Long-form content: What it is and why you need it in 2024

Long-form content: What it is and why you need it in 2024 

Diana Alcanzar

Nowadays, people want information that’s quick and easy to understand. Many prefer short content because it’s brief and can be consumed right away. Yet, the reality is that long-form content remains just as important, and it’s crucial for businesses to understand the reasons why. 

This article will explore the significance of long-form content and its relevance to your brand and provide examples of excellent long-form content. 

What is long-form content?  

Long-form content is any piece of content, such as blog posts, articles, videos, podcasts, or e-books, that is longer and more detailed than typical short-form content you find on social media. What sets it apart is its comprehensive nature, giving a detailed and complete view and usually contains more than 1,000 words. 

8 industry examples of long-form content  

Long-form content is widely used across different industries. Discover the different examples of long-form content in different industries: 

  1. Technology industry 
  • “The Verge’s Guide to the iPhone” by The Verge: An extensive guide covering every aspect of the iPhone, from its history to detailed reviews of the latest models, tips, and tricks. 
  1. Healthcare industry 
  • “The New Health Age: The Future of Health Care in America” by David Houle and Jonathan Fleece: A comprehensive book discussing the future of healthcare in America, touching on technology, policy, and healthcare systems. 
  1. Finance and banking 
  • “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine” by Michael Lewis: A deep dive into the build-up of the housing and credit bubble during the 2000s that led to the financial crisis of 2007-2008. 
  1. Travel and tourism 
  • “36 Hours in [City]” series by The New York Times: A series of articles providing detailed itineraries for 36-hour stays in various cities around the world, combining culture, cuisine, and attractions. 
  1. Education sector 
  • “The Digital Transformation of Education: Connected Learning” by the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub: An extensive report on how digital technology is transforming education and learning practices. 
  1. Fashion and lifestyle 
  • “The September Issue” Documentary: An in-depth documentary film that gives an inside look at the production of the September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine, one of the fashion industry’s most influential publications. 
  1. Food and beverage industry 
  • “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking” by Samin Nosrat: This book explores the four basic elements that can make or break a dish, explaining the science of cooking in an accessible way. 
  1. Entertainment industry 
  • “Breaking Bad: An Oral History” by Entertainment Weekly: This feature offers a comprehensive look at the making of the TV show “Breaking Bad,” with insights from the cast and crew. 

8 formats of long-form content 

Long-form content comes in various formats, with some of the most common ones including: 

  • Blog posts. These are typically text-based and can range from detailed analytical pieces to narrative-driven pieces on a wide array of topics. Blog posts are known for their personal touch and conversational tone, making complex subjects simpler to understand. 
  • Feature articles. Longer than standard articles, these often appear in magazines or online platforms, offering in-depth analysis, extensive research, and expert opinions on different subjects. They are well-structured and aim to provide a comprehensive view of the topic. 
  • Research papers. Usually in academic or scientific in nature, these papers are detailed studies involving extensive research, data analysis, and discussions of findings. They contribute significantly to knowledge in a particular field. 
  • E-Books. Digital books that cover topics in great depth. They are often used as educational resources or comprehensive guides on specific subjects. 
  • Documentaries. Video-based content that provides an in-depth look into a topic, often combining interviews, narrations, and visual storytelling. Documentaries are effective in illustrating complex ideas in an engaging and accessible manner. 
  • Podcasts. Audio programs that explore topics over single or multiple episodes. They offer a comprehensive discussion and are often conversational, featuring experts, interviews, and analyses. 
  • Infographics and visual data representations. These combine data and design to present information in a visually engaging and easily digestible format, often used to accompany longer text-based content. 
  • Interactive content. This includes web-based content that encourages user interaction, such as interactive maps, timelines, or quizzes, to provide a more engaging and personalized experience of learning about a topic. 

8 benefits of long-form content for brands  

Explore how integrating long-form content on your website and social media platforms can significantly benefit your brand. 

