“Isn’t this content very lengthy? ” After all, nobody these days reads the long copies?” remarked the CEO of a firm that had inked a marketing and sales transformation deal with Recherche Digital for 10X more conversion.
I’ve seen a lot of misconceptions, prejudices, and schools of thinking, and I don’t blame anyone who isn’t in the digital marketing industry for believing them.
And that is why I decided to write about how you can use various forms of content like Long, Medium and Short forms content to skyrocket your conversion.
Statements like “no one reads long-form content,” “human attention is less than goldfish,” and “reading is out, and video is in” are all based on content consumed by people who aren’t content marketing gurus and have generalised the various statements to the point where their meaning has been changed.
Take the example of Goldfish and truth & counter truth here.
Each content form & type is essential and has its role in the customer journey
While making the marketing strategy for companies, we spent a reasonable amount of time understanding the customer journey in product purchases.
It is the customer journey that helps us decide what to place where.
A short form of content may prove more potent in the first part at the beginning of the trip, while a detailed case study will help customers’ “decision making”.
A video sometime plays a more critical role than an infographic. It all depends upon the market you are in.
Like a good mechanic, you should have all sorts of tools, knowing what tool to use to correct the problem; a digital marketer understands what form of content to use in the customer journey.
The mechanic doesn’t like or hate one type of tool for another; for them, it’s just a tool to solve a problem.
How many forms of content should you have?
There is various form of content, but this is how I would like to categorise content :
What type of content is more useful in lead generation?
We can divide content type as per the following type.
It is difficult to say in advance without an understanding of the company’s product line, market and customer journey which content type will be helpful in lead generation.
But for the sake of simplicity, I would say.
It is not one form of content or one type of content that decides the conversion, but it’s the combination of all types & shapes of content that is well placed in the buyer’s journey
Usage of content type & content forms majorly depends on your digital marketing strategy.
Your digital marketing strategist decides how many forms of content you should have and where to use them for the best outcome.
Let’s deep dive into content forms & content types to give more meaning to content marketing.
(1500 to 2500+ words)
(1000 to 1500 words )
|1||Deep Blogs||Blogs||Landing pages|
|2||White Papers||Case Studies||Social Media Post|
|5||How to Guides||Presentations||Infographics|
|6||Long Videos||Upto 3 Mints Videos||Upto 1 Min video|
Is long-form content even good or relevant in this fast-paced market?
I am glad you asked.
In simplest terms, the answer is … “hack yes”
If you are an avid marketer, you would see its place in sales.
And when I say “sales process”, I am deliberately discarding the “ one time, quick rich, low hanging fruit pick style sales”, which can be done without long-form content.
But if you have a well-thought marketing strategy that revolves around the marketing & sales process, you will know the client journey and learn how vital this long form of content is.
There is one thing missing in most online businesses, and you cannot do business without it, and that is “trust”
What does long-form content do?
What long-form content does, is that it establishes you as an authority, and we human beings tend to “trust” sources like we do trust our professionals for example Doctors, Lawyers, Coaches etc., all the time.
It solves the biggest problem in conversion, which is “trust issues”.
What are the pros & cons of long-form content?
Apart from all pros, there are a few cons also.
Not many people spare the time to read or watch long-form content.
Infect, you will see the most significant bounces and least return on ROI for long-form content IF YOU PLACED IT AT THE WRONG PLACE.
You see how the meaning of an entire sentence changed with those capital words.
This is what is happening.
People generalised the term and changed its meaning, thus getting it all wrong when building the content keeping sales and marketing in place.
That is why it is essential that you choose an expert for building a digital marketing strategy and then follow it religiously.
The trick is to place long forms of content at the right place in the customer journey.
Where to place long-form content?
All long form of content is introduced after a series of short-form of content & medium form of content, which brings forward only the keenest but double-minded, doubtful people who are on fences due to trust issues.
Building long-form content is neither easy nor cheap, but its results are unparallel
If you are in the right hands, your Digital Marketing Coach will list the places in the customer journey where you should place long forms of content.
What are various types of Long-form Content?
1. Deep Blogs: This is the favourite choice of content for SEO inclined strategy.
Search Engines love quality content, and a deep blog is usually written to beat competitors in their high ranked content.
The term is called the sky scrapper technique, which essentially means building better, bolder and bigger content than the content already ranked by search engines.
2. White Papers: Your digital marketing strategist may sometimes recommend going for White papers, which are again a long-form of content.
While a white paper usually finds its place in highly technical product lines and complex technology, its usage depends on the target audience’s acceptance.
