As a writer, I’m thrilled at the renewed popularity of long-form content, and it looks like Twitter is as well. Although I gained a new appreciation for concise writing with its 280-character limit, it was challenging. In June 2022, Tech Crunch published a report on the details of the popular social media platform’s latest venture. The company is responding to demands for this writing style by testing the “Notes” feature with small groups. I am excited to see the test results and hope it will be a great success.
Perfect Words and Pictures Together
The written word is not the only long-form content gaining more attention. The dominance of the bite-size video marketing strategy is also transforming. As media platforms have realized for a while, compatibility is key to usability. Check out this recent video by Michael Cheng for the scoop on long-form video content.
Is Long-Form Content a New Thing?
Not really. Our attraction to content that provides valuable information never faded. Still, website visitors rarely found long-form content where marketing was the core reason for the site. But there’s a problem with content focused solely on the features and benefits of the item on offer. Too often, it sounds like a no-frills, hard sell to the reader. Thankfully, more marketers are seeing the advantages of using customer feedback to write long-form content articles and videos on their websites.
However, as a recent article in Business News Daily points out, the content has to be “authentic.” And it ranks long-form content as number one of the ten top trends in digital marketing in 2022. Being authentic means writing articles or video scripts to add to your readers’ knowledge bank. The direct connection between how we create long-form content and storytelling is also worth noting. When we tell a story based on our real-life experience, the listener knows it’s authentic. On the other hand, when you are writing content from research sources, keep your language simple. Quote your references to add credibility: it’s a little more work, but it’s worth it.
So How Long is Too Long?
Okay, so here, we’re not talking about a 5,000-word sales letter or an hour-long video. The sweet spot of attention for articles is 750-1,000 words, and for videos, 4 to 6 minutes is the comfort zone. Once you look at what you offer as a consumer, it opens a new world of information. Finding related content to your product or service’s solution is easy without asking for a sale. For example, if you are offering a certification training course on continuous improvement, your article could focus on the origins of this philosophy. Because as is the case with many things with a long history, understanding this perspective clarifies why many organizations require this certification.
Another way to author long-form content is to use frequently asked questions as a starting point. For example, you can write about the not-so-common uses of your product, how the customer can use it in an emergency, or other services or products that are compatible in use. You can also expand on other applications by different industries or companies. Many customers want to know the process of making a product. Some companies offer facility or process tour videos where customers get a look behind the scenes and at the people who make it happen.
Print and imagery drive digital media creation, and we can use them to spark genuine interest or continue to focus only on sales. Everyone needs to understand the products and services they use. Making that information relevant to our customers is the challenge. Marketplace competition is growing more intense every day. But long-form content allows business owners to stand out from the crowd. Think of it as a new avenue to customer engagement. Consistently leveraging information as part of your digital media strategy can enhance your business reputation and increase customer loyalty.