  • Strategic value for brands. When you write long-form content for users, you demonstrate your commitment to comprehensive analysis and quality information, which can help you set yourself apart from your competition. 
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) and visibility benefits. Long-form content significantly boosts your brand’s SEO efforts because of its detailed and extensive nature. This engages readers longer, which search engines favor, leading to better search rankings and increased online visibility. 
  • Establishing authority and trust. Long-form content helps position your brand as a thought leader in your niche. By providing thorough and insightful information, you can earn the trust of your audience, which is crucial for fostering long-term loyalty and engagement. 
  • Enhanced user engagement. This type of content offers more opportunities for user interaction, such as comments and shares, especially when it addresses topics in depth. Engaged users are more likely to develop a connection with your brand, potentially leading to higher conversion rates. 
  • Content versatility. Long-form content can be repurposed into various formats like infographics, podcasts, and video snippets, maximizing your content’s reach and appeal across different platforms. 
  • Building a content library. Over time, long-form content contributes to building a substantial content library, which can become a valuable resource for both existing and potential customers seeking information. 
  • Improved customer education. By covering topics comprehensively, long-form content educates your customers more effectively, which can lead to better-informed purchasing decisions and increased customer satisfaction. 
  • Long-term traffic. Unlike short-form content, which often generates immediate but short-lived traffic, long-form content can attract visitors over a longer period, thanks to its enduring relevance and depth. 

How to make long-form content work on social media 

Social media platforms have various content formats, and it’s wise that you adapt your content to these to cater to your audiences in that certain platform. See how you can maximize this opportunity for all your long-form content. 

  • Adapt for social media. Transform your long-form content for social media by breaking it into digestible posts, creating threads, or sharing key insights as teasers with links to the full article. This strategy engages the audience over time and maintains interest. 
  • Visualize content. Use graphics, infographics, or video snippets derived from your long-form content to capture attention on visually driven platforms like Instagram or Pinterest. This approach makes complex information more accessible and shareable. 
  • Serialize content. Consider serializing longer content into multiple parts to create anticipation and return visits. This approach works well on platforms like Twitter or Facebook, where ongoing engagement can be fostered over several posts. 
  • Use interactive elements. Incorporate polls, questions, or calls-to-action related to the long-form content, inviting interaction and discussion on social media platforms. This tactic not only boosts engagement but also provides valuable feedback and insights from the audience. 
  • Host live sessions. Use platforms like Facebook Live or Instagram Live to discuss topics covered in your long-form content. This live interaction adds a personal touch and allows for real-time engagement with the audience. 
  • Creating community discussions. Utilize long-form content as a basis for creating discussion threads in online communities or groups, encouraging deeper conversation and engagement around the topics covered. 
  • Use stories and reels. For platforms like Instagram and Facebook, you can use short video formats like Stories or Reels to highlight interesting parts of long-form content, directing viewers to the full piece. 
  • Leverage ActiveCampaign insights. Using insights from resources like the ActiveCampaign glossary helps in crafting content that’s not only informative but also optimized for engagement, fitting seamlessly into a brand’s broader marketing strategy. 

Evaluating your brand’s strategy for long-form content  

Before you produce long-form content, you need to consider various things. Check out these important points that you need to evaluate. 

Checklist for determining suitability 

  • Does your industry lean towards complex topics that require detailed explanations? 
  • Is your target audience known for seeking thorough information? 
  • Do your marketing goals involve establishing thought leadership or enhancing SEO? 
  • Can long-form content provide value that your current content strategy is missing? 

Key factors to consider 

  • Industry demands. Some industries, such as technology, healthcare, and finance, naturally lean toward long-form content where detailed explanations are necessary. 
  • Target audience preferences. Understand if your audience prefers comprehensive information or if they lean towards quicker, more digestible content. 
  • Marketing goals alignment. Assess if long-form content supports your goals, such as improving search engine rankings, building brand authority, or educating customers more effectively. 

Critical evaluation of current strategy 

  • Reflect on your existing content strategy and identify any gaps that long-form content could fill. 
  • Consider the resources available for creating quality long-form content, like time, budget, and expertise. 
  • Evaluate past content performance to gauge audience engagement with different content types. 

