When you develop your content marketing plan, it’s important to add in both long-form and short-form content to your content plan. After all, you want a good mix of content that educates, informs, engages, and inspires action. The only way to do that is to ensure that you have a great mix of different lengths of content so that you give your audience enough information to make good choices based on where they are in your funnel and their buying cycle.
What Is the Point of the Content?
This is the first question you should ask before creating any type of content at all. Each piece of content needs to perform some sort of duty. This is what your call to action will be based on, and this is how you’ll determine whether the content is going to be long or short.
For example, if you’re trying to position yourself as an authority in a niche, then long-form content such as pillar content on your website, eBooks, reports, and white papers will help to serve that function. But, if you’re just trying to pique their interest, a shorter blog post, social media update, or even a tweet might suffice.
Who Is Consuming the Content?
When you create any type of content, regardless of length, you need to know exactly whom you’re creating it for. If you’re creating content designed to bring traffic to your website, that’s going to be different than the content you send in your email messages. The website traffic-generating content will be longer and more in-depth, while the email messages will be shorter and more to the point based on where the list member is in your funnel and their buying cycle.
For example, if you want to encourage someone who purchased widget A from you to buy widget B, you might send an email to buyers of widget A to thank them for buying it, to check up on how it’s working, to make suggestions for using it better and then to encourage them to buy the next product since they love the first one so much. All those messages can be relatively short since they’re in an email, the buyer already knows you, and they’re likely reading on their phone and don’t have time to read long-form content.
Where Are They Consuming the Content?
This is also very important when choosing which type of content to create. If you’re posting to social media, you don’t want it too long. However, you can (and should) post a blurb and link to the longer form content. If you’re sending the messages to your email list, the messages should be shorter and again, you can link to longer form content from the email. Again, most people aren’t going to read long-form content in their email due to reading it on their mobile device.
For example, let’s say you’ve created about 5000 words comprising pillar content on your website and you’d like to share this with your email list. Pull some highlights from it, then link to each part that might be important to your audience when you send it via email. On social media update, create an infographic from the data in the pillar content, and share that linking back to the content.
The main point to remember is that you need both long- and short-form content to ensure that your audience (and the search engines) get the information that they need to send traffic, to decide, and answer your calls to action.