Long-Form Content: The Future of Inbound Marketing

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Companies that build a presence on popular social media channels and produce quality content on their site have become the norm rather than innovative exception.

Standing in direct contrast to the popular short, scannable posts is a resurging interest in long-form content. Rather than spreading out your brand’s identity across a variety of mediums and multiple content pieces, some web marketers are arguing for the value of larger, more in-depth content. Known as skyscraper content or long-form, these lengthy content pieces are leading many organizations to rethink their content-marketing strategy.

What is Long-Form Content?

Skyscraper content pieces are large, multimedia website pages or blog posts that are extremely informational in nature. These content pieces combine text, images and video to communicate complex information, statistics and news. Detailed guides, reports and overviews are examples of long-form content that can circulate on the Web.

An example of one such content piece is CJ Pony Parts’ Mustang Sales Through the Years. Long copy, comprehensive topic, and excellent graphics makes this piece an excellent example of what long-form can offer for your company. This long-form has even earned organic links from Yahoo News. It also received a lot of referral traffic from Reddit and StumbleUpon.

Generating a Buzz

A much larger buzz is generated when an organization produces a piece of long-form content instead of presenting information in an infographic or smaller series of blog posts. Intricate, engaging and informational documents such as the CJ Pony Parts example get people talking and encourage feedback.

These items are frequently shared on social networks and attract links from numerous sources. This type of widespread conversation makes skyscraper content an excellent word-of-mouth marketing tool for generating brand awareness.

Search Engine Optimization

G is watchingThe value of long-form content for search engine optimization is another one of its key advantages as discussed by State of Digital. Long-form content is exactly what search engines are designed to value as they tend to be high quality, information-rich items full of sources and media.

Also, they present ample room for utilizing keywords considering their size and the amount of copy that is generally included. Thanks to these qualities, long-form content has a good chance of ranking well in search engines.

Building Your Own Long-Form Content

The process of developing your own long-form Web content is one that requires a significant investment of resources in comparison to less-detailed content. Considering the multifaceted nature of these documents, it is no surprise that they require the time and effort of people with a variety of skills. Editing images, writing copy, conducting research and designing graphics are all initial steps that go into creating pieces of skyscraper content.

Content

Before you worry about the specific details of the piece, you first need to find content worth creating. The aforementioned example offers the styles and formats that work best for these documents. In-depth guides, statistical reports and ideas that require multimedia presentations all have the potential to become skyscrapers.

The purpose of these intricate pieces of content is to generate links from other websites, blogs and social-media channels. This means creating content that is interesting, useful or entertaining so that people want to reference it in their work.

Make sure to consider the semantic web when deciding on a topic. Think about common questions your sales team gets asked and find a topic that could answer that question.

Take What Works and Make it Better

One strategy for creating content with mass appeal is to take content that’s already popular and improve upon it, according to Backlinko. The topic used as an example in this article is SEO. Everyone who produces Web content is interested in having it perform well in search engines. It is this widespread interest that makes blog posts and articles about improving SEO so popular.

With this in mind, the author of the aforementioned article scoured the Web for SEO ranking factors and created what might be the most comprehensive list on the Web. There are already hundreds of articles out there offering a few SEO tips, meaning that another post of this nature wouldn’t create much of a buzz. On the other hand, a list of that magnitude garnered a lot of attention. Thanks to this list, the author’s site gained nearly 2,000 referral views.

If the author had chosen to publish multiple blog posts featuring a smaller number of ranking factors, it is unlikely that he would have achieved such success. This method of creating content that is exhaustive in its presentation of information is a key element of the strategy behind skyscraper content. In other words, don’t just make a handful of content pieces that are relevant for a few people. You should make one big piece of content that will interest a large audience.

Multimedia

bear-danceOnce the topic for your long-form content has been selected, the next step is creating it.

This means finding a way to present a large amount of information to people in a manner that is easily understood and appealing. Not all topics will be as intriguing as Mustangs and SEO, meaning that you might not be able to get away with simply including a few graphs and allowing your research to sell itself. But even the most challenging industries, such as mole bait poison, can have interesting angles that will be relevant to a specific audience online.

Find what your unique audience craves—videos, fact-based graphics, Pinnable images. When researching, remember to jot down any graphic ideas and do the research needed to make it.

The primary thought behind long-form content is creating something that will present your brand in a powerful way and get people talking. For some companies, this might mean presenting information that is important in your industry. For other organizations, your goal might be to entertain people or to create something that they will admire. Regardless of its focus or style, long-form content serves as a means for getting your organization noticed and creating a buzz.

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