When creating a presence online it is important to build both your personality and credibility. The question we are asking today is should we focus our time on short form content or long form content? Well, the answer is both. It may be easier to take the short form route, but without long form content, can you share all the vital information your audience needs? Or will using short form undermine the content? We have taken it upon ourselves to explore the benefits of each, and how you can use them to grow your brand online.
Short Form Content
Short form content (less than 1000 words) is the ideal way to capture an audience in the technology loving world we live in today. It is the content you put onto social media, your 280-word character Tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram captions etc. It can be seen as a snack instead of a full meal in terms of information. Although not in depth there is still a number of reasons to utilise short form content:
Short form shows off your personality! With short form content it is much easier and generally more appropriate to use humour, convey observations you have made, deliver pop culture references and many other things that allow your audience to resonate with you and your brand. Use some puns, have fun with gifs and visual media and work our your brand identity word bank.
Be direct! When using short form, make sure you don’t fluff around with too many words. You need to have straightforward statements and answers for questions about you and your brand.
You can cover events and trends. It allows for quick turnaround and response for events you are involved with or just current affairs in general, such as the latest politics, pop culture and even internet culture (this is your memes and trends). Netflix is one brand who do this exceptionally well (just look at their Instagram and Twitter, it is filled with current trends to stay engaged with their audience).
It is important when using short form to be simple, use visuals and be consistent, you need to have a schedule you stick too.
Long Form Content
If short form content is considered a snack, then this is a whole damn meal. Long form is educational, trustworthy and sometimes can be seen as authoritative. This content is your blog posts or anything that is over 1000 words. This kind of content allows you to inform and get in depth about what matters to your brand and your audience.
Why is long form content important? For many reasons, it is much more likely to reap the rewards of SEO and show up on Google searches than short form, “shallow” content, but to make sure people actually want to read you should follow some key tips.
Be a storyteller. With long form content, you need a beginning, a middle and an end, just like every good story. You need to have an arc to keep people engaged for content longer than 1000 words, and you need to make sure that there is a satisfying ending (you don’t want to end up having a Game of Thrones season 8 on your hands, and neither do your readers!) Case studies can be a great example of interesting and informative long form pieces.
Show your expertise! Use your knowledge and expand on points you have made in short form content; back up your points with evidence. This is a space where you can be analytical, data-driven and have more explanation on topics that relate to your brand, service or product.
Make it look nice. No one wants to read a long, information filled piece of writing on a plain white background (this isn’t an essay for school) that is why it is important to invest in graphics, maybe even get in touch with a designer to help with images, drawings, backgrounds, website look and page structure to make your writing as aesthetically pleasing as possible (people like pretty things!).
Another pro-tip: don’t repeat yourself, people hate feeling like they are going around in circles.
The long of the short of it? You should be using both long and short form content to increase engagement of your content. It is important to use both simultaneously to create a flow on effect, use short form, personality filled content (like tweets/Facebook posts) to draw people in to your brand and then use links to send people on to your webpage to give them more information in long form. The mix of the two is going to make you and your brand soar online, so get to it, get writing, get involved and get informing!