The white papers are highly technical, and only qualified advanced users usually read and understand the content.
Until your target audience is not an educated user, there is no use in building it.
3. Webinars: Organising a webinar by calling a subject matter expertise and discussing a curial topic can be a beautiful form of lead generation.
Webinars became popular during the post-pandemic period when most of the audience remained at home and missed the live events.
We have used many recorded webinars as a lead magnet and generated leads for our clients. Webinars are usually a half-hour to a few hours of extended content and are remarkable for engagement.
The super engaged people usually turn out to be hot leads, and there are more chances of conversion.
4. Podcast: I love audiobooks on audible like apps. Many discarded this as a primary form of media, but if you target the most focused individuals, you will find them listening to one form of audio.
Several companies and individuals have created an enormous success & fan following in podcasts. This helps in building a brand, provides value to listeners and they turnouts to be the most active “word of mouth” spreaders.
Again not every business should follow this path as it is not everyone’s cup of tea, and that is why your marketing strategist may or may not recommend this form of content.
While working on marketing strategy, a marketer would come to know if this form of content is to be prepared or not.
5. How-to Guides: It takes time before you convert an engaged reader to a customer. How-to Guides are specially prepared long-form content built to glue the audience.
These guides help users to a specific task by themselves with the knowledge that your content transfer.
The most significant benefit of this type of content is that it establishes authority in the domain, which even helps you charge premium costs if you want.
The law of reciprocity works here.
You give and give, and after some time user is bound to revert to you with business or reference of your desired action.
Like all long-form content, How to Guides is time-consuming and takes a good amount of your expertise.
That’s too given out free.
But it’s worth it in the long run.
A medium form of content has its role in content marketing since the length of most medium forms of marketing is around 1000 to 1500 words, which are not considered long or short.
As customer interests increase from short forms of content, they try to consume some more content that is a bit longer.
What is the role of medium form content in content marketing?
This medium-long content plays a vital role in making a “bit interested to more interested”, and it bridges the gap & increases the commitment level.
Medium form of content should be interesting enough to keep your customer’s attention & at the same time, entice them for the longer form of content while building trust
Again they should be considered more than a date but less than a marriage; courtship period may be… that means if readers’ expectation falls short with your content at this stage, there is less chance they will come back.
What are some essential types of Medium Form Content?
A few are mentioned here, and you can build your own as per your industry.
Videos up to three minute
1. Blogs: The medium-range competition in this type of content is very high. There are 31.7 million blogs on the internet of all sizes and lengths, but again, there is a reason why these blogs are still popular.
The primary reason is search engines; they love knowledgeable content.
Most websites see more traffic on their blogs section than their main pages like the product or about us.
After studying your industry & while making your digital marketing strategy, most digital marketers will tell you how much content you need and may suggest you prepare your content calendar.
2.Case Study: Out of other medium form content, my personal favourite is a case study. It does two works simultaneously, and any marketer would fall in love due to its ROI.
The first thing a case study does is build trust, which is most important for any online platform for conversion.
Second, it engages prospective and future pace him as to how it will be for his project if he prefers to work.
And the good part is that any business with some clients can build a case study.
3. Webpages: The website serves as the hub, and pages housed on it are, in and of themselves, webpages; the distinction is that we’re not talking about blogs here.
Yes, the pages talking about your products, benefits, cost, usage and other needful information can help prospective clients to do due diligence and make up their minds.
In the evaluation stage of the customer journey, the prospective buyer often compares the information on the website with other similar product websites and decides whom two or three companies to call or drop an inquiry.
Your job as a marketer is to provide helpful information, mainly focusing on the area which can help prospective clients to compare with your competitors while talking about the USP of your product.
4. Ebooks: The lead magnet is an essential part of online marketing, and Ebooks are the most popular form of content used as bait or reward.
An interesting Ebook must be written thoughtfully and should be focused on solving a big problem. The most crucial part of Ebook is its usage as a lead generator.
Many marketers work hard on
along with ads meaningfully written to attract eyeballs.
This attracts an audience, and they need to fill in the opt-in form or personal details before they can download the E-Book.
5. Presentations: One of the most attractive medium forms of content is Presentation. These presentations can be in form of PPT, PDF, Video, whiteboard
A unique style of presenting the information through visuals and text combination is very acceptable among the audience.
Again it can also be used as a lead magnet as a reward or can be used to impress the audience with its visual content.
These presentations can be built on a product or service. Besides, many companies design their company presentation for pitch, JV or funding purposes.
6. Videos: There is no doubt that videos are gaining popularity, making them an essential part of the marketing mix. A typical video can be on a product, service, company or simply how the product is being used, i.e. application of product.
How-to videos are most successful in getting attention from users and engaging most, followed by entertaining videos built around products or services.
Modern marketers also utilize video sales letters, and their success stories are unbelievable.
To be eligible for a medium form of content, its duration should be less than 3 minutes.
Anything up to 1000 words can be placed in short-form content. Few marketers have even identified micros form of content like up to 100 words or 30 sec, but it will be discussed under the short form of content here for sake of clarity
What is the application of Short-form content?
Short-form content is the most popular and most utilised by marketers. Due to its small length, it is much easier to prepare and equally easier to consume.
Almost all marketing & sales are started with a short form of content in digital space.
Being shorter doesn’t mean that it requires less attention or is cheaper; on the contrary, sometimes short-medium are costlier due to their prominent role in content marketing.
What is the prime objective of the Short form of content?
The prime objective of short-form content is to grab quick attention in cluttered messaging.
Short-form content has the power to penetrate social media feeds and if nurtured properly, can become buyer after completing the journey through various forms of content.
What is various type of Short Form Content?
Social Media Posts
Videos up to 1 min
What are the different applications of Short Form Content types?
1. Landing pages: Essentially, a landing page is one composed page optimised for capturing personal information, called leads.
Now crafting a landing page is art and science. It requires copywriting skills and design sense. And like any marketing material, it needs testing.
Usually, landing page is associated with some advertisement or used just before critical content like E-Book, White papers or How to Guides etc.
2. Social Media Post: This is widely most known in content and is a perfect example of short-form content.
It does exactly what a short content form should do: grab the attention of the user’s busy feed and open the door for medium and long-form content.
There are various social media platforms, and the most known ones are Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter etc. These platforms have the most online users globally, and if used correctly, you can stream regular customers.
But it’s not easy. Sadly, for novices, it becomes the number one reason for wasted time and money.
It should be used strategically and not as per your will or a gut feeling like many marketing materials.
3. Emailers: Many marketers believe that emailers are dead. IOS 15, spam filters etc., have made it more difficult than ever. But know the truth. It is still the most result-oriented activity that you can do.
It’s not email that is dead; it is how we write a mail or do email marketing that requires revamp
Being a marketer means being a content writer, too, with a good understanding of human phycology.
We have been emailing marketing for ourselves and our clients and landed millions of dollars in business combined.
The trick of doing email marketing ?
There are a few more things that also play a vital role, like what email software, timings etc.,
You will read more on email marketing tips & tricks here.
4. Press Release: When you’re launching a new product, service or company, there’s no better way to spread the word and get a spike in traffic than a press release.
Press releases can help you increase your reach by thousands of people immediately.
However, most people think that press releases are just for big businesses. Not really. It doesn’t matter if you have just started or have only ten visitors per day; a press release can still be an effective tool to get instant traffic without breaking the bank.
Press release services are the best way to build links to your website and gain instant visibility. Press release services that use all-natural listings can be instant and help you score quick results while also focusing on long term SEO work that’ll lead to lasting results.
5. Infographics: This form of content wasn’t popular, but its impact was seen lately, majorly in link building for SEO purposes. Nevertheless, the purpose of content is to gain acceptance among the target audience, either directly or indirectly.
Being image-based content, an infographic is much more understandable in less time
If you wonder what Infographic is, consider this a powerhouse of information packed in an image form shown through icons, images, graphics, etc.
If done correctly, any complex information can be shown through infographics which can cut down text reading by, say, 80%, making it adorable for the content creator and a perfect fit for the short form of content.
6. Videos (up to 1 min video): This is the most wildly used short-form content majorly used on platforms like Instagram and Tiktok. Not only social media, but it is equally popular on WhatsApp, thus making it a perfect attention grabber.
These small video bytes make an enormous impact, subject to the quality of the video and the message you want to put across.
It can be a video shot by a subject matter expert, an application of a service or product or a small intro; anything watched in under 1 min falls in this category.
The challenge is how to reduce the massive amount of information in less than 1 minute.
Agencies working in this field have the experience of making small meaningful chunks of information about a complex subject, thus making it an understandable small piece of content consumed periodically.
Overall, content plays a significant part at every step of the buyer’s journey, and no digital strategy can be effective without various types of content, such as short form content, medium form content, and long-form content, along with its content type.
Author : Harish K. Saini
Publishing Date : 04 April 2022