It used to be that you could throw up short blog posts, for years, and call it a day; all the while, still raking in the traffic. But today, people are more savvy and are requiring more out of their online destinations than a few short blog posts. Today, to truly establish yourself as a thought leader and an authority, you need to create longer, more in-depth content that will truly give your audience what they want – knowledge.
But I Don’t Want to Read!
You’ve likely heard that people don’t want to read longer content, or watch long videos right? Well, that’s true to some degree, but there are reasons why you want to write longer content that is deeper, offers more facts, and engages your audience in a useful way. You can truly delve into a topic with more words, so long as the content is well-written and provides a value to the audience that your competitors do not. Forget the ‘stick to 500 words’ notion. And while you’re at it, forget about writing content just for the sake of writing content.
Pack Up Your Tools if You’re Writing Just for the Search Engines
And, if you’re writing content just for SEO or because you think you just rank better — you’re missing the whole point of the Internet. This is why people in corporate sales from other disciplines rarely fare well as Internet consultants. Somewhere in the transition from one to the other, they hold too dearly to driving numbers and not brand awareness, equity, and/or true brand value.
Why Go Long?
→ Longer Features Can Lead to Higher Quality
→ The Author Can Dig Deeper, The Reader Can Benefit More
→ Helps Weed Out Those Who Aren’t As Serious in the Buying Cycle
→ You Can Include More Visuals (a proven tactic that people seem to appreciate)
→ Search Engines Can Pull More Understanding and Semantic Learning
→ People Tend to Share Longer Content Regularly
There are different types of content that lend themselves to digging deeper, too:
→ White Papers — A white paper was traditionally used in government and education circles. The intent of a white paper is to give authoritative information to guide the readers to answers about an issue that matters to them. Usually, the point is to help readers make a choice to do something like buy a particular product or service or vote a certain way. Typically the white paper will describe benefits, present a set of questions, tips or points about the topic, as well as recommendations and solutions.
→ Case Studies — Remember to define the problem, offer the solution and share the results via the case studies that you publish. This will certainly keep people reading while connecting them better with your brand. People like reading how a solution worked for other people, so case studies are a great choice for longer content and improving positive brand awareness.
→ Long Blog Posts — Instead of writing a series and posting them separately– try posting the series as one long in depth blog post. This type of post will be very useful to your audience as well as something that will keep them on your blog longer than 30 seconds. Time on site (as an analytics metric) places a part in Google understanding if your content is valued by your visitors or not.
→ Instructional Videos — The word around the web is to create short videos, but sometimes you’ll want to create a longer video. Videos are known to grab the attention of the audience, and what better way to demonstrate your knowledge and build authority than a long, in-depth video tutorial on an important topic for your niche.
→ Feature Articles — Like the long blog post, a featured article requires more research and different. Often a long article will quote other authorities, books, papers and individuals to further the points being made in the article. Writing long articles of 1500 words will demonstrate your authority, knowledge and expertise in a clear way that will be useful to you and your audience — that is if you write it well. Don’t bore the crap out of people with long form writing that makes people feel like they are doing ‘work’.
If you choose to include longer, in-depth content to wow your audience, make your content more appealing visually by adding images, bullet points, subheadings and headers. Further, it’s okay to send people to new pages for the rest of the content and different sections of the content, if you don’t want the long content to appear on only one page of your website. Longer, more in-depth content is essential for good SEO (when done right) — but to be able to better engage your audience is the real gold.
For those who hate reading, here’s some video!