Is Long-Form Content Dying? | FORTAYmedia
Long-form content

Is Long-Form Content Dying?

In recent years, the human attention span has shrunk from 2.5 minutes to just 45 seconds meaning audience content consumption patterns have changed along with it. The recent rise of bite-sized content and platforms such as TikTok and X has meant that there is now a prevailing conception that long-form content is on its deathbed, but when you investigate further, it becomes evident that these reports of demise are exaggerated.


WHAT IS LONG-FORM CONTENT?

Long-form content (in marketing) is typically defined as articles, lengthy social media posts, videos that exceed 10 minutes and blog posts of more than 1000 words. This type of content offers depth, context and nuance that shorter formats often lack and, despite the recent surge in short-form content, is still widely used.


ADVANTAGES OF LONG-FORM CONTENT

  • Establishes businesses as an expert in their industry
  • Can be better for SEO
  • Tends to get more social shares
  • Usually contains more links
  • Higher audience engagement levels
  • More opportunity to repurpose
  • Allows for comprehensive coverage of a topic
  • Increased conversion rates
  • Well-researched content

WHY PEOPLE THINK LONG-FORM CONTENT IS DYING

While it is correct that the online world has seen a transformation in the way that content is consumed and shared, it doesn’t mean that long-form content has become completely irrelevant. In fact, long-form content continues to thrive in response to these evolving audience preferences and technological advancements.

Consumers are facing the ‘TMI dilemma’ where the volume of information that a person now gets in one day is the same as the volume of information that a person used to get in their whole lifetime. This has made it difficult for humans to take information in and remain focused on one piece of content. Couple this with the ‘TikTokification’ of the social media world and it’s clear to see why people are presuming that short-form content is now king.

'TikTokification' definition

Moreover, the main argument against long-form content is that attention spans are dwindling and consumers want short, easily digestible content with only necessary information.

Although this argument rings true, it does not mean that people are now incapable of engaging with longer pieces of content as well. Many studies have shown quite the opposite, that when content is compelling and relevant, consumers are willing to invest their time and attention, regardless of its length.

Another misconception about long-form content is that it is incompatible with mobile consumption. Most consumers now access the internet via their mobile phone and there is a common belief that lengthier pieces of content are not ideal for smaller screens. This misconception overlooks the fact that phones have evolved over the years and have become increasingly sophisticated to be more optimised for mobile viewing. It is now easier than ever to consume long-form content on the go with larger screens, improved readability features and faster processors.


WHY LONG-FORM CONTENT ISN’T DYING

If long-form content was dying out, why would a platform like TikTok keep gradually introducing longer and longer-length videos? The platform has gone from exclusively allowing only 1-minute videos, to 3, to 5, to 10 and is now even testing 15-minute videos.

If long-form content was dying out, why have we seen a surge in new podcasts coming into the digital space? There are now over 500 million podcast listeners worldwide with the number growing every year.

The truth is that long-form content is not dying out and still offers several advantages that shorter content does not.

One of the main advantages is that long-form content allows creators to add more depth to a topic, explore multiple perspectives and provide thorough analysis. By doing this, the creator will establish thought leadership and expertise which will boost the business’s credibility as a result. More depth will also enhance the reader’s understanding of the content.

Furthermore, long-form content is more effective for building meaningful relationships with your audience. These pieces of content tend to be more thoughtful, insightful and informative, therefore your audience will feel a more prominent sense of trust and loyalty towards your brand. As a result, engagement metrics will be boosted, there will be increased brand advocacy and ultimately, higher conversions.

 

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The rise of audio and video formats such as podcasts, webinars and documentary series has breathed new life into long-form content. When leveraged effectively, these types of long-form content can become a beneficial addition to a business’s marketing strategy. These content types offer more immersive experiences than traditional written content. By using multiple content mediums, creators are able to reach a broader audience and can cater to different learning preferences, for example, auditory rather than visual.

Long-form content has always played an important role in SEO and organic rankings on search engine results pages. Search engines such as Google prioritise high-quality, detailed content when determining search rankings so by publishing longer content which addresses specific topics in-depth, marketers can increase their website’s online visibility and attract organic traffic to their websites. This being said, the general rule of thumb in previous years was to aim for 2500+ words per webpage, however recently, search engine results pages have been ranking pages containing up to 1500 words at the top. Whilst this is still classed as long-form content, it is important to note the change in content length.


IS LONG-FORM CONTENT DYING?

No, but it is important to know how to leverage long-form content in the right way. For example, there is no point in writing 5000 words of content when 2000 words would have been enough. However, 5000 words of quality content would prove valuable to your online presence. Moreover, the websites and social media accounts that tend to get more followers and engagement are the ones which combine long and short-form content.


Even though short-form content is seeing a surge in popularity at the moment, it doesn’t mean that long-form content is dying out. Long-form content still remains a crucial aspect of every business’s marketing strategy to drive engagement, share information and establish industry expertise. Finding the right balance between short and long-form content for your business is the key to success.

 

Need help with your strategy? Get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

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