Long Form Versus Short Form Content – Which Works Best?

Written by Brick Marketing

There seems to be little doubt that our attention spans, especially when it comes to consuming online content, are getting shorter and shorter all the time. You only have to look at a social site like Twitter, where you’re capped to 140 characters, to get a sense that short form content is in and long form content is out; people simply can’t be bothered to invest the time into reading longer pieces of content. Even our message for saying something is too long, i.e. TLDR (too long, didn’t read), is tightened up to as few characters as possible.

So if our attention spans really are that short is creating long form content worth the time it takes to create it? If people are only interested in snippets and sound bites does an article that’s 2,000+ words have any value in today’s online world?

Jessica Lee of bizbuzzcontent pointed out,

When I worked at Bruce Clay, Inc., I used to crank out 1,500-word posts daily. We asked ourselves if the time it took to write an in-depth piece actually paid more dividends than a shorter piece. Unfortunately, we never found a definitive answer, but we did see positive metrics when we put more time into something versus not.

It really depends on the topic and audience. For example, I write news for Search Engine Watch, and with news announcements, people expect it to be straightforward and give them the information they need as quickly as possible.

Then, think about publishers like Mashable that typically write only a few paragraphs on a topic and get massive engagement. This is because it has an established brand and its audience generally accepts the format.

I think Jessica makes a great point. In some cases short and sweet is better. People want to get the information they need quickly and move on to something else. I know I use Twitter as a way to get a snapshots of today’s headlines and news stories. If one in particular attracts my attention I might be willing to invest a little more time in that story but for the most part I want the recaps. That’s why infographics are so popular—it’s an easy way to digest a lot of complicated information in a short amount of time.

On the other hand, when you have a complicated or complex issue that needs solving than 140 characters is not going to do it. You might be able to break one extra large piece of content down into smaller chunks but I still need to read and comprehend all of it to get the information I need. For instance, if I wanted to install a new radio I picked up on Black Friday into my car instructions that tell me A) remove old radio and then B) install new radio are not going to cut it. I want a detailed guide with pictures and diagrams and maybe even a video to walk me through the process. I need a tools checklist so I don’t get halfway through the project and realize I’m missing the right screwdriver. I want a troubleshooting guide so if I put it all together and the thing doesn’t work I can backtrack to learn why. In that scenario I don’t only need long form content, I demand it!

As Jessica mentioned, long form and short form content each have their place and time. A good content marketing campaign is going to have a mix of both so that your audience never has to turn to another source for information. The goal of content marketing is to provide your readers will all the information they need to act in some way, shape, or form. Sometimes that means keeping it tight and other times that means going into every nitty gritty details (and sometimes you need to be right in between the two). It’s doesn’t have to be long form versus short form content, you really want both hold up your website!

Categorized in:

Like what you've read? Please share this article

Read What Full Service SEO Clients Say About SEO Firm Brick Marketing

"Brick Marketing is rock solid and essential in building a strong marketing foundation."

“Brick Marketing is extremely valuable for feedback and advice in many aspects of marketing, not just SEO and I look forward to continuing to work with them over the long term to continually improve our business and increase sales. That’s what it’s all about. Just like their name implies, Brick Marketing is rock solid and essential in building a strong marketing foundation.”

– Jeff Nicholson, President Freely Creative, Inc. / Websticker.com

"highly recommend Brick Marketing to all of my clients"

“After working with many other SEO firms and not being satisfied I finally was introduced to the Brick Marketing President and Founder, Nick Stamoulis. Nick Stamoulis has educated me about SEO and has provided me with a well rounded SEO package, not only does he offer top quality services he also educates his clients and spends the time to explain everything and their SEO pricing is competitive. I will highly recommend Brick Marketing to all of my clients. Brick Marketing is an A+ for SEO services.”

– Mike Cardella, Integrated Computer Services

"went above and beyond to help us with any SEO issues"

“We hired Brick Marketing to manage our SEO, but they ended up also managing our company blog, social media marketing, helped us launch a pay per click advertising campaign, migrated our website to a new domain and so much more! Our SEO Specialist is always quick to respond whenever we had a question and went above and beyond to help us with any SEO issues.”

