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The Short and Long of Content Formation

Content marketing is revolutionizing the way brands are connecting with customers through two-way conversations in social media channels. Gaining the attention of an audience begins with developing a comprehensive marketing strategy that is built around a well-defined goal and budget with specific and objective priorities. Reaching the correct listeners, optimizing the quality of engagement, and achieving increased conversions demands a careful understanding of some basic but important factors of content formation.

The best content is original, conversational in tone, and authentic. Well-written content can elevate a brand to informed, capable and even expert status among a targeted audience. But how lengthy should content be? The short answer could be long enough to tell your story effectively, but short enough not to bore the reader into abandoning the message.

The long or short answer is up for debate among marketing professionals. For those who fashion specific mathematic certainties in an answer, there really isn’t one. How long a piece of content should be, to be considered best, is like a lot of things: It depends on the intent of the message and the goal or objective of the effort.

The long format approach will generally be favored for topics that require a deeper understanding by the reader. How-to guides, and in-depth survey and statistical based articles where the audience is performing research to achieve a much more comprehensive understanding of a topic, are examples of where a long-form format is necessary to perform well. While some long-form content enthusiasts consider 2000 words the starting point for the format, there is no evidence that one specific word count criteria will perform better than another.

A short-term content format generally is used in short blog posts, news articles, infographics, social content, and emails. Often argued to be messages of less than 1,200 words, the goal is usually to get a simple and concise message across to an audience quickly and is best used when communicating with listeners with a short attention span and those looking for “Just the facts, please”. Shorter, digitally produced prose can often include embedded links to lead a reader to more comprehensive material on the subject, allowing the reader the option to find additional information. Both long and short formats have a place in a successful content marketing strategy.

Long-form content will perform better on search engines than short formats and generally will rank higher for the number of keywords due to the comprehensive nature of the topic. It also produces larger numbers of backlinks than short-form messages. The long format approach will yield increased conversion rates where the message goal is to educate and inform.

Understanding the targeted audience and setting the goals of the message first will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the messaging effort. The one-size-fits-all formula will not result in a successful content marketing strategy.

At Junction Creative Solution (Junction), we use powerful short and long-form storytelling to drive discovery and increase conversions to build a trusted brand for our clients. Specializing in social media management, content generation, PPC management, and on-page SEO optimization, we provide a unique business strategy designed to increase sales, visibility, and engagement to transform a business. For more information call 678-686-1125 today.