What is better for content marketing: Short-form or long-form? Timely or evergreen?
We have a small team that is not producing content as often as I would like. Until we can afford to build our team, I want to get the most out of the content we are producing. Right now, we share a lot of timely posts based on trends, events, etc. These posts quickly out-date themselves. Would love to hear your thoughts on what type of content is more effective in engaging readers: short-form or long-form and timely or evergreen. Any other suggestions?
Short-form content helps your business connect and engage with its audience while long-form content is intended to educate and inform. Mix it up. When doing videos, create a :10, :15, :30, :60 spots in addition to the original length, keep in mind most won't watch anything beyond four minutes.
Evergreen content is timeless. Timely content can expand your reach exponentially putting your brand on the map. Best to place your "evergreen" content in the context of the "timely" conversations on the channels relevant to your post.
Long-form content includes whitepapers, e-books, guides, resources, videos, and webinars. Long-form. Google ranks a long-form content over a short-form.
Why? Long-form articles have higher levels of engagement as readers spend more time on the page (average duration on page). erfect platform to demonstrate expertise on a specific topic and/or industry. Additionally, your company’s long-form content provides valuable information to a highly-invested audience that wants to learn more about your area of expertise.
Long-form content is shared more frequently than short-form posts. The longer the content, the more shares it gets.
Short-form posts under 1,000 words, social media content and infographics are mobile-friendly, reaching more people. Online users tend to scan rather than read every word and there is tons of competition to pull your reader away. Short-form content is easy to digest and breaks through.
Is there any reason not to do both timely and evergreen?
Build a library of content that is always relevant and use "on trend" posts to steer your audience to it.
With regards to long versus short, if it's interesting enough, the content can run to several pages. Don't be afraid of it being long, be afraid of it being boring.
With your team, use metrics to guide their use of time. Successful output should not be measured by word count, but by engagement and ultimately sales.
Check out "Confessions of an Advertising Man" by David Ogilvy and "The copywriter's Handbook" by Robert Bly. Print copywriting skills are just as relevant online and there are some great insights within.
Hope this helps!
You should test whether long form or short form appeals best to your audience and regardless of which performs better, there is no reason why you couldn't occasionally mix in the alternative from time to time. Whether you focus on evergreen or timely depends also on your test results to see which your audience responds to best.
The good news about including timely info in the mix is in my experience, you can often use a content curation strategy for it along with just a short summary or short analysis introduction. This is usually quick and easy to do since you're not having to come up with the bulk of the original source material yourself (especially if you choose the summary as your unique content to preface the curated pieces) along with a call to action for your readers to do what it is you want them to do.
Also, there are plenty of really cheap and really good freelancers from places like india, bangladesh, philippines, etc. on sites like fiverr, upwork and elance who write perfect English and who can do most if not all of the curation, summary writing and possibly even some of the analysis for the timely content. Of course, this leaves your team to produce the potentially more difficult evergreen content (or you might even try using the best of these inexpensive resources for some of the evergreen content as well).
Evergreen content should be your focus. If the piece of content is actually useful/informative, it will serve as a constant source of traffic to your website no matter how old it is. If your content budget is not big, this is the best way to gain more of a return on your investments.
I know this sounds like a cop-out answer, but the answer is all of it. Some topics you will be writing about will require less to be said than others and some of it will be hot topics vs. information that can live forever. The best advice I can give you for starters, is to just gather up all the questions your marketplace or client base is asking and start to write about those topics. There are also tools out there such as Inbound Writer that can help you zero in on the very best things to writer about (based around your initial topics) that will show you which topics/titles will generate the best evergreen traffic.
The first rule of content marketing is 'know your audience'. What do they want from you? Content can be grouped in several categories: how-to, experiencial, inspirational, entertainment, etc. Based on what you are in business to provide, what fits best with the audience you are trying to cultivate?
My personal experience has shown me that content has to be relevant and has to have value or people wil not follow you. That said, creating timely, consistent content is important. To get around the 'dated' predicament, try using current news stories to explain or share best practices. This way, more emphasis is put on the learning value, less on the news topic.
Try repurposing. This, I have found, adds greatly to the quality and penetration of your content without having to create new stuff all the time. I would also be very selective about where I place the content. Trying to reach huge audiences is of little value if they are the wrong audiences.
Before you add to your team, develop a strategy that best uses your writers and the ways you will distribute your content. Qualty and efficiency are the best ways to build a robust content marketing strategy.
Kelly, First thing. Do you have a content marketing strategy and plan of any description? Really important that you do, even if it's a basic one, otherwise you'll just be responding to events and things without a clear objective in mind in terms of relating these to what your business offers.
If you have a strategy and plan good.
As to the length of content...it depends. Blogs tend to be longer (although there is disagreement about how long. Some say 350 words other say up to 1,000).
My advice is to write longer form blogs and then repurpose this content but rewriting it in to a series of smaller blogs, Facebook posts, tweets etc. This way you 'write once' but rework several times.
Secondly, you need to make sure you are writing to a specific plan and that each piece of writing reinforces your overall messaging, how you can help solve the problems and challenges of your potential clients/customers. Just writing for the sake of it is a waste of everyone's time.
Hope this helps.
Greetings from a former Orlando resident!
I checked out your site and your newsletter. My biggest piece of advice would be to spend MORE time on distributing and promoting your content than you do creating it. That means thinking about how you can get the most eyeballs onto your well-crafted content.
Right now, you're hiding your hard work in a pdf and then uploading your pdf to the website. Post your content directly online as individual blog posts. After I opened up your pdfs, I found GREAT, INTERESTING content...but it's buried in there and no one will ever find it unless they're seeking it out. You're doing yourself a major disservice by going about publishing this way.
Register a relevant domain name (WindermereNewsletter.com is available according to Godaddy, and will cost you a whopping $3/year to get started) and setting up a decent, easy-to-use blogging platform. I recommend using Weebly -- it's easy to learn for a beginner and very inexpensive (~$10/month I believe) to use. Skip Wordpress, it's clunky and can be frustrating to use.
Most importantly, make sure you actively work on getting the word out about all of your content. Share your posts to an easily-discoverable Facebook group about Windermere (the main Windermere group appears to have almost 5,000 members, this is your prime audience!) and ask local businesses to share your content as well on their own pages. If you haven't already, start collecting email addresses of people who are interested in your newsletter and send them updates when you publish (and in-between too!. Email opens up another potential revenue stream too as your list grows and businesses will be interested in buying ad space.
Best of luck!
I am not sure if you are trying to appeal to a tourist or local audience. In any case, best to do short form and timely. Doesn't mean you just regurgitate what is already available on other local sites. You can do that but try to get for more by contacting them and providing additional information that is perhaps timely and with detail. There you can add information and value.
Short form content...is always better. ...The attention span is dropping...therefore content must be targetting right audience, qualitative, deliver brand value...and preferably video content will ve more effective.
As you don't seem to have the necessary resources, go with the short-form & evergreen format. You will have more mileage with these contents until you can afford to move to more frequent timely contents.
Both. The public can be fickle at times. The key is quality not quantity. In college we were taught a good headline is the key. Make a statement in the first paragraph or ask a question. If they read the first paragraph, they will probably read the entire post.
I am likely late to this Rodeo- it so I will give an answer that reflects how I see the world operating now: 2 distinct trends are in play now::We live in the Device Era- people get data from any number of devices. Those providing data need to provide it to deal with this Phenomenon: Mass Customization for an Audience of ONE.