– Mory Creighton, CEO, Pinpoint Laser Systems

"superior knowledge of marketing on the internet"

“I have had the good fortune to work with SEO expert Nick Stamoulis and his team at Brick Marketing and it was clear form the get go that Nick had superior knowledge of marketing on the internet. The SEO campaign and technical writing that Brick Marketing provides has been impressive, where in the past we struggled to find the high levels of competence in these two skill sets. Were only just beginning with Brick Marketing and look forward to growing with their expert guidance. Thank you Nick Stamoulis and the Brick Marketing team!”

– Craig Raubenheimer, President, Roan Solutions, Inc.

"Brick Marketing has been a tremendous resource for our business"

“Brick Marketing has been a tremendous resource for our business. Through their expertise with the ever changing world of SEO, our web presence is as strong as ever. Our working relationship with Nick Stamoulis and Danielle Bachini has been outstanding. In collaboration with web designer Chris Roberts, we were also able to develop the perfect responsive website that truly reflects our business. Thank you Brick Marketing!​”

– Ellen Parlee, Parlee Farms

"Brick Marketing is "solid" when it comes to support for SEO marketing advice"

“I had been impressed for a long time with the content that Brick Marketing was sharing in their informative blog posts and articles. I chatted with Nick Stamoulis a couple times and decided that he was the expert I wanted to work with. I have worked with Brick Marketing for about six months and they have helped us resolve several SEO related issues pertaining to our website. Our account rep is always just an email away with answers to any questions I have and suggestions for how we can improve what we’re doing. Brick Marketing is “solid” when it comes to support for SEO marketing advice. I definitely recommend them if you want to feel more secure about how your website is performing in searches and have the confidence that everything being done to improve your rank is white hat and legit.”

– Paul Rarick, Debbiegrattan.com

"Our keyword rankings have improved and traffic has increased"

“The Brick Marketing team, was critical to ensuring that our new Web site is optimized to drive maximum traffic. Our keyword rankings have improved and traffic has increased thanks to her assistance and advice. In addition, they executed a strategic link building program that helped further increase Web traffic.”

– Lauren LaFronz, Director of Marketing, enChoice, Inc.

"traffic has increased over 80% year-over-year"

“When we started working with Brick Marketing, we had just been subjected to a Google algorithm update and our websites both took substantial hits to traffic. Within a few months, Brick has taken both of our websites to pre-algorithm traffic and conversion levels, and for the CallFinder site, the traffic has increased over 80% year-over-year. Their expertise in SEO, responsive design, and content marketing helped us turn the situation around, and we could not be happier with the results we’ve seen in just our first four months of working with them. The team we work with at Brick Marketing is always available for off-the-cuff consultations and are at the ready to provide recommendations and suggestions to improve our site’s appearance and performance. They are truly a hands-on partner, which is immensely valuable to our business.​”

– Jeanne Landau, Director of Marketing www.800response.com | www.mycallfinder.com

"Brick Marketing is levels above all others...an integral part of my team"

“I have formed an invaluable marketing partnership with Brick Marketing. Nick Stamoulis and the rest of the Brick Marketing team are professional, timely, thorough and take time to, not only succeed at the tasks, but also educate myself and my team on the strategies in the process. Since my first encounter working with Brick, I’ve changed organizations and have taken them along with me…they are that good! In my experience in working with many outside agencies who over-promise and under-communicate, I can truly state that Brick Marketing is levels above all others and vested in our relationship. They are not just an SEO consultant, but an integral part of my team. I highly recommend Brick Marketing for any company looking to significantly increase search engine competitiveness and internet presence.​”

– Jodi Murphy, Marketing Director EUXmedia

"dependable, professional SEO company"

“Brick Marketing has been a dependable, professional SEO company that has helped us get results. In the last 6 months of using their services, visits to our website have increased by almost 30%. Our dedicated SEO Specialist was pleasant to deal with. Her suggestions for articles and press releases were industry specific. Brick Marketing always answered our phone calls and emails within an hour which made us feel valued as a client. I would recommend Brick Marketing to all businesses to handle their SEO needs.”

– JoAnne Loftus, Archival Designs, Inc.

Contact Us about brick marketing Industries We Serve Case Studies

Need Assistance? Please Contact Us Below: