The length of content is still up for debate.
One camp argues that audiences don’t have time to read lengthy articles, yet another insists there is a way to craft valuable and engaging pieces. While it may feel like writing War & Peace for no reward, the truth lies between the two.
Length alone isn’t what pulls the audience toward your content. Instead, meaningful content is the way to give your passionate readers all the info they need. It is an opportunity for brands to show their actual worth.
But yes, long-form content does pack a punch! It is more shareable, engaging, and valuable for SEO. The State of Content Marketing report by SEMRush also states that long-form content is essential to any successful marketing strategy.
Here are some strategies on how you can make your next article an unmissable page-turner:
Find a Sound Topic and Format
Thorough research and planning are vital for creating compelling content that resonates with readers. Keyword tools like SEMRush can help you identify topics that interest your audience.
After deciding on the topic, it is time to determine which post format will give justice to the subject. These could be tutorials for detailed instructions, round-ups for expert opinions, or comparisons between different products or services. You can also work on editorials and listicles to clarify complex topics.
With careful consideration toward researching a popular keyword and choosing engaging formats, you will find yourself crafting catchy content in no time.
Set Goals and Target Audience
Creating a perfect post starts with understanding your readers and what they need. Ideally, your content should add value to an existing discussion or provide new information to catch the audience’s attention.
Consider why you are writing it, who you want to reach, and how this article can provide something distinct from others. The key is to deliver quality that people won’t find elsewhere. You can also rely on storytelling to keep the readers hooked to the article.
This article by Kitty Calhoun is an excellent example of content curated with the audience in mind. It provided a detailed account of exploration and teamwork when four mountaineers embarked on an epic journey to the far reaches of Iceland’s rugged beauty.
A climber took stunning photos of the landscape to embed in the article. The addition of visuals helps readers feel this land’s breathtaking beauty. The story is full of awe-inspiring views that come alive in such vivid detail it almost feels like being there firsthand.
Plan Your Research Strategy
Planning for your upcoming article can make the content great. Consider what information you already have or can quickly obtain. Next, consider the more complex research that may take time to source from external sources. Doing this will ensure all essential info is gathered before getting started on writing.
Plan the content and understand why you should create it. There can be many reasons, such as:
- To enhance reputation.
- To boost marketing efforts.
- To help SEO.
- To attract a new audience.
- To build an established following.
Further, it would help if you understood how to structure the content:
- According to the topic
- Who is your audience?
- What answers will you provide?
Take, for example, the long-form article by Moz. They provide a comprehensive, on-point look at the complexities of machine learning. The writer delves into each aspect and its possible implications for various industries.
Blog posts are a significant factor in maintaining an effective content marketing strategy. Visual elements, such as photographs, videos, and illustrations, can make your content more compelling for the audience.
To ensure visuals add value to your material rather than taking up space, consider how they support the messages you want to convey. If customized photography isn’t your cup of tea, you can get high-quality photos from pocket-friendly stock image websites.
It will help if you devise a carefully-crafted visual content strategy. Ask yourself questions like:
- How does this image complement my content?
- Does the photo add value to your article?
- Does the picture grab readers’ attention?
- How does the photo align with the brand identity?
Visuals are essential in establishing a powerful brand and creating absorbing content. Choosing the ideal media can take your marketing strategies to greater heights, leading to improved connections with potential customers and current clients.
Form Your Article in Comprehensible Sections
Concentrating on paragraph length is essential in crafting a well-structured, readable long-form piece.
Generally, three sentences or less makes for the most digestible style of writing. An airy layout of the article helps them quickly absorb the information presented. It also avoids that clogged feeling when confronted with long blocks of text.
Search Engine Journal is taking the industry by storm this year with its annual trends series. This feature has gained massive traction, as 44 experts and influencers were quick to lend insight on one hot topic. Spicing up the article, SEJ uses headlines, images, and various formatting tricks that make it easy for readers to stay engaged from start to finish.
Consider how you can use paragraphs within your work. For instance, understanding where extensions could provide more clarity. Ultimately, having concise sections will give content a structure that is easy for readers to follow.
Maintain a Conversational Tone
For engaging readers, it is crucial to avoid taking an overly-formal approach. Using too many complicated words or technical jargon can be overwhelming and cause your audience to lose interest.
Striking the perfect balance between professionalism and accessibility can help your business appear more inviting. Showing some personality in your interactions can really make all the difference. As per copywriting psychology, we believe only that is effortlessly understandable.
Conversational writing is all about speaking the language of your audience. Your content is more likely to be discovered when you strategically incorporate keywords. It means grabbing more eyeballs on what you have to say.
Hook the Readers with an Engaging Intro
When it comes to long-form articles, the read time can be an intimidating factor. With estimated read times displayed beneath titles on platforms such as HubSpot Blog, readers might feel overwhelmed and decide to skim through the article quickly. To ensure readers don’t miss out or feel turned off by a lengthy piece of writing, craft engaging introductions that hook their attention right away.
If you are stumped for a captivating intro, start with an attention-grabbing stat that will make readers feel they can’t look away. That way, the top of your article will immediately draw their curiosity to explore further.
If you want to be seen as an authority and earn your readers’ trust, it’s worth investing time into creating long-form content that offers real value. It is something people appreciate now and will keep coming back for. To stay active on your blog without burning out from producing high-quality pieces all the time, mix shorter articles between those longer ones.
It may take more effort at first. But when content marketing is done correctly, a solid long-term reader base is yours! Good luck!
Contributed by Ivy Attie