Here’s why people still read long-form content
This is an article ‘Here’s why people still read long-form content’ by Marc Primo
You might be wondering: Does long-from content still matter today?
According to most sources, content that consists of articles with more than 1,200 words up to 4,000 is considered long-form. An acceptable post with that many words should cover a topic thoroughly and provide readers with new knowledge about their interests or concerns while achieving the standard of written quality they are looking for.
Now, who has the time to write or read all that?
As you look at the best strategies for advancing your content marketing, you might have seen how more people prefer short-form content, and many do not have the time to consume lengthy reading material, even in their spare time. However, the ideal way to approach long-form is to put value and information accessibility before word count.
However, answering the question is pretty straightforward: If you are serious about engaging your target audiences, developing long-form content still matters in 2022.
Every day, millions of blog posts are published online. WordPress published over 84 million posts in November 2021 alone, which is staggering considering that WordPress is not the only content management platform. It makes perfect sense, though, to aim at increasing your content marketing approach's likelihood of generating a significant return on investment, mainly because up to 66% of businesses in the B2B sector intend to increase their content marketing budgets this year.
But before you go back to the drawing board and reinvent your content management strategies, here are three reasons why you should consider shifting to long-form content as you push your brand to greater heights:
Long-form content drives better SEO results
If you are concerned about securing top ranking on Google's SERPs via SEO strategies, then long-form content is one of your best bets to achieve it. Fun fact: a recent performance analysis conducted by digital marketing authorities Ahrefs and Backlinko revealed that the average top first-page search results on Google consist of 1,447 words.
Reaching keyword goals with long-form content is highly reasonable for marketers. For example, a blog post with 1,500 or 2,000 words offers more room to include specific keywords that could increase your search engine ranking than an article with only 500.
Longer articles can also target a broader range of search terms than shorter ones while building relevance for various traffic sources that can significantly help your efforts for traction. Additionally, it can assist in fulfilling your target audiences' search intent, which is the fundamental element of any high-performing piece of textual material. Then, there's also the push obtained through sharing and receiving backlinks, which can be made simpler via long-form content.
In one study comprising nearly 1 billion blog posts, analysts found that posts with more than 3,000 words typically receive 77% more backlinks. Additionally, they discovered that longer articles received 56% more social shares on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and Pinterest than shorter ones.
But don't get tempted to overstuff your content with fluff and your keywords yet. While long-form content can give you better chances in ranking and online traction, users can quickly detect articles only positioned for SEO purposes rather than actually solving their pain points. Given that ‘spend time' on your landing pages is one of the top crucial factors Google uses to rank pages, your website will be in poor shape if the users' bounce rates are too high.
It pushes brand value to the forefront
The fact that long-form content is ideal for introducing a product's advantages to targeted audiences makes it essential for marketers. These types of high-value content can effectively help and encourage customers to pinpoint all the benefits they can enjoy from a brand before they make purchases or sign up for a service.
By addressing the frequent problems that your customers encounter relative to your brand, you can lead them to your other channels, such as social media. This practice can help your brand raise its profile while encouraging more potential consumers to learn more about what you have to offer. Though this strategy might be effective for selling a product, it's not exactly for everyone.
In other words, your long-form content strategies will only appeal to audiences who are either already aware of the type of solutions you can offer or require one from you.
Long-form content fosters stronger customer loyalty
After the pandemic, most marketers noticed that running ad campaigns was much more challenging than during the health crisis. This challenge is mainly due to the considerable shifts in customer preferences among brands that disrupted how they ran their strategies in the past.
A McKinsey report even stated that the pandemic pushed 49% of Millennial consumers in the US to shift to a new brand, while another 48% switched to a different retailer. In Southeast Asia, brands also suffer from dwindling retention rates as 80% of consumers changed brands due to logistical and supply issues, not to mention the left and right lockdowns that shuttered brick-and-mortar stores.
If your business struggles with retention rates, here's where long-form content can help you. According to recent studies, customers looking to maximize the value of their purchases appreciate being offered rich long-form content. In this manner, you are giving them more than just real-time value; you can also invest in long-term relationships built on your customers' profitable lifestyles each time they buy your goods or avail of your services.
In a nutshell, developing long-form content can improve your ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs), express brand value effectively, and strengthen customer loyalty. As long as you stick with unique, evergreen, and helpful content for your target audiences, you'll be able to encourage more potential customers to know more about your brand, consider a purchase, and help you increase your conversions.
Knowing these three insights will tell you that your long-form content strategies penetrate each level of your marketing funnel. Developing the right ones for each buyer persona and lookalike audiences you identify will help you increase traffic to your site and gain a boost in following on your other channels.