5th Apr 2019
People need to feel entertained and engaged. A staggering amount of content is read, watched and listened to daily; businesses need to utilise this in their marketing. But when it comes to reaching customers and holding their attention, what type of content works best: long-form or short-form?
One benefit of using long-form content is that it allows for more keywords, which makes your content rank higher on Google. That means when someone searches for a document using a keyword, Google will put the longest article first because of the higher content quantity. This greatly impacts your SEO since people only really use the first search page on Google. With over 3.5BN searches a day and 1.2 trillion a year, you want to be at the top of the list.
Using long-form content also works for your company’s image. Since this type of content requires in-depth insight, it’s the perfect opportunity to show your expertise through educational webinars, long essays and in-depth blogs.
Long-form generally employs a strong level of critical thinking. It may not always be the case that readers want in-depth discussion, but for situations and topics where you can show it, do! This will be especially effective for high-end products/services, B2B sales and technical products that need additional explanations.
Bite-sized content has become popular in recent years. Some readers simply don’t have the time for longer content and are bored with long articles, videos and podcasts. This is especially true if your content is B2B. One of the primetimes of content engagement is during commutes. When you look at the rise of Twitter, which restricts posts to 280 characters, it shows how readers favourite the shorter and punchier work. The same goes for video. In fact, studies show that peoples’ attention spans have gone down in the recent years from 12 seconds to eight. So, sometimes, the shorter the better.
Video content is one of the most engaging forms of media, viewers now watch over 500million hours of video on YouTube daily. Reflecting on this, it’s a case of quantity over quality. A short-form video can be from 10 to 60 seconds long and considering the short attention span of viewers, shorter videos are easier to digest; if you can get your point across in this time then you’re optimising the power of video.
The same goes for blogs. Shorter blogs that give information in digestible chunks and don’t overload themselves with heavy information and jargon keep readers interested. If it’s a specialised topic you can still write the full article, but maybe post a link to it in a smaller version so readers can choose to engage. This also works for videos - you can create a link at the end of a shorter one to a more in-depth study/discussion.
Short-form is great when addressing a regular audience. Because they are already well-versed in your company’s service or product, it keeps readers engaged and excited. You don’t want to overload them with unnecessary and repeated information. Instead, short-form content is a great way to fight through the noise and get to the important parts of your business.
Each method has its own perks. The best way to get the most out of short-form and long-form content is to mix it up. Create both for different situations; if it’s a specialised topic or important news then write a detailed blog, whereas if it’s an event or a company announcement keep it sharp and to the point. Your readers can choose which they prefer. This will broaden your audience and allow you to talk about a range of topics.
Here at Middle Table, we are guided by three principles: 1. Understand the client; 2. Be imaginative; 3. Be responsive. This is how we go about creating hard-hitting and engaging content for your company. If you would like to learn more, get in touch today.