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Strike a balance with your length to build your brand’s strength

There are many good reasons to use a message that’s short and sweet. For those times when a blurb or quick hit isn’t enough, especially as people move closer to purchase and want more information, don’t be afraid to engage your audience with longer-form content.

That’s what Eric Hess, senior program manager for content marketing at outdoor retailer REI, talked about at Content Marketing World 2016. And, while he was careful to say there are lots of good reasons for using short-form content, too, there are also benefits to using longer messages.

Here’s Eric sharing how long-form content can be used to round out your brand’s messages:

There were lots of good ideas in there. Let’s take a closer look at a few of them:

Let’s not make everything longer, there are many reasons why short-form works

  • Quick little engagements can help with top-of-mind awareness
  • This is especially true in social media, where you’re competing with other messages and people have a limited attention span
  • Also when pushing messages to mobile devices, when people are likely on-the-go
  • And hacks, tips and tricks are best done quickly to let people get what they need and get back to living their lives

Short content does have its limits, look for more of a balance in your brand’s messages

  • There’s only so much you can convey in short-form (Eric sees long-form as anything over 1,500 words written, or three minutes of video)
  • It can be hard to create meaningful engagement in less than three minutes (amen to that)
  • Eric believes long-form messages have greater potential to create emotion and meaning with your audience
  • Strike a balance with your messages, he suggests

Believe in the benefits of long-form content and invest in it

  • Eric asks us to believe in the potential of long-form content
  • Long-form messages help brands like REI talk about who they are and why they are different, not just the products and services they offer
  • Eric also shared that some of REI’s long-form, how-to messages actually get more readership on mobile than desktop (like when people are fixing a bike)

So what’s the bottom line? While short-form content isn’t going anywhere, it’s important to be able to round out the depth of your brand’s messages, which can help people get to know you better and become advocates for your brand.

And the reasons for using a mix of short- and long-form content don’t get much better than that.

If you want to learn more about the critical topics all marketers need to know when adding content marketing to the mix, like including long-form content to help build engagement and brand advocacy, learn from the experts like Eric. Come to Content Marketing World 2017, September 5-8 in Cleveland. Code BLOG100 saves $100! Register today!


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