A step-by-step guide to writing long-form content 

Writing a long-form post should include the right planning to serve its purpose. If you’re looking to create a long-form piece for your brand today, follow our steps. 

  1. Begin with comprehensive research. Start by gathering extensive information about your topic. This involves not just online research but also consulting industry experts, reading relevant books, and analyzing existing studies. The depth of your research will be the foundation of your content’s value. 
  1. Outline your content. Create a detailed outline to structure your content. This should include key points, subtopics, and any data or case studies you plan to include. A well-structured outline ensures that your content flows logically and covers all necessary aspects. 
  1. Engage through storytelling. Incorporate storytelling elements to make your content more engaging. This can involve real-life examples, anecdotes, or case studies that make the information relatable and memorable to your audience. 
  1. Focus on quality writing. Ensure clarity, coherence, and an engaging writing style in your content. Long-form content should be informative yet easy to read, avoiding overly complex language or jargon that might confuse your readers. 
  1. Incorporate visuals and multimedia. Enhance your content with relevant images, infographics, or videos. Visuals can break up text-heavy sections, making the content more digestible and appealing. 
  1. Edit and revise. Thoroughly edit your content for accuracy, grammar, and style. Consider getting feedback from peers or using professional editing services to polish your content. 
  1. Maintain a consistent publishing schedule. Plan your long-form content publications strategically. Regularly publishing quality content can help in building and maintaining an engaged audience. 
  1. Promote and monitor engagement. After publishing, promote your content across various channels or platforms. Monitor engagement through comments, shares, and analytics to understand your audience’s response and gather insights for future content. 

Challenges in creating long-form content 

Writing long-form pieces isn’t always a breeze. There are challenges that impede your writing process and affect the speed and quality of your writing. It’s important to recognize these and come up with remedies to address them. 

Common challenges 

  • Time constraints. The comprehensive nature of long-form content demands a huge chunk of your time, which can be a challenge for busy teams. 
  • Writer’s block. The pressure to produce extensive and high-quality content can sometimes lead to writer’s block, where ideas and words come to a standstill. 

Actionable tips for addressing challenges 

  • Manage your time effectively. Break down the content creation process into manageable tasks and set realistic deadlines. Consider allocating specific time blocks for research, writing, editing, and revising. 
  • Overcome your writer’s block. Step away from the project for a short period to clear your mind. Engaging in different activities or seeking inspiration from related works can reignite your creativity. Additionally, starting with the sections you feel most confident about can help you ease into the writing process. 
  • Use your team’s strengths. Collaborate with team members who can contribute different skills and perspectives. This can include sharing the research load, brainstorming together, or peer-reviewing drafts. 
  • Outsource when necessary. If your internal resources are stretched, consider outsourcing certain aspects like research, writing, or editing to professional freelancers or content agencies. 
  • Leverage content creation tools. Use digital tools for content planning (Trello and Asana), writing assistance (Grammarly and Hemingway Editor), and project management (Monday.com and Basecamp) to streamline the creation process and maintain efficiency. 

Publish long-form content today! 

As you look for informative content online, you tend to prefer short content because it’s easy to skim through it. However, in critical topics like health, science, legal issues, and historical analysis, you need more than a few paragraphs. This type of content covers all the bases that need to be understood by the reader. This detailed approach not only educates but also enriches the reader’s knowledge, making it an invaluable tool for those who love to provide truly useful and exhaustive content.  

To help you get started, try Web.com’s AI Writer. This easy-to-use tool simplifies the writing process for you. It helps you create detailed articles quickly and with high quality just by entering a prompt. Give our AI Writer a try today by subscribing to one of our web packages

  • Diana Alcanzar

    Diana is a Technical Writer at Web.com. She's dedicated to creating compelling and impactful web content that empowers online businesses from around the world. Outside work, she enjoys trying out new foods and visiting different places. She's always eager to experience something fresh and exciting.

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