Posted on July 26, 2017 at 17:01 PM
Social media is a proverbial wormhole these days; you hop on Facebook to check the latest news from friends and family, and two hours later you’re wondering what day it is and how you wound up on the couch. The addictive nature of social media has been in its evolutionary design and constant accessibility. In today’s market place, faster is always better, or so it seems. Hilarious 20-second gifs give us our daily dose of humor in a short amount of time, and allow us to keep scrolling without much delay. Quick videos with how to style hair or cook an intriguing dish are other examples of how even the dullest social media user can find their creativity. Short-and-sweet content certainly has its place in social media – after all, a recent Microsoft study reported that humans now have an average attention span online of a whopping eight seconds – but surprisingly, long-form content can still work to your advantage; you just have to know when it’s appropriate, and how it should be implemented for your business. Here are a few reasons why you should still be using long-form content.
It boosts your rankings. With Google’s sophisticated algorithms and semantic search capabilities, using long-form content on your website can help you rank higher in search results. In fact, the pages that tend to rank first on Google have an average word count of just under a whopping 2,000 words, which is almost double the length of an average blog post. That’s not all; this content should be relevant! For example, let’s say you own a bike repair shop, and your content is focusing on bicycle tire repair. Don’t expect to rank for search terms such as ‘new bike reviews’ or ‘where to buy a new bike’. Your content should therefore focus on terms most typically searched for on that topic, such as ‘bike repair shops near me’ or even more specific topics within your content like ‘how to repair a flat bicycle tire’. Google’s algorithms will interpret your content and rank accordingly for keywords most often associated with your topic. Don’t worry about plugging a ton of keywords into your content; these days, Google can figure that out on its own.
You’ll look all professional and stuff. Anyone can pump out content that stays on the surface of the topic at hand. Deeper, richer content positions you as an authority of your industry, and tends to attract more engaged internet users. In other words, you will find that the visitors on your site will typically be those seriously inquiring about your service or product versus a casual browser. A good example of long-form content working to a product’s advantage is looking at descriptions and reviews for a product on Amazon. Reviews that say ‘Great product. Works as described,’ don’t offer much in the way of an actual user experience. However, if you’re serious about buying the product and really want to know what other users thought of it, you’re much more likely to read a nice long review listing the pros and cons of the product. White papers, e-books, downloadable content and other goodies are the equivalent of that experience on your website. When you own the market on knowledge against your competitors, chances are your customers will find your more trustworthy and qualified to offer your product or service.
It can make you some money. Not all long-form content has to be given away for free! The aforementioned white papers and e-books are a great example of a lead generator on your website. Requiring an email address and other personal information such as address and phone number are all bargaining chips most consumers don’t mind handing over if they find the information you are offering is of value to them. In the same way, having digital content available for purchase on your website can give you some easy income – with little to no overhead cost.
With all of that being said, long-form content should also be engaging and interesting. Adding graphics, pleasing design, photos and videos in your content makes it much more likely to engage your audience. Don’t bore them with pages and pages of paragraphs with no aesthetic visuals to stimulate them. Whenever possible, make your content interactive, which provides you with additional valuable information about your prospective customers.
There you have it. While quick bits of information are popular and successful forms of communication with your audience, it doesn’t mean that good, quality content doesn’t have a place in your overall marketing strategy. Consumers are still looking for useful information to help them with their buying decisions, and long-form content is a good way to give them what they want and make you look good in the process. Remember, long-form content can be an article or a longer video, so be creative with how your share your message! Consumers are always looking for interesting behind-the-scenes videos, how-to videos, and interactive videos they can watch while waiting on something else. You never know; they may fall into your social media wormhole and turn into a buying customer.