Marketing with long form vs short form content - Octagon Digital

When building our brand, we wish to find our ideal audience and grab their attention with content that provides them value. But just how much of our audience’s time do we have, and how can we be sure that they’re sticking around to engage?

The modern world can often seem as if it’s designed to make us move as fast as possible, which has a knock-on effect on content consumption habits. The online war for attention sees brands churn out record amounts of content, in the hope of winning engaged consumers who sometimes have only seconds to spare.

So, isn’t it logical to keep creating the shortest, fastest content we can manage? Well, not always. It largely comes down to you, your brand, and what product or service you’re trying to give to the world.

Short form

When it comes to words, short form content is widely regarded as anything up to 1,000 words. That ranges from punchy marketing emails and short articles (like this one!) to messages that fit into the tiny 280-character limit of a Tweet. Short form written content requires marketers to be economical with their words, and to convey messages without the waffle.

In terms of video, short form applies to anything under 10 minutes. Short form video can take the form of short and sweet tutorials, Facebook and Instagram ads and brief interviews with star talent or figures that are relevant to your brand or product.

Long form

You guessed it: when it comes to writing, long form pieces are over 1,000 words, including in-depth analytical articles or product reviews. In the world of video, long form content is over 10 minutes, which can range from episodic video series’ to the multiple hour-long unfiltered discussions and filmed podcasts that have seen a resurgence in recent years.

What’s best for you?

As mentioned above, this depends on what your product is and where you are amongst competitors within your space.

For example, B2B marketers often use long-form written pieces to introduce newly formed brands to saturated markets. Long form also works for established brands in the B2C space: if you’ve built an engaged, loyal an interested audience – for a start, congratulations – then long form pieces can be justified as you’re more likely to keep their attention for longer.

If you’re a brand looking to introduce a new product, then why not try a mixture of both?  You could show your existing buyers longer form content describing how your new offering is different and improved from your last, and then hit new audiences with short, snappy ads to introduce yourself.

Then there’s share-ability, which can also work both ways: if consumers are looking for trivial or humorous content on social media then short form considered is more likely to reach further, whereas long form, high quality articles on complex topics such as politics or philosophy are more likely to be shared than their shorter, less quality counterparts.

Confused about which content could work best for you or your business? We’re here to help. Contact us at here.