Decktopus Content Team
You’ve probably heard a ton of advice on which form of content yields the best results. Some swear by the engagement of short, snappy posts, while others advocate for depth that only long-form content can offer.
Here’s the deal: Both have their merits, but understanding when to use each type could be a game-changer for your business.
We’re going all-in on this one. Think of this article as your comprehensive guide to unraveling the power of long-form content. We’ve also rounded up some killer real-world examples to show you exactly how top-tier brands make the most of long-form pieces.
Improving User Engagement and SEO through Internal Linking
Let’s kick things off with an SEO heavyweight: internal linking. Yep, those blue, clickable words that take you to another page on the same website.
Internal linking is like a direct pathway for Google’s bots to crawl and index your pages more efficiently. Second, it’s a killer way to engage your audience and encourage them to explore more of your content. Essentially, you’re opening doors to other valuable rooms in the house that is your website.
Start by auditing your existing long-form content. Look for opportunities to naturally include internal links to other relevant articles or product pages on your site.
But remember, it’s not just about linking for the sake of it. Make sure these internal pathways are genuinely helpful and contextually relevant. Both your audience and search engines will thank you for it.
A great example of this approach is Eachnight’s guide to mattress sizes and bed dimensions. It’s a treasure trove of useful info and a masterclass in internal linking.
By interlinking to over 40 of their other blog posts, Eachnight does two crucial things:
- Guiding readers through a seamless journey to other topics they’re likely interested in – everything from types of bed frames to sleep positions.
- Optimizing their site for those all-important SEO metrics. Trust us, Google loves this stuff.
Gaining Credibility through External Authority Links
You know what they say: “Trust is the currency of business.” In today’s info-saturated world, customers are becoming clever fact-checkers. They’re not just going to take your word for it. They want proof. That’s where linking to external, authoritative sources comes in.
If you want to ramp up your own content’s trust factor, don’t just tell – show. That means every time you make a claim or share a statistic, back it up with a link to a reputable source. It not only fortifies your content but also shows your audience that you’ve done your homework.
And here’s a pro tip: Use updated, relevant research. A study from ten years ago won’t cut it in our fast-paced digital age.
Vivion, a supplier of high-quality ingredients, is a prime example of linking to authoritative sources. They take credibility seriously. Their blog post about the demand and market trends for Vitamin C and its benefits isn’t just a puff piece. It’s teeming with detailed explanations, statistics, and external links to highly reputable sources.
What’s the result? Readers not only get informed but also feel more confident about Vivion’s expertise in the subject matter. They’re not just telling you Vitamin C is essential and in growing demand. They’re proving it with reliable data.
Subtle Selling through Value-Driven Content
It’s time to talk about the elephant in the room: selling. Traditional sales pitches can be a turn-off, especially when your audience is just looking for information. But what if you could sell without really selling?
The secret lies in delivering high-value, informative content first and letting the product or service mentions follow naturally.
The soft-sell approach rooted in value-driven, long-form content can do wonders. It shows your audience that you’re in it for more than just the sale – you’re there to provide genuine help.
If you want to nail this strategy, start with your audience’s pain points and questions. Deliver valuable answers and solutions first. Then, and only then, introduce your products or services as a natural next step to solve their problems. Ensure that the mention is organic and doesn’t disrupt the flow of information.
We’ll take a look at two real-life examples of this content marketing strategy.
Both Going and Shop Solar have cracked the code on this. Going, a website providing cheap flights and airfare deals, has a very detailed resource guide on Google Flights. The piece is chock-full of actionable tips for finding cheap airfare.
The best part about this is that their own service is only subtly mentioned, not as the focal point, but as an added resource.
Shop Solar, a solar power systems supplier, takes a similar approach with their “Solar Camping Essentials” post. They introduce their products in a way that doesn’t scream, “Buy me!” but rather whispers, “Hey, here’s how we can help solve your problem.”
Long-Form Content as a Comprehensive Tool for Information and Utility
You’ve done a great job hooking your audience with valuable info and winning their trust through credible sourcing. So, you naturally wonder if there’s any way to gain more from your long-form content. Our suggestion is to try and provide actionable utility.
The thing is, modern consumers don’t just want to read or watch about the solutions to their problems or interests. They want to be able to actively improve their situation as soon as possible. Offering tools that can be immediately used empowers your readers and makes your content insanely sticky.
Consider incorporating real-time tools, widgets, quizzes, or interactive features in your long-form content. These add-ons shouldn’t be gimmicks. They should be valuable extensions of your content. And yes, tracking these features through analytics will give you insights into what’s working and what’s not.
A real-life example is MarketBeat, an outlet for stock market news and research tools. They’ve brilliantly leveraged long-form content to inform and to provide real utility. Here, we’ll take a look at MarketBeat’s comprehensive guide to investing in bank stocks.
This isn’t your run-of-the-mill article. Beyond its detailed explanations about the ins and outs of bank stock investing, MarketBeat offers something even more enticing: real-time, interactive charts and graphs.
Imagine reading about a hot stock and being presented with an opportunity to immediately analyze its performance through interactive charts right on the same page. That’s more than just content – it’s a tool.
Another example of this strategy is Shopify. If you’re running an online store or even just considering it, you’ve probably stumbled upon Shopify’s vast library of guides and resources. But they go beyond merely informing.
Take their post on picking the best theme for your online store. Sure, they could have just listed a bunch of themes and called it a day. But Shopify kicks it up a notch by featuring an interactive quiz right within the article.
You answer a few questions, and bang – you get a personalized theme recommendation tailored to your store’s specific needs. That’s what I call delivering actionable utility on the spot.
Let’s pull it all together. If you’ve hung around this far, you’ve got the low-down on why long-form content isn’t just a “nice-to-have” but an essential strategy in your digital marketing toolkit. Throughout all of our tips and examples, we’ve seen how long-form content can be a multifaceted powerhouse.
So, what’s the bottom line? Long-form content is a winner, but only if you leverage it strategically. Don’t just fill the space; make every word, every link, and every interactive element count. Your aim is to create a holistic experience that informs, engages, and empowers your audience while subtly steering them toward your brand’s solutions.
You’ve got the blueprint; now go ahead and create your value-packed, trust-inducing, long-form content. Trust us: both your audience and your bottom line will appreciate your efforts.