Why You Should Care About Short-Form Content
For the longest time, marketers held firmly onto the belief that long-form content is king. Anything less than 2,000 words are considered null, and if your goal is to rank high on search engines, your content should push well above that figure. Does this mean that short-form content has no place in today’s world?
No. In fact, short-form content is more relevant than ever thanks to the rise of Instagram Reels, TikTok & YouTube Shorts, and other similar content creation tools. As our attention spans continue to decrease, more and more people favor short-form content as their means of consuming information.
If you haven’t used short-form content as part of your content marketing strategy, you’re missing out on some serious brand engagement. This article will discuss why you should care about short-form content and how it can benefit you in more ways than one.
Why do you need to create short-form content?
There are plenty of advantages to creating short-form content that will help elevate your brand’s content marketing strategy. Here are a couple of reasons why short-form content works:
1. Conveys information quickly
We live in an increasingly fast-paced world, and being able to convey information quickly is key to staying at the top of your audience’s minds. Short-form content is easily digestible, and people will find great value in content that skips through all the hoo-ha and gets straight to the point.
Often, users want to seek immediate answers to their problems. Whether it’s figuring out how your product works or learning more about the services you provide, short-form content can help meet your audience’s needs quickly and efficiently.
2. Boost engagement rates
Short-form videos are taking over social media platforms by storm, and the main reason is they provide bite-sized entertainment. Brands love to use TikTok Shorts and Instagram Reels to boost brand awareness and maximize engagement, and the best part is these short clips have the potential to go viral at any time.
By creating short clips that pack tons of information, brands can connect with their audience in a more fun, lighthearted manner. People love to watch videos as they’re more interactive than written content, making it easier to stay on top of the minds of your target audience.
3. Shorter turnaround time
One of the main advantages of short-form content is it’s easier to produce, meaning it’s less resource-demanding compared to long-form blogs, videos, or newsletters. Of course, your focus should be to provide quality short-form content, as outputting poor content regularly can hamper the effectiveness of your content marketing.
4. Great for mobile devices
Roughly 89% of people in the United States use mobile devices to browse the internet in 2023. How does this affect brands when it comes to their content marketing strategy? Well, short-form content is more optimized for mobile devices since there’s less information to convey.
Since most people prefer to digest content using their smartphones, short-form content is great for delivering quick, impactful messages to your target audience.
5. Drives immediate action from users
The beauty of short-form content is that it’s easier for users to take action once they’ve digested the information they need. When you pair short-form content with a strong call-to-action button (CTA), you can quickly encourage users to subscribe to your email list, check out your latest offers, and purchase your products/services.
When should you use short-form content?
The long and the short of it is that any good content strategy should incorporate both long-form content to improve your search ranking and brand credibility and short-form content to ensure you’re delivering consistency and a mobile-optimized reader experience.
But because this answer is about as helpful as “how long is a piece of string?”, here are three questions you can ask yourself to help decide whether to tell a story in a long or short form.
1. What is my goal with this piece of content?
Be clear on what you’re trying to achieve by telling this story. If your goal is to build positive sentiment by positioning your brand as a source of authority on a subject, a long-form thought-leadership piece might be the way to go. If your goal is to raise awareness of a specific product launch, a snappy social post or a succinct EDM might be the better approach.
2. What are my competitors doing?
Check out the competition to see what topics they’re covering, which keywords are driving traffic to their sites, and if there are any gaps that you could attempt to target. When creating content to rank for a specific keyword, take a look at the top results in Google and try to determine where you can do better.
3. What does my audience need?
It’s also really important to understand your audience’s intent. What do they want to get out of this piece of content? What questions do they need answers to? If they are looking to learn about a particular subject matter, it might be an opportunity for a long-form guide. If they’re already engaged and informed on the subject, you might consider an email or blog post to keep them engaged and up to date.
The long and the short of it (sorry, again) is that while size does matter in the world of content marketing, it’s not for the reasons we might think.
While it’s easy to get caught up in word counts and character limits, the most important thing is that you’re delivering value for your audience. That’s what will keep them coming back.
While the value of long-form content will never go away, there is a time and a place to implement short-form content. In this day and age where users scroll endlessly on social media platforms, making an immediate impact is key to grabbing their attention.
Keep these tips in mind when creating short-form content so you can maximize its effectiveness and elevate your content marketing strategy.
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