Mastering long-form content strategies, benefits, and best practices

Mastering long-form content strategies, benefits, and best practices (Pexels/ Christina Morillo)

What is long-form content?

Any content’s purpose is to provide information to the reader. For long-form content, however, the information is conveyed through an in-depth, insightful experience that resonates with the readers. 

Long-form content dives deeper into complex topics to captivate the readers, boost engagement, and solidify your position as a reliable source of knowledge.

Based on that definition, long-form content can be used to achieve specific goals in a content strategy. Its comprehensive information is designed to engage readers and provide value. It contains many things that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) prefers: well-written, full of keywords, and fulfills technical requirements like site structure loading speeds.

How long is long-form?

There is yet a consensus on how long long-form content should be. However, the average long-form content length is around 1,000 to 1,200 words or more. 

Although the length is the main identifier, long-form content is about going beyond the surface. It’s an in-depth analysis, detailed information, and storytelling for one topic. 

When to use long-form

You can use long-form content when a topic requires in-depth information and a comprehensive explanation. It is suitable for discussing complex subjects, providing detailed explanations, and engaging the audience more thoroughly. 

It can also establish a website's reputation, improve search engine rankings, increase reader engagement, and build brand authority.

How long is short-form?

In contrast to its longer counterpart, short-form content is usually under 1,000 words. This type of content gives bite-sized information such as definitions, product explanations, and general overviews. Due to its length, short-form content is suitable for social media.

When to use short-form

Short-form content caters to readers seeking brief information. Therefore, it can efficiently deliver knowledge while valuing the readers’ time constraints. It is an effective tool to maintain audience attention in a fast-paced digital environment.

Short-form content is also suitable for information that needs to be delivered quickly, such as breaking news, updates, or simple announcements. It can also be used as a snippet for long-form content.

Main advantages of long-form content


There are many benefits of long-form content, including:

  • Improves SEO: Search engines often prioritize long-form content because it tends to be more comprehensive and valuable to readers. Longer content allows for the incorporation of more keywords, contributing to better search engine visibility.
  • Higher engagement: Readers looking for in-depth information are more likely to engage with longer articles. Quality content that addresses readers' questions while providing valuable insights can lead to increased time spent on your website.
  • Brand recognition: Long-form content establishes your brand as an authority in your field. It allows you to showcase expertise and provide valuable resources, fostering trust from your audience.
  • Backlink opportunities: Well-researched long-form content is more likely to attract backlinks from other websites, boosting your SEO efforts and online presence.


On the other hand, there are drawbacks of long-term content, such as:

  • Creating long-form content requires time and effort. Research, writing, and editing can be intensive, potentially slowing content production. Some companies resort to outsourcing their content for better productivity.
  • In a time where attention span is getting shorter, some readers may find long-form content overwhelming. It's crucial to ensure the material is engaging to keep readers interested.

Examples of long-form content

Types of long-form content

There are many types of long-form content. Some of them include:

  • Blog posts
  • E-books
  • Case studies
  • Yearly reviews
  • White papers
  • Tutorials or guides
  • Datasheets

Long-form content on YouTube

Social media like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok have many engaging bite-sized clips. In under three minutes, you get reviews, recipes, movie trailers, and recent news. A 2023 survey by HubSpot reveals that people watch 17 hours of online videos on average weekly and are 52% more likely to share them. 

Unlike other platforms, YouTube offers opportunities for long-form content creators as viewers want deeper engagement and more details. That’s why documentary channels like National Geographic or technology reviewers like MKBHD have millions of subscribers when most of their videos are longer than ten minutes.

YouTube’s recommendation system is partly why long-form content can be successful on this platform. The system considers the satisfaction of viewers, not just watch time. It also recommends authoritative videos on news, politics, medical, and scientific information to viewers.

Long-form content on social media

Social media platforms like LinkedIn are excellent spaces to post long-form content. Sharing articles or posts with detailed insights, stories, or industry updates as a professional increases the credibility of the content. 

To improve the visibility and discoverability of long-form content, LinkedIn also introduced new SEO features, It is a valuable tool for building brand presence, connecting with audiences, and generating leads.

How to write long-form content

Considering the many types and purposes, there are no set ways to create long-form content. However, there are key steps that you can follow when writing long-form content, such as:

  1. Select the right topic: Choose a topic suitable for in-depth examination that resonates with your audience's interests.
  2. Understand search intent: Consider what your audience seeks when researching information related to your chosen topic.
  3. Develop an outline and structure: Organize your thoughts and establish a clear framework for your content.
  4. Write comprehensively: Ensure your content thoroughly covers all essential aspects of the chosen topic to convey your message effectively.
  5. Use catchy visuals and design: You can break up lengthy text with images, infographics, and other visual elements for more engaging content.
  6. Maintain a conversational tone: Content with a conversational tone of voice is more relatable and attractive to the reader.
  7. Create an engaging introduction: Begin with an introduction that attracts the reader's attention and encourages them to dig further into your content.
  8. Update and upkeep: Regularly revisit and update your long-form content to keep it current and valuable for your audience.

How to use long-tail keywords in content 

Long-tail keywords are specific search queries with relatively low individual search volume but collectively contribute significantly to overall searches. 

These are some steps to add long-tail keywords to your content:

  1. Identify relevant long-tail keywords using Semrush's Keyword Magic Tool or WordStream's keyword research tool.
  2. Strategically place the chosen keyword in your page's title, header tags, and initial paragraph. Ideally, it should be in the opening sentence but add it naturally throughout the content. However, excessive use of long-tail keywords might compromise the quality of your writing.
  3. Connect your content with user intent by creating high-quality material that fulfills the needs and interests of your target audience.
  4. Targeting one long-tail keyword per content is generally recommended for optimal ranking. However, consider using multiple keywords based on the content length and topic.
  5. Monitor the strategy by tracking traffic and engagement rates. You can adjust the approach as necessary to optimize the performance of your long-tail keywords.

How long does it take for content marketing to work

Content marketing is a long-term strategy that can take a week to a year to produce results due to various factors such as goals, budgets, and industry. Its success depends on consistent, high-quality content creation, audience engagement, and strategic promotion.

There is no fixed timeline for content marketing to work as it depends on the tasks and content involved. However, the average hours required per month are four for strategy and planning, ten for blog posts, five for premium content and white papers, two for video, 15 for social media, 14 for email marketing, and 20 for analyzing and reporting.

In this demanding market, content outsourcing emerges as a powerful strategy for businesses. This strategic approach allows businesses to tap into a network of skilled professionals that can boost their content marketing potential, including long-form content.

Origin Hope provides any content operation with newsroom efficiency, powered by its optimized processes, AI technology and excellent customer service. We work with marketing departments, independent creators, publishers and media groups around the world. Get in touch here.