Educational players often overlook the value of long-form content. After all, a short snackable message is more likely to be shared and acted upon than a lengthy blog post.
While snackable content may get people’s attention, long-form content continues to make headway in the digital marketing landscape. Why? Because longer posts encourage more interaction with visitors, lead to more in-depth knowledge sharing, and attract a broader range of readers.
This is why more and more companies are going against the grain, producing pieces that offer exhaustive information about all kinds of topics.
But if you’re still on the fence about adopting long-form content, buckle down and read on to find out why companies in the education industry should invest in it.
What Is Long-Form Content?
First off, what is long-form content? It’s a broad definition, but let’s say that it begins when you go beyond the industry standard for length and word count.
Long-form content, as its name suggests, contains larger chunks of information that generally takes the reader beyond the original question and into a thorough analysis of a certain subject. It’s an opportunity to go deeper with the marketing materials you use to reach out to your target audience. This might mean creating a lengthy video or merely adding some extra content to your standard blog posts.
The idea of long-form content is a flexible concept. It’s not about using a formula to churn out a block of text and call it a day. Instead, long-form content is all about going for quality over quantity. It’s the antidote to the short, unfocused, and sloppy content the Internet has become accustomed to lately.
A vast array of assets fall within the category of long-form content. These are just a few common examples of forms of long-form content found in the education sector:
In-depth Interviews With Industry Leaders Or Experts
Not only do expert interviews give you the chance to publish content that’s longer than your average blog post, but they’re also an exciting way to expand your knowledge. Interviews offer exclusive access to the minds of industry leaders and may yield valuable nuggets of wisdom for your readers. You can reach out to any authority figures from a related or adjacent field to garner their thoughts on an issue tied to your niche.
Here’s a long-form interview article example from The 74 that you can use as a springboard to create your own interview-based content. The article features an interview with researcher Susan Dynarski, professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
How-to Guides And Tutorials
Irrespective of what your industry is or what niche you operate in, there’s sure to be things you can teach your audience with