Any blogger or business owner can pump out a 500-word blog post and call it a day. And while there’s some immediate benefit in a short, compelling post, there isn’t a ton of long-term value. Long-form content is what you should really be investing your resources into.
What’s the Secret to High Converting Long-From Content?
Marketers are always arguing about which type of content they should invest in and which formats yield the best returns, but at the end of the day, nothing beats long-form content. It’s the answer to just about every need or marketing goal.
“Ultimately, you should create long-form content because it will get you more of what you want: more online visibility (social shares, links), more proof of your authority and industry expertise, and more material for altruistic community building and engagement,” content marketing specialist Emma Siemasko explains.
The challenge lies in creating high converting long-form content that’s engaging, not boring. In pursuit of this goal, here are a few suggestions you may find helpful:
1. Choose the Right Topic
It all starts with topic selection. If you choose a topic that’s boring or irrelevant to your audience, you’ll find it difficult to engage your readers, regardless of how you structure the post.
In order to choose the right topic, you have to know what your audience wants. Thankfully, social listening tools give marketers the ability to observe what audiences are searching for and discussing. Pay attention and they’ll point you in the right direction.
2. Craft a Compelling Intro
You’ve probably run across the statistic that says the average person now has a shorter attention span than a goldfish. While sobering, this reveals just how important it is to hook people from the very start of a piece of content.
In addition to a magnetic headline, long-form content needs a compelling introduction. You don’t have enough margin for error to start off slow. Get the reader hooked within the first couple of sentences and your conversion rate will be much healthier.
3. Provide a Table of Contents
If you have a piece of content that’s 3,000, 5,000, or 7,000-plus words, you need to consider the searchability of your article. Very few of your readers are going to start at the beginning and read all the way to completion. Most are going to skim and search for the parts that they find interesting or relevant.
Recognizing that your readers are skimmers, it’s helpful to give them some guidance. One effective technique is to implement a “table of contents” at the beginning of the article. (You can see an example in this Nutrisystem review from Training in the Bay.)
4. Use Plenty of Visuals
In today’s day and age, it’s almost impossible to produce an effective piece of long-form content without including compelling visuals. In fact, the highest converting pieces of long-form content feature a variety of different content mediums. (This article from the New York Times is a great example.)
5. Maintain a Consistent and Engaging Voice
Because most marketing teams produce long-form content in multiple sessions – as opposed to a single writing session – the end product often feels choppy. Make sure you’re prioritizing consistency in your voice and focus on seamless transitions in the copyediting process.
6. Move Past Shallow Content
Short-form content has value – in fact, social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram have made it relevant again – but from a larger digital marketing perspective, you have to move past “shallow” content and invest in long-form, information-rich content that generates leads and drives revenue.
Hopefully the tips featured in this article will help you make progress in this area.
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