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Content Marketing

Creating Connections with Long-Form Content

I received a letter in the mail a few weeks ago. That’s right. A personal, handwritten letter. It was from a 5th grader whom I’m sponsoring in a classroom reading program. It was so fun to get something personal in my mailbox—and feel connected to a young person and an important project—that I read it at least seven times! Over 60% of the class had never written a letter or addressed an envelope before the program started.
Long-form content example: a handwritten letter.
By the time tweens reach their teens, 95% of them have access to a smartphone, and 45% are online almost constantly. They’re well on target to meet or beat the current pace of the average American adult. We’re constantly checking our phones—every 12 minutes on average. That’s 80 times a day.
In our insanely fast-paced, online world intermingled with social media, people are craving connectedness and looking for depth. They want interesting, truthful information when they seek it. Long-form content marketing provides an opportunity for both you and your customer. It’s long-term win-win, not just a quick sale.

What is long-form content marketing?

Whether you want to promote products, services, or your business, you can create any type of long-form content—including blog posts, online articles, e-books, and video—to connect and build relationships with people.
There’s no definitive word count or time length. A 15-minute video is considered long. Deliverables in written form are usually 1,200 to 2,000 words, but those numbers are slowly increasing. The new standard is working its way toward 3,000 to 10,000 words so search engines can deliver results with the highest possible quality content.

What are the benefits of long-form marketing?

When you create engaging long-form content that satisfies an emotional or knowledge-based need, you connect with and build long-term relationships with potential, new and long-time clients. Here are five great benefits of long-form content marketing:

  • Increases organic traffic. Search engines like Google are changing their algorithms to deliver results with more complete content to better satisfy users’ searches.
  • Gets more shares on social media. It may be surprising, but on average, long-form content gets shared more on social media than short-form content. A case study by OkDork analyzed 100 million articles on the web and revealed that those with content lengths ranging from 3,000 to 10,000 words got the most shares:
  • Gets higher ranking in search results. If you want to appear in the top 10 of search results when someone is looking for a solution to their problem or for a product to satisfy their need, long-form content can boost your rankings. A study by serpIQ discovered that the average content length of the top 10 search results was over 2,000 words.
  • Increases the amount of time people spend on site. The longer people are engaged with the content on your site the better. It reflects they’re getting what they came for—high quality, helpful information.
  • Positions you as an industry leader. With time and consistency, you’re the expert people turn to. The more knowledge you share that’s of value to consumers, the more trust you build.

Long-form content marketing can create connections, and build and maintain business relationships. It can fulfill people’s needs, yet leave them looking forward to more. Much like how I’m excited about receiving my next handwritten letter in the mail.

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