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Digital Marketing // December 27, 2018

Which Is 2019’s Winner: Long-Form or Bite-Sized?

Content marketing’s role in branding has recently grown in importance, coupled with a trending consumer desire to be educated through their media consumption. Hence, in order to remain relevant with your audience, it’s crucial to stay updated with their preferences. With 2018 coming to an end, perhaps it’s time to evaluate if your brand should invest more time, energy, and marketing efforts into long-form or bite-sized content in 2019.

What Type of Content will People Want in 2019?

OkDork’s recent analysis of over 100 million articles shows that long-form content championed over short-form content in terms of social shares. The question is: Why do people opt for long-form content despite media sources frequently discussing consumers’ short attention spans?

According to Backlinko, Google ranks long-form articles to be significantly better than short-form ones. This is because it is more likely for an article with 1600 words (and more) to land itself on Google’s front page, as it will provide better information and insight as compared to short, bite-sized content.

Does the Industry You Work in Influence the Length of Your Content?

Different industries and brands choose to adopt different lengths of content. Depending on the industry your brand is in, your audience dynamic directly affects the type of content you should produce. Sources show that millennial target markets are more likely to get positive ROI from bite-sized and visually rich content, as they prefer videos (64%) and info-graphics (59%) for decision-making, while older buyers prefer in-depth whitepapers (78%) for credibility and authority.

As mentioned earlier, long-form content is being ranked higher by Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), as it provides a more in-depth solution to queries. Therefore, our opinion is that no matter your industry, both long-form and bite-sized content are still equally important for your brand. The situation differs if you’re in an industry with data-driven, analytical, and highly technical audience members, as they may turn to search engines first – hence, the prioritisation in search marketing. If you’re involved in more lifestyle related industries such as F&B, fashion, beauty, fitness etc., you can incorporate a consistent amount of written materials to stand out among the bite-sized, visually rich social media content published daily. Publishing long-form content can help boost your brand’s connection with target audiences and encourage an increase in social shares and engagement.

What Type of Long-Form Content Garners the Highest Engagement?

The highest mobile social network penetration rate in the world can be traced to Eastern Asia, with a whopping 64% to date. Given that so many consumers are on mobile, will long-form content still appeal to the masses? The trick is to find what engages your audience. There must be a reason as to why someone willingly incorporates YouTube videos and Netflix drama series into their daily routine. What’s the secret ingredient that encapsulates them?

There are some pointers that we can refer to when considering the types of long-form content to publish. Research shows that long-form content that invokes awe, laughter, amusement, as well as carries great relevance with its audience garners higher engagement and has lower bounce rates. For brands trying out this content genre, you can try riding on trending topics and relating them to your brand, while keeping in mind the emotions you want your audience to feel.

Let’s not forget that besides written content, long-form video content is just as popular, as seen from the inception of Instagram’s IGTV in June 2018. Many brands and creators are turning to IGTV (which allows users to publish videos up to 60 minutes long) to share vlog-style videos such as behind-the-scenes content or even a more polished and edited vlog, depending on their focus. Some use it to display their showreel as well, as a way to present different facets of the brand to its audience.

In sum, we should keep in mind that the purpose of creating long-form content is to educate our audience with well-researched and specific sets of knowledge, or with something that adds value to their lives.

Interested in exploring the extent of your content marketing’s potential? Contact us or book an appointment with us to explore the different mediums and content best suited for your brand!

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