Long form content marketing is real hard work. It takes a lot of time. But is it really worth it?
This post will explore the advantages of making them part of your business blogging strategy. With a little bit of increased understanding, you’ll become enabled to experience the benefits in real time.
But first, you have to invest money, time or both to get the ball rolling.
One real estate blogger said that 300 words should be enough. If your blog posts reach 700 words, then it goes out of hand.
Maybe he is correct. All niche markets are not the same.
After all, Seth Godin writes short posts only. But I am 100% sure you are not Seth. Probably, you don’t even know who he is. Why would you spend long hard working hours writing long form blog posts?
In an intensely distractive and fragmented world of short attention spans, short posts seem to make a lot of sense.
According to a study by Microsoft many people can hardly focus on one thing for more than one minute. Maybe the impulses in us that are constantly seeking for instant gratification could be part of the cause.
So some people reason, who really have time to read long form contents?
Interestingly, the answers provided below with some data points will help to explain what you could have been missing by ignoring it.
And if you have been into business blogging for months or years without impressive results; pay attention – now.
Long Form Content Marketing: What Is It?
It is a process of writing and promoting long form contents for the purpose of sales, lead generation or growing brand awareness.
The commonly types of contents in this scenario includes blog posts, white papers, case studies, sales pages etc. Thus, the main aim behind the written content is marketing.
As for word count, it is usually from 1500 words upward.
For a whole lot of people in your niche, consistent business blogging is already hard enough for them. Add long form content writing and procrastination takes over.
That’s why sometimes you see a lot of blogs that are either outdated or full of aimless contents.
However, for most people who understand the benefits of long form content marketing, there are always two things holding them back.
‘I have more important marketing work to do, so no time’. This was exactly what an event planner once told me. The other challenge is blogging without return on invested time and money.
If this is your issue, check this post on the ultimate guide to conversion focused business blogging.
Why Invest In Long Form Content Marketing
More Social Media Sharing
One painful thing is that shallow content wastes time and money. Because they are usually aimless and don’t resonate with anybody, nobody shares them.
Hence, they deliver no measurable business value. Here is one of the reasons why business blogging doesn’t work for many.
And then someone somewhere quit, thereby adding another orphan blog to the internet.
Without promotion, shallow posts get buried in your blog archive.
Besides my personal opinion, there are also some studies and data backing up the fact that long form contents often commands more social media shares than short, shallow formats.
A reader psychology study of some leading news publishers like The New York Times, CNN and The Huffington Post shows that the most shared articles have an average of 2012 words.
Obviously, it could be that these contents provide more value than the opposite.
So the longer the content the higher the share count and traffic volume. Thus, for most business blogs, 2000 – 5000 words is good.
For example, below is a screenshot of the most shared blog posts about ‘content marketing’ according to BuzzSumo.
Higher Backlinks Count
If you have been around internet marketing for years like me, you’ll already understand the benefits of consistent link building. Specifically, it affects the ranking of a web page for some precise keywords.
However, in the context of business blogging strategies, more social media sharing also correlates with higher backlinks count, at least with a common sense intuition.
Because of growing visibility as a result of more social media shares, many people who found long form blog articles valuable end up linking to them.
These natural white hat backlinks helps to boost the search engine ranking of the pages being linked to. Consequently, the higher ranking leads to constant growth of organic search engine traffic.
And in practical terms, the social media sharing, natural backlinks, higher ranking and growing traffic volume continues in an automatic cycle.
This is the biggest benefit of long form content marketing.
Because a fewer number of your competitors are doing this right now, you may commit to taking advantage of this business blogging strategy to generate leads and revenue.
This study of 1 million articles by BuzzSumo has some more data and insights regarding the social media sharing and linking to long form contents.
Higher Search Engine Ranking
One of the most profitable benefits of organic search engine traffic is that you don’t have to pay additional money for the continuous inflow of quality traffic to your website. Yes, you really don’t have to after the major SEO work is done.
It only takes few actions to monitor and maintain the ranking for specific keywords that matters to your business.
In comparison to having a static website, you’ll be missing out on the above benefit of SEO traffic if you don’t have an active business blog with valuable long form contents.
This analysis of blog contents ranked in first page by Garret Moon of CoSchedule also proves the point.
How much content does top ranking pages usually have? Another study at SERPiQ also provides good answer to that. Based on the finding, long form articles of 2000+ words perform better across board.
This is one of the secret search engine optimization techniques you may not understand especially if your occupational responsibilities are outside internet marketing.
Overall and according to HubSpot, businesses that engage in active blogging generate 68% more leads than those who don’t. Obviously, this may have something to do with growing search engine traffic volume and commercial keyword intent.
Longer Time On Site
Tell me, of what good is it if 70 – 99% of the website traffic you spend money and time to generate bounces off in less than 2 seconds?
It may not be you. But it happens to real business people like one event planning expert I had interaction with.
That interaction led to full SEO audit and analysis of his website. And almost 87% bounces off without converting to anything or moving to another page.
High bounce rate is one of the major disadvantages of short, shallow contents. And it gets worse if you don’t have business blog at all.
The only exception is if your site is built for affiliate marketing. In other words, you really need to send out majority of your visitors via affiliate links.
If you have high converting landing pages and huge paid advertising budget, this visitor exit metrics may not concern you as much.
I want to ask you again. What is the current bounce rate in your own website right now?
It is neither your fault nor your problem that attention span is getting shorter these days. In an age of intense distractions, social media addiction and instant gratification, impatience is on the high side. Hence, selling is becoming harder and harder.
According to one leading tech executive:
‘The true scarce commodity of the near future will be ‘human attention’ – Satya Nadella.
Test; can you sell me your solution in 3 seconds only?
The key challenge is to match my intent, need or problem with your content. Here is one of the reasons why it is important to start your business blogging strategy with buyer keyword research.
There are many reasons why your current bounce rate could be abnormally high. It could be the slow page loading or poor design.
At other times, it could simply be because the content of your page is mismatched with website visitor intent.
However, getting attention is just half of the battle. Keeping that attention longer than 3 seconds and then getting real value from it is the biggest challenge.
And that is where long form blog posts serves well again.
You can use content pieces like pre-sale lead generation posts, case studies, product tutorials and cost analysis to influence people and make them spend longer time on your website. Internal linking and video contents also increases time on site.
There is always a depth of technicality behind every business or topic. Long form content writing gives you opportunity to show your own depth of technical know-how in any topic. So beyond surface level fundamentals, you can begin to share your diverse experience and perspectives with a target audience.
With a specific client or buyer persona in mind, you’ll be positioned to share stories that relates to their current pain points.
Among other thing, long form content marketing helps achieve influential positioning in the following ways.
Differentiation: In various marketing contexts, differentiation influences brand perception. Practically, the advantages in top of mind recall can be experienced when you begin connecting with some of the strong universal emotions that makes us human.
Filling a void: Whether you are interested in white papers, case studies or pain point focused blog posts, these types of contents can be used to fill a void in your target customers’ mind.
Maintain a relative degree of brand messaging frequency and you’ll have a winning strategy. Here is one scenario where retargeting works really well. Check this retargeting case study for more insights.
Examples of filling a void is starting with keywords your audience are searching for or the relevant questions being asked on Quora and other similar websites.
Leveraging authority: It’s all about doing one thing exceptional better than all other things, long term focus on it and becoming known for that one thing.
In this regard, Jeff Goins had a title that reads like:
‘Stop Running The Wrong Race And Choose Your Own Craft’
Examples of single minded expert positioning in this context include Peep Laja’s blog for conversion rate optimization only – ConverionXL, Brian Clark on copywriting only – Copyblogger, Brian Dean on SEO only – Backlinko, Jon Loomer on Facebook ads only – Jon Loomer Digital.
Higher Conversion Rate
Remember here we are talking about the use of long form contents in business blogging strategy only. If you add affiliate marketing or lead generation landing pages the conversion rules become different.
If you add other benefits discussed earlier like more social media shares, longer time on site, higher search engine ranking and expert positioning, it becomes clearer how all of them contributes to higher conversion rate.
While there is no guarantee that you’ll get higher conversion rate from long form content marketing, the chances of getting the other benefits discussed above is always there.
Depending on the conversion funnel integrated within your business blog, yours could be zero, low or above average conversion.
Your best bet is to test some variations.
Before you get started on your own tests, the guys at Crazy Egg got 30% higher conversion by increasing the content length on a particular page. And here is how to do it.
Call To Action
Now you know the benefits of long form content marketing. Where can you go from here?
Warning: I don’t know how long it has taken you to get here. But if you do nothing with the information, it is just as good as wasting your time to read this piece. And that my friend, is not my intention.
As I have noted earlier, short form posts also work. It just depends on how well written and the conversion funnel integration within the post.
However, I believe that the data points and benefits highlighted above will expand your perspective on what is possible.
Make sure to add some lead generation elements to your post while linking to sales pages where necessary. Do this before making commitment to actively consistent blog post promotion strategy.
Regardless of the niche in which you operate, you’ll always find some blog post writing ideas.
But just in case you can’t do the work very well or have more important things, you can hire an experienced business blog writer.
A friendly conversation is enough to get started for consistent business blogging traffic and bigger ROI.
Now you can share your business blogging experiences and challenges in the comment section. How has it been working out for you and your company?
You can as well join our Facebook group – The Search Tribe to discuss, discover and leverage working strategies to attract only the people in need of your products/services – Now.