A search engine query for long-form content will produce numerous results. Why? Because it’s become one important way in which content marketing professionals are helping organizations attract, educate and build dialogues with — as social media marketing consultant Neil Patel explains — increasingly savvy readers searching for information online.
A vehicle for communicating complex information
Unique from shorter blog posts and articles – long-form content is utilized by organizations seeking to explain in detail often complex information to sophisticated audiences. Importantly, these efforts help to distinguish authors as thought leaders among their peers. And as executive influence coach Josh Steimle, explains in Forbes: “While there is no exact definition of what “long” means, most experts peg it at 1,200 to 2,000 words when it comes to the written form.”
Search engine rankings, thought leadership, and new clients
As Neil Patel explains: “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”. Importantly, Josh Steimle details how long form content leads to more client engagements and conversions. “When you need to generate search traffic that converts to signups, long-term relationships, and larger amounts of organic traffic over the long term, long form content is often more effective.”
A public affairs communicator endorses long-form content
And in an example specific to public affairs, David Nassar, former vice president for Communications at Washington DC’s Brookings Institution, a prominent public policy think tank, explained that long form content has “given [Brookings] an opportunity to tell stories in a way that without the platform we might not have been able to do” – while also reaching new audiences.
Creating long form content
Josh Steimle recommends that to create effective long-form content: “create content that you would read”, “include actionable tips that generate real value”, “tell a story” and “don’t sell”. Many content strategists cite deep, reader-focused analysis as perhaps the most integral component of long-form content.
Long-form content ideal for public affairs complexity
While frequent, short-form blogposts also produce significant web-traffic, long-form content is well-suited to public affairs advisors seeking to become thought leaders and build a larger client base – as it provides an ideal way in which to communicate complex ideas, should it be well-written and focused on providing readers with useful information.
Public affairs experts from Brussels to Washington, London to Sacramento – all have unique and complex information of high value to potential clients – and therefore ought to seriously consider long form content as it’s a proven means by which to successfully deliver that information while also yielding tangible results including thought leadership recognition and new client engagements.
John Grimley helps public affairs consultants establish and maintain content marketing initiatives. For more information about how he might be able to help your organization, please complete the form below.