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When you look at some of the biggest leaders in the online world, you’ll notice that they all have one thing in common when it comes to their content marketing. If your first guess was ‘they’re on Instagram and/or TikTok’, or ‘they have a huge online following’, you’re not wrong… however, there’s a tool far more important that they use that helps them to build trust, establish authority and seamlessly sell online…

That lucrative tool is that they create long-form content.

Unfortunately, long-form content isn’t a sexy, shiny tool. Yet, it is a tool that has the potential for high profitability – just look to the likes of Gary Vee, Neil Patel and Jordan Peterson; all of whom utilise content marketing to mark them as authority figures in their space.

Despite this clear-as-day evidence showcasing the effectiveness of content marketing, for whatever reason, I’ve noticed many small-medium sized businesses neglect long-form content (blogs, podcasts, videos) and instead opt to go all-in on their social media efforts.

Often, I’ll hear business owners say they don’t have time to blog/podcast/record videos. However, these same people are posting to Instagram daily, sharing dancing reels and churning out novella length captions. So, I don’t know about you, but this makes me question the time as an issue here….

When you look at the efforts being made on social media, you could say that you’re essentially micro-blogging and/or creating the equivalent of a decent-length YouTube video with the multiple reels being shot every week.

Rather than working like a hamster in a wheel, and feeling as if you have to come up with a million and one content ideas for your social media, I recommend business owners adopt a pillars-first (pillar = long-form content) approach to content marketing. 

What is long-form content?

When it comes to long-form content, there are three core formats:

  • Written (blog)
  • Audio (podcast)
  • Video (YouTube)

What type of long-form content should I focus on?

First things first, before you start freaking out thinking you need to add all three types of content to your repertoire, please know that you don’t need to do all three! To begin with, pick one that will be your primary focus and if you want to add in more over time, you can.

When it comes to selecting your primary long-form content type, it will really depend on the type of business you run and how your audience interacts with content.

Let’s take a further in-depth look at each content type, so that you can best assess which type is the best fit for your audience and business.

Written 

There are many items of written content that you can use as your focus piece. However, the most common is a blog. A blog is great for many reasons; it’s good for SEO, covers multiple steps in your customer journey, can be added to newsletter emails and can be packaged as a PDF or comparison chart.

Audio

When it comes to audio as long-form content, you can’t go past a good podcast. And, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good podcast?! There’s something so intimate about consuming a podcast. You pop your headphones in and share in the narration of your podcast host. If they’re doing a good job of producing the podcast, you might even feel as if you’re conversing or listening to a friend talk.

Outside of that really personal connection that comes with podcasting, these audio gems are also a great asset to your marketing toolkit, as they tend to have high content completion rates. Plus, for those who don’t like video, podcasts are an easy way to conduct interviews, thus expanding your network.

Video

In a world where we’re all constantly glued to our screens – whether that be phones, laptops or televisions – it comes with little surprise that there are many options for creating long-form video content.

  • Social Media: Depending on your audience, your videos that serve as your focus piece could be created for YouTube, or even TikTok or Instagram Reels; remember, every audience is different. Nonetheless, creating videos for social media is relatively easy and fast to create. They don’t need to be long, and it doesn’t even have to feature you – it can be an animated post or slideshow.
  • Webinar/Masterclass: Hosting your own webinar or masterclass is great if you don’t like to show your face online. It can also be a great way to force you to create content. Most people are visual learners, masterclasses are great to repurpose pieces from and you can sell directly from them.
  • YouTube/Vlog/Video Blog: This is different to videos for social media, as vlogs are longer in length. The same video can also be uploaded to YouTube, it’s great for content that needs visual explanation, and good for seo because it keeps people on your site for longer.

Getting started – next steps

Deciding on what platform/s to focus on will depend on your audience. This is why including where your audience spends their time and gathering their information in your marketing persona building phase is so important. 

Knowing this means that you can confidently know that the content you publish is going to be seen. Not only that, you also know that you’re creating what your customers want to see and you know that they will engage with it.

Get complete clarity on how content marketing can help to get your offer in front of more people. Book in a no-obligation call with us today and ask about our Connected CMO service.

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