Unlocking the power of long-form content

Unlocking the power of long-form content (Unsplash/Kaitlyn Baker)

What comes to your mind at the word content? If your answer relates to social media, you are correct. It might be about a quote you read or a funny video shared online. These types of content are short and to the point, so less is usually more.

But what about blog posts? Or e-books? They are also content but are longer and contain more information. The best thing is that Google loves it. And it’s why long-form content is gaining popularity. But what is long-form content? Is it relevant for businesses? Is short-form content no longer relevant? This article answers those questions for you.

What is long-form content?

As the name suggests, long-form content has more word count or images. While short-form content is generally shorter than 1,000 words, its longer counterpart would be more than that, around 1,000 to 7,500 words long, but it’s not always the case. 

Some examples of long-form content would be:

  • Blog posts
  • E-books
  • White papers
  • Yearly reviews
  • Datasheets

One of the main reasons this type of content gains popularity is branding. Companies need more leads, individuals need more exposure, and they need an online presence. And this is how long-form content relates to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Long-form content contains a lot of things that SEO prefers. They are well-written, full of keywords, and fulfill technical requirements like site structure and loading speeds.

Think of your content as a product and search engines as stores. By having a good product, more customers will come to the store. At the same time, as a business, search engines want more customers. If you have a high-quality product, there is a better chance for search engines to promote them. They might place your product at the front or eye level so people would notice.

It’s the same thing with long-form content and SEO. If the content is comprehensive, provides more answers, and is written well, the algorithm will rank you higher. Better quality content will put you on the first page of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). A higher rank on SERP would lead to a stronger online presence and more potential customers.

Is long-form content useful for businesses?

Long-form content can be a backbone for content and SEO strategy. It provides the space for users to connect with your other content through links. At the same time, it can invite engagement as they spend more time on your content.

Many businesses have included long-form content in their brand communication. One example of that is Chevrolet’s 100 Years of Icon article. The piece is a documentation of the brand’s history in American automobile culture. The content fits Chevrolet’s specialization in the industry and it explains how this is true to the readers.

Snow Fall by The New York Times is also an example that shows a brand’s expertise. The news media displayed another way of recounting the 2012 Tunnel Creek Avalanche. With gripping writing, videos, and graphics, the media captured the attention with this multi-chaptered story.

Another example is the Penguin Book’s Lit in Colour program. The report contains ideas on how UK schools can make English literature more inclusive. With user experience at its core, the ten-minute read content has a high engagement rate. By combining colorful infographics with strong quotes, they created access to the findings and suggestions.

Is there a shifting demand for long-form content?

There has been a change in how people demand and produce long-form content. It correlates to how people change the way they use search engines. Before, it was either downloadable PDFs or a long piece of journalism. But the expectations are changing.

Twitter is a prime example of this shift. Over the years, they have been increasing the character limits to accommodate the users. Recently, the platform expanded the limit to 25,000 characters, about 3,500 to 6,250 words, for paid users. This change may provide more space for creators and marketers to share their content.

If the change is good for creators, is there a shift in reader behavior? 

Not necessarily. The platform recorded 640,000 subscribers in April 2023, only 0.27% of the total daily active users. This means the majority are reluctant to read beyond the 280-character snippets.

Long-form content is not only about the word count. It’s about providing an immersive and interactive piece, exploring deeply, and informing readers about the many facets of the topic.

Long-form content is not better or worse than its shorter counterpart. Either form can be effective and efficient to get your message across. If long-form content takes time and dedication to complete, short forms can be quicker to produce.

A more important consideration is, which form would generate more leads for your brand? To answer this question, partnering with a reliable content service provider might be a viable option.


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.