Long Form vs Short Form Content: Which One To Use And When?

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long form vs short form content
long form vs short form content
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What’s better, a short or a long digest of your ideas? Some people can write an entire book assuming they have much to share, but others often feel lost for words trying to collect their thoughts on a subject where brevity is more important than ever. Long-form content is considered to be richer and more beneficial to the readers and short-form content grabs attention. Thus, it is important to understand how long form vs short form content contributes to the user’s experience, and how you can employ these strategies.

Comparing long form & short form content

Short-form content has a dramatic impact on our content consumption habits. There are plenty of short-form content examples that have driven millions in likes and shares via videos and quick news. However, there is no doubt that long-form content produces stronger engagement and affects the viewer longer than short-form content. To look at some examples of long-form content examples, you can check out the best-performing blogs of any niche.

There's a reason why news outlets have gone through so many changes and challenges when developing their content strategy. The industry as a whole is changing. The marketing experts constantly analyze and monitor different contents to declare the winner of this long-going content battle.

Many companies today tend to pick one type of content, which is long-form and only post lengthy articles. Whereas they can as well benefit from posting short content.

This way in the battle of long-form vs. short-form content, the former gains more votes since it is one of the traditional, tried and tested ways of content creation.

Content creation regardless of its form and length is an essential part of content marketing. Since it is the primary element of any marketing strategy, the right content can be the key to the right kind of marketing. The whole content marketing depends on the content and as a business, you have to make a choice between long-form vs. short-form content considering which type can benefit you. 

Over the years, longer-form content (more than one page) garnered a higher return on investment in terms of increased engagement and social sharing than shorter pieces. But short-form content is quick, on the go, and convenient for a reader. Such content has built a loyal and regular audience and beats the competition.

So which one is the best? Short-form or long-form content?

This debate between long-form vs. short-form content is never going to end.

The answer to that question depends on a variety of factors and the type of company you are trying to build. To find that out, keep on reading and discover the best-suited content form for your business.

Before diving into long-form vs. short-form content, let us understand what short-form and long-form content are in detail.

What is short-form content?

You often hear that content should be long-form, which is true. But short-form content can still have a significant and positive impact on your audience, especially when you're publishing it quickly or don't have a lot of time to write.

Short-form content works wonders when you are catering to an audience with less attention span. This is the case of the shorter, the better.

When creating short-form content, you need to ensure that the content is below 500 to 700 words. Always think about what your reader is asking for when you’re creating content for them.

Why does short-form content work?

In the battle of long-form vs. short-form content, the former is ideal for SEO purposes. However, businesses are increasingly the latter to target consumers and get their attention. Short-form content is often easier to consume and actionable for readers. People are now multi-tasking using their mobile devices. Since they are busy and distracted, they need content that is easy to scan, visual, and can help them make immediate decisions.

Such immediate actions need to be taken in a shorter span of time. Thus, short-form content is a hero here.

Short-form content is also great for long-term marketing strategies that require sharing a lot of information. This can include anything from an infographic to a video series, where subscribers get to learn about an entire product or service and this is why businesses choose short-form content when they have to decide between short-form vs. long-form content.

Short-form content examples

Let us take Zomato for example, the push notifications they send to persuade people to order food. The copywriting that the company goes for is relatable, personalized with your name, and timely.  You can never really go wrong with these elements included in your short-form content.

On the other hand, brands getting active on Twitter because tweets support fewer words in the content, and yet you can put your message out straight in the crowd.

For such brands, short-form content is the winner.

What is long-form content?

Longer, more comprehensive content puts a great impression on readers and is generally seen as more authoritative and trustworthy. However, short-form content can be used for the same effect but requires fewer resources to produce and maintain.

Here, when discussing long-form vs. short-form content, the former has a better balance for a different audience. That’s because, when you are catering to a highly engaged audience that wants to learn more about your company, and seek in-depth content covering everything they need to know, you need to go with long-form content.

It is also more likely to receive links from authoritative websites, which makes them more powerful on the web.

Long-form content, including blog posts and infographics, gives your audience different information that they may not find in other types of social media or other platforms. This helps you to gain additional credibility and transparency regarding the services and products offered by your business.

Why does long-form content work?

Based on Google’s algorithm, long-form content gets more points, making it a better way to engage people. It is more likely to have an impact on a reader's thinking than short-form content. 

When you produce long-form content and the audience makes time to read it to the end, you are building trust and boosting the conversion rate of an average reader.

Long-form content vs short-form content is a thought-provoking competition in itself. But both have their own benefits.

Long-form content examples

Finding the right balance between long-form content vs. short-form content is a big issue for marketers today. But don’t worry. It may seem like it’s stuck in the past, but it's not.

Long-form content is valuable both for long-term SEO strategies and for short-term tactical reasons. But every gain is a loss and likewise, long-form content also has its own lows. As a business, if you are not ready to produce a massive amount of content to implement the long-form content strategy, you won't get the expected results.

The brands like Hubspot and Zendesk are killing with their long-form content.

Hubspot produces long 1500 to 2000 words blogs and markets them effectively. Their readers are loyal to them and will not think of choosing any other site to gather the information they need.

Zendesk, a communication system company, is excellent at case studies, social proofs, and personalized manuals for visitors. They try to deliver a user-friendly experience via long-form content and boost conversion rates.

What is short-form content marketing?

Short-form content marketing can be a powerful marketing tool for businesses and brands. It helps educate your users and provides valuable insights for leads and consumers who can add greater value. And when you’re selling products or services, short-form content provides a simple format that helps users understand how they will benefit from using your product or service.

What is long-form content marketing?

Long-form content marketing is one of the easiest ways to increase SEO and bring more organic traffic from search engines to your article. This will benefit you, as a marketer, by supplementing your ads with inbound marketing activities to make the most of your small marketing budget. Hence, in this case, long-form content is the best choice.

Whether you’re new to content marketing or a seasoned pro, one thing is certain: there is more than one way to hit your audience with relevant and engaging messages. But which method should you use more often is a question. In this article, we took a closer look at the popular types of both short and long-form content – blog posts, case studies, infographics, and videos. So, identify their highs and lows so you can make an informed decision about what works best for your business and what to choose.