The never-ending fight for user attention is at an all time high. We’re busy, time poor and in a rush to get what we need and move on to the next thing. As a marketer, you’d be forgiven for thinking that any long form of writing will simply be browsed over by audiences in favour of short, snappy content. But increasingly, long-form content is proving to be valuable for a number of reasons. The general consensus suggests articles comprising between 1 000 and 5 000 words qualify as long-form content, which may leave you wondering if it is worth the time and effort. But research knows that readers will engage with a longer piece if it interests them and adds value to their lives. When you know your audience, you’ll know what interests them and cater to that. In 2012, serpIQ conducted a survey involving over 20 000 keywords. The results indicated that the average article length of each of the top 10 results was more than 2 000 words. The number one spot averaged 2 416 words and for number 10 it was 2 032.
When it comes to generating leads, long-form posts are nine times more effective than short-form posts (contentmarketing.com), i.e. those averaging between 500 and 800 words, for instance. Because long-form posts are more in-depth, the audience believes them to be more valuable and worthy of their time. Once you have successfully grabbed your reader’s attention, and held it for around three minutes, the chances are higher they will return to your website.
More reasons to go long…
- Long-form content attracts more backlinks which has SEO benefits
- Longer content builds authority and trust, both very valuable assets in marketing
- It gives you the opportunity to share valued content that informs or teaches your audience
- Longer stories are evergreen, and are likely to be read, reread and shared for months, maybe years, after being posted
Visual website analytics company Crazy Egg experienced a 30 percent conversion rate using long-form content (which was around 20 times longer than its shorter counterpart). Crazy Egg believes you can’t have a page that’s too long, only one that is ‘too boring’.
Editorial integrity is at the heart of any good piece of long-form content. At TPP we make use of qualified and experienced journalists to create all our long-form articles. Compiling a content-marketing calendar with the right mix of long- and short-form content is key to a successful overall content strategy to keep your audience engaged and your conversion rates high.