces, and industry-specific articles have always benefited whoever published it in one way or another. Whether you are a blogger, an eCommerce website owner or a content creator by profession, long-form content should be something to keep in mind.
According to CMI, 60% of marketers struggle with creating engaging content for their audiences, with only 18% of companies producing content longer than 750 words in length. Audiences (as well as SEO and search engine algorithms) crave long-form content from their favorite companies and brands. Let’s take a look at why you should turn attention to long-form content in your marketing strategy and how your business can benefit from doing so.
Higher SERP Ranking
We’ve mentioned SEO briefly but its importance is worth pointing out again. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) represents a global set of rules which search engines such as Google and Bing rely on 24/7. Whenever you search for “content marketing strategy” in your favorite search engine, the most optimized content will show up at the top. Your own website can become high-ranking if you dedicate more time to long-form content going forward.
Articles which delve into niche subjects and explore industry trends will always attract an audience, more so if you SEO optimize your long-form content before publishing it. Tools such as Google Keyword Planner and SEM Rush can assist you in finding the best keywords, formatting styles and tone of voice suitable to your target audience. Combining their features with original long-form content will increase your website’s industry authority and ensure that you are visible to potential B2C and B2B stakeholders via search engines.
The more long-form content you produce the more your website will rise in SEO value. Other industry websites, news outlets, and even customers will start sharing your links to their social and professional circles. This process is commonly known as “link building” and it refers to your content’s gradual buildup of value over time.
Each new long-form post you publish will add to the network of content you have created up to that point. You can then link old content into your new content as internal links which will redirect your visitors to other parts of the website which they might find valuable. This will decrease your bounce rate and increase your lead generation significantly given that you now offer long-form content to loyal visitors.
Ability to Mix Content Types
Content doesn’t have to be written for it to be valuable to your followers. However, the written content is considered a baseline in many blogs and company websites. Once your long-form posts are written, you can think about different types of additional content to add to them.
You can enrich your written content with multimedia such as videos, images, visualized data, audio interviews, and other valuable additions. This will increase your content’s appeal and push the reader closer to conversion and subsequent purchase or advocacy of your website.
Growing your industry authority is all about making friends with other companies and professionals in your niche. In that respect, long-form content can be used to create collaborative content with your companies’ joint banner.
The content you produce in cooperation with another brand or an influencer will benefit both sides as you attract traffic and acknowledgment of twice as many followers. Use long-form content to create discussion articles, written interviews, Q&A posts and other types of content which would appeal to your own and your partner’s audience.
High Return on Investment
Long-form content generally has a longer lifespan than short-form posts which are typical for social media platforms. Once you produce long-form articles and publish them on your website, you can always link back to them in new posts, refresh their SEO or republish them with updates and additional writing. This means that you can easily extend the value and RoI from long-form content beyond the initial time and resource investment.
However, you shouldn’t outright publish word-for-word content which was previously published without context, expansions or an explanation for your audience. That way, your content will remain in the positive SEO ranking and avoid being registered as a spam link.
Make use of Writing Tools
In order to make the most out of long-form content in your content marketing strategy, you should rely on several writing tools and platforms. These will allow you to manage your content production schedule more easily, as well as streamline your SEO and pre-publishing optimization.
- EvernoteTraditional text-editing software can sometimes be problematic in terms of cloud synchronization and keeping files in order. Evernote is a tool designed with content creation and cross-platform synchronization in mind, allowing you to work on your long-form content from anywhere at any time.
- Hot Essay ServiceDepending on the scale of your business and the number of writers you have on board, you might have to delegate some of your content production duties. This platform will enable you to find a professional writer suitable to your company’s standards quickly and easily.
- GrammarlyProofreading and spellchecking are some of the most important elements of long-form content production. A single misspelled word can result in your search ranking plummeting, so make sure to use this tool as often as possible in your writing activities.
- Grab My EssayIf you prefer to work with a live editor instead of an online platform, this is the site for you. The service will help you find a writing editor to go through your long-form content and check it for any errors or SEO discrepancies before publishing.
- HemingwayLastly, the general readability of your long-form content should be the top priority during the writing process. Run your writing through this tool on occasion in order to rephrase problematic sentences and streamline the reading process as much as possible.
Mistakes to Avoid
Now that we have a better idea of how you can benefit from long-form content, let’s take a look at some mistakes you should keep in mind. These can dampen your long-form content’s effect or reflect on your search ranking in a negative way if they show up repeatedly.
Once you find out which keywords and phrases are trending in your industry, you should integrate them into your long-form content in an optimal density. Don’t overstuff your writing with keywords and make the content look organic to the average reader. SEO algorithms will quickly pick up on overstuffed content and drop your ranking accordingly, so make sure not to overdo it.
Lack of Internal Linking
Not using your old long-form content is a wasted opportunity. Start linking your website’s pages internally in every new piece of content you produce going forward. Make sure that the occasional visitor stays engaged with your content long enough for them to attribute to your conversion rates in a positive manner.
Long-Form for the Sake of Long-Form
Lastly, the biggest mistake in terms of producing long-form content is to lack a good reason for doing so. Many websites create short-form content and blog posts which cut straight to the point because that’s what works for them specifically. Find a good reason for implementing long-form writing into your content marketing strategy in order to benefit from the effort as much as possible.
Long-form content in the shape of blog posts and discussion articles should find its way into your content marketing strategy in one form or another. The question is, however, in what capacity it should do so and how often you should write long-form content.
Gauge your audience’s interest through social media polls and surveys or take a look at how your industry competitors handle it. Find the best balance for your marketing department and audience in order to benefit from long-form content as much as possible.
Bridgette Hernandez is a graduated digital marketing specialist with a Master’s in Digital Sales. She is a full-time editor and content contributor at Supreme Dissertation and Is Accurate where she aims to put her experience into writing. In her spare time, Bridgette enjoys cycling through city streets and listening to jazz tunes.