Long-form content is generally referred to as 1200 words or more. Despite what some think, long-form content has a place in today’s social media landscape. Some people do have short attention spans and have no interest in reading long articles or blog posts, but there are benefits of producing it alongside shorter content. One of these benefits is that long-form content performs better in search engines. Google will give you the top results that they think are the highest quality content, it’s not just about keywords! Length is one of these factors. Another reason length helps SEO is that it makes people spend longer on your website to consume it. As well as SEO, it helps viewers see your brand as an authority. When you speak in detail (and to great lengths) about a topic, people are more likely to view you as an expert and are more likely to trust your business.
But what about short-form content? There are two main reasons short-form content is a good thing: the attention span of your audience and the time it takes to produce. People are busy, impatient, and want answers quickly. Short-form content caters to this. Your audience is often multitasking or on the go, which is why short-form content is a good way to share some information. Shorter articles or social media posts are also quicker to produce than long, in-depth articles. If productivity is the main goal, short-form content checks all the boxes!
So, when should you use each type? Think about what your audience is looking for. If they are searching for a camping checklist, they don’t want a novel, they want a quick list. Think about the keywords your audience is searching for and make sure that your content delivers what’s expected. Another thing you can look at is your competition. If you look at what your competitors are posting about a certain subject, one way to rank higher than them in SEO is a longer, more in-depth article. If the top search result is a well-written 3000-word article, you won’t outrank them with a 500-word piece. The last thing to think about is what your audience prefers and the topic of the content you are producing. Some people just don’t consume long-form content, they prefer quick videos or quick posts they can glance over. Test out different lengths of content and see what performs better, or ask your audience! Try an Instagram poll on your story to get their direct feedback on what they would rather get from you.
At the end of the day, it’s quality over quantity. Quality content will always perform best with your audience and with search engines. Focus on answering the question you’ve set out to answer and don’t try to focus on the word count. Write as much or as little as you need to!