Guest post by: Bridgette Hernandez
If you take a look at what most content marketing authority figures are saying, you’ll likely find the advice that long-form content is the recommended type of informing and educating your audience. According to Neil Patel and other thought leaders in the SEO and content marketing industry, long-form content of over 1,000 words generates more traffic, increases your conversion rate, and boosts brand loyalty.
However, you will rarely find direct tips on how to structure it and, finally, how to start publishing it at all. Are there any guidelines you should follow? Do some structures work better than others? In this guide, we’re answering all these questions and giving you a blueprint on how to get loyal readers and customers with the help of your long-form content.
1. Understand the history and evolution of content
Like any other form of human expression and interaction, content has evolved. In the beginnings of the internet, there were short snippets and statements which users used to indicate their interest or knowledge about a particular field. Later, with the advent of Wikipedia and similar educational pages, the length of the content increased.
Now, after marketers have long learned that content marketing can translate to better sales, profit, and brand recognition, it’s used as a weapon of consumerism based on science.
Currently, we are at a point where long-form content works best, both with search engines and actual readers. Why? Because it’s rare and valuable. The internet is filled with short, low-quality texts that are just used to attract traffic. The digital environment has been overcrowded by this type of content for quite some time, and consumers have started to retaliate. Long-form content is worth more.
2. Use the help of experts
We already mentioned that it’s a great idea to follow the trends in the SEO industry. When your marketing goal is to build brand loyalty, you don’t have to be in the dark – there are already tons of research and studies done on how to do just that, quickly and efficiently.
In line with that, it’s also a good idea to hand over some of the work to experts who know how to effectively write long-form content. It’s especially advised if you’re doing it for the first time. Here are some of the top recommendations:
- BestEssaysEducation – a website that gathers essay writing experts, who will also know how to perfectly craft a long-form piece of content
- TopEssayWriting – a professional writer database where you can hire people in any industry or niche
- GrabMyEssay – a writing service where you can post what you need and get offers from long-form content writers who can do that for you
3. Utilize data to the maximum.
In modern marketing, data is everything. Digital marketing has made it possible to listen to how our audiences react to our content. Unlike traditional marketing, we don’t yell our messages into the ether and hope for the best. We write with maximum effort, but we listen to feedback just as carefully.
Take a look at this Ascend2 research on how you can use marketing data in decision making.
Having a full and comprehensive picture of your audience’s interests and preferences will enable you to serve the perfect content. It will show you how you can improve your long-form content to achieve even better effects.
4. Segment and organize your text
The only problem that long-form content can create is that it can be contrary to modern reading habits. Sure, search engines love to rank content that’s thousands of words long, but the average reader is not so used to reading so much at a time. There are, of course, exceptions, such as instructions content where the reader has to read through everything carefully.
In all other cases, it’s your job to make the content eye-appealing and scannable. This means that you should incorporate the following as much as you can in your long-form text:
- split your content into headings and subheadings
- split into shorter paragraphs
- use bullet points and lists
- use images to help your reader stay focused on the information
- use visual data representation (charts, graphs) as often as you can
Also, make sure your text is readable. Readability is a measurement that shows how easy it is to read your text. The more effort it requires, the more likely it is that the reader will not stick around to read the whole thing. You can check that score on Readable.com or within your text processor.
5. Choose your topics wisely
When you’re publishing long-form content as a brand, your goal is to establish yourself as a leader in the industry. This is the only way you can build brand loyalty and get your readers to come back for more. Your content has to ooze authority, value, and educational information.
In other words, it’s best if you focus precisely on what you know best to start with. As you continue growing your content strategy, you might branch out to different areas within your industry. However, in the beginning, it’s not the idea to cover them all. That’s practically impossible. Rather, focus on the few key topics to start with and continue building from there.
This also means that you will have to find the perfect balance between what your audience (search engines) want and what you know best. Always coordinate your topic with the latest findings in keyword and query popularity.
Long-form content in marketing is a delicate topic. On the one hand, everyone’s recommending that you do it to increase your brand loyalty, but on the other, no one agrees on how to do it right. These are, however, some of the general guidelines you can work with.
Another important thing to remember is to always stick to your standards of quality. If you want to reap the maximum benefits of your long-form content, make sure it’s as carefully crafted as a 100-word social media post. We know that seems hard, but it’s not impossible.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face with long-form content?
Guest Post by: Bridgette Hernandez
Bridgette Hernandez is a Master in Anthropology who is interested in writing and planning to publish her book in the nearest future. She finished her study last year but is already a true expert when it comes to presenting a text creatively and understandably.