A short guide to long form content
How long do you spend reading online content? Some short pieces (short form content), take a few minutes, while others take longer to read than the ‘traditional’ blog post or article. These represent long form content.
Sitecore Optimisation Consultant MVP Strategist
Long form pieces of content (this not being one of them) can range from 2,000 words to 10,000. They can be really long blog posts, whitepapers, ebooks, and case studies.
So why is long form content important, and how should it be planned? This article will explore these questions.
Why is long form content important to content authors?
Depth: It allows for more in-depth and detailed information to be covered. This is beneficial for both the reader and the author, and is especially relevant for industries that have a lot of technical information to pass on to their audiences.
Better SEO opportunities: Long form content is more likely to rank better in search engines because it covers a topic in more detail. Plus there’s more scope to add keywords. This can lead to better visibility, improved domain authority and more traffic.
Authority: As mentioned above, it establishes the author and the business as an authority in their industry. Long form content demonstrates expertise, trustworthiness and knowledge.
Repurposing: It can be repurposed in different formats like ebooks, infographics and even video shorts.
Lead generation: If you include call-to-actions throughout the long form piece it can be a useful lead generation piece too.
How to plan your long form content
Creating long form content can be a challenge. But with the right planning and prep, you’ll be able to get engaging content to your audience.
Below are some key steps to follow when planning your long form content.
Define your target audience: Before you put pen to paper, so to speak, it's important to have a clear understanding of who you want to talk to. This knowledge will help you tailor the content based on user needs, search intent, interests and more.
Identify your main topics and subtopics: Your long form content should be divided into smaller sections, with each section covering a specific topic or subtopic. Use topic clustering to identify the main topics you want to talk about.
Conduct research: If you want your content to be both accurate and informative, you'll need to do some research. Use books, articles, expert interviews and more to gather information.
Create an outline: Once you’ve done your research and have identified subtopics, you can create an outline for your content. This will help you to organise your thoughts and ensure your content has a good structure and flow.
Write an engaging introduction: When authors submit novels to publishers they focus on the opening paragraph and the first 3 chapters. It's the opening paragraph/intro that draws the reader in. The same applies to long form content. Make sure it's compelling and gives a clear overview of the subject matter.
Use headings and subheadings: Headings and subheadings break up your content and make it easier to read. These also help to highlight the main points of each section. Make sure your H1s and H2s etc. are in the right places!
Include visuals: Images, charts, infographics, videos, etc. go a long way to making your long form content more enjoyable and engaging. Use them.
Use a conversational tone: A conversational/personable tone will help make your content more relatable and engaging.
Include calls to action: Whatever your goals, make sure you include CTAs. These could be newsletter subscriptions, contact us forms, demo request forms - it all depends on what you want your content to achieve.
Edit and proofread: Passing your content before another set of eyes always helps. This ensures no typos are published as well as making sure the content has a nice flow to it.
Producing long form content is a fantastic way to engage with your audience. It helps SEO and can generate leads. Plus it’s an important tool in your content marketing strategy efforts. But you need to plan to get the very best from it.
Working with Codehouse
If you want a tried and tested approach to quality content and improved organic ranking, our Content Optimisation service is ideal for you. If you want to find out more about getting the best from your content Get in touch when you’re ready.
Sign up for insights, news and more...
Join the product and digital innovators at the frontline of digital transformations who benefit from our newsletter