Society and life in general seem to move at light-speed; catch up or miss out is the motto for many businesses. In fact, life in the fast lane has taken on a whole new meaning with the introduction of websites that exist to share short-form content – Vine, Twitter and BuzzFeed are just a couple, popular examples. Because of this, many brands have shifted their focus to providing information their customers need in short snippets that can be digested on the go. It makes sense; in many cases, this is the best way to reach a customer base that’s rapidly losing online time.
However, when brands create marketing strategies that focus exclusively on short pieces of content and information, they could be missing out on the bigger picture, a picture that needs long and short-form content to yield results.
Long-form content marketing still matters just as much as it ever has. Following are a few reasons why.
The Importance and Influence of Search Rankings
Yes, social media sites are large traffic sources for a variety of brands. Online users share posts, links and photos with their networks and information can spread at an exponential pace to an unlimited number of people; this drives traffic.
However, when customers are looking for specific information on certain subjects, or are looking for the best options for purchases, they’re most likely to utilize a search engine. Because of this, a marketing strategy must include long-form content. Tweets and vines don’t show up in search results often as they don’t have enough room for keyword optimization. Instead, sites with regularly updated content that is relevant still see the best search engine rankings and placements. If you’re looking to get in front of an online audience that is most likely to convert, long-form content is a necessary part of your marketing strategy.
Customers want to know as much as possible about the brands they choose to do business with. They want to have the opportunity to engage with and learn about why the company exists, what it does and who runs it. They want to interact.
While short-form content is an excellent way to get in front of potential customers and clients, it’s not the best way to establish the credibility that a brand must have to stay ahead of the competition. Long-form content allows brands to post content that answers questions and provides a strong history. It enables brands to react to industry happenings and to expand on the existing knowledge base of customers and potential customers. It gives the brand a voice that allows customer knowledge, and therefore trust, to grow. Some examples of successful long-form content include eBooks, long-form blog posts or case studies about an industry related topic.
While reaching mobile users and those in a hurry is important, it does not allow for the value-add that brands need for long-term customer relationships; it’s limited. Recent studies have shown that while short-form content is a way to drive traffic, it’s not the best way to connect to visitors and give them a reason to return and, eventually, convert.
As a brand, whether working online or in person, the goal should be to deliver value at every possible turn to each and every customer. You want your products and services to provide measurable results that encourage customers to not only return, but to share their experiences with others. This should be the same for your website. You want your content to give customers a reason to come back, learn more and share what they’ve learned with their online networks. Long-form content allows brands to deliver messages that are much weightier than brief messages with little depth. It allows companies to respond to customer needs and wants while delivering the value they deserve.
In a world that’s focused on short-form content marketing, adding long-form content to the mix may be one of the most useful tools for staying ahead and making a lasting impression.