The modern world relies heavily on a chain of demand and supply to work efficiently. People require content and that content requires the engagement of the people. This engagement is necessary for brands and their businesses. Every brand functions as per a strategy which is the basic framework or blueprint for the brand. To acquire the aforementioned engagement from the audience, the brand needs to communicate itself to the people via the help of something called content strategy. Long format content is an impeccable way to communicate the content strategy for brands.
What is Long Format Content?
Detailed articles fall under long format content. Their lengths have been debated but one could say articles with approximately 1200 words or more are categorized under long format. Generally, such content is much meatier in information compared to short format articles. One could argue that people have minute attention spans and hence, would much rather go for short format articles. Despite that being true, long format offers a wide range of information, a much more detailed analysis and better comparisons. It is explanatory in nature and thus, attracts a wide audience.
Advantages of Long Format Content:
- Search Engine Optimization is its best friend. Studies have shown that the top results of search engines are always content which have more than 1200 words. Most of us generally surf through the first page of a SERP without paying much heed to all the other pages. Having the SEO back the content up with its algorithm puts long format at a huge advantage in terms of engagement.
- They have better organic reach and are often heavily supported by social media algorithms. A post with 1000 words or more will experience a higher boost from the social media platform compared to a 25 word tweet.
- When an article is long, the audience has to spend more time on the page compared to a short format article with infographics which can be skimmed over pretty quickly and yet, they have similar page views as short format articles because they are supported by search engines.
- Since it is more detailed in nature, the average person feels more comfortable to rely on long format content, especially if it heavily focuses on a niche topic.
- Long formats are in depth and people with specific groups of interests are much more susceptible to delve into this type of contact over short formats since they provide a much better analysis of the topic.
Brands need to communicate itself to its audience. The better the communication, the better the engagement. As mentioned above, the brand executes this communication via content strategy which heavily relies on long format. The advantages provided by long format are the key reason why it works as a content strategy for brands.
How does Content Strategy communicate itself?
Let’s take laptops as an example. One wants to purchase a laptop for gaming. A gaming laptop would require features such as increased RAM and a better processor for it to function smoothly. It would also require a good graphics card since graphics are an important aspect of gaming. A company that manufactures good gaming laptops (such as Lenovo) will communicate itself to the audience by describing itself and the features possessed by the laptop it produces in detail. Macbooks are one of the most efficient laptops in the market but its efficiency does not lie in gaming. So, if a person purchases a Macbook Pro over a Lenovo Legion for gaming, they are going for a product which will not satisfy their needs even though certain models from both brands belong to the same price range. Similarly, if one purchases a Lenovo Legion over a Macbook Pro for work purposes, they are getting features they do not need for their purpose such as a very high GPU for the graphics when they could have settled for a Macbook Air which is much cheaper than both the Macbook Pro and Lenovo Legion. This is a primary reason why brands need to focus on its niche while strategizing its content.
Content is created for reasons such as boosting sales, creating brand awareness, creating brand loyalty, better SEO, etcetera. This helps the brand in acquiring more success. The brands must recognize its audience and work accordingly since it is very important to satiate the target audience. It must also focus on a strategy via which it attracts more customers. When long format is being used as a content strategy for brands, it is doing all those things that would benefit the brand.
A reason why web series have gained extreme popularity over films is because of its length. A slower pace of the plot combined with higher dynamics in the storyline presented in the seasons and episodes format causes the viewers to get committed to the plot. More screen time for the characters result in developing loyalty towards those characters. With films, the pace is much faster and the show is wrapped up within 1.5 – 2 hours approximately and thus, the viewer is not resonating with the characters of the film like it is resonating with the characters of the series. This is because, the viewer has committed his time to the series. Similarly, with long format content, the reader is committing some time to read the article and go through the in-depth analysis the brand is providing through its content strategy. This not only makes the reader more aware about the brand but the higher amount of information is much more likely to cause the person to lean towards the brand and in the long run, develop brand loyalty.
People feel safer about brands when provided with more information. The long format length is causing the brands’ content article to be on top of the SERP since this format is supported the Google algorithm. This results in higher page views and a higher average time on the page. Such content needs to be unique in nature in order to reduce bounce rate. Combine these attributes and the brands is acquiring a traffic as high as an article with short format content but with a return traffic that is a lot lower. This is how long format works as a phenomenal content strategy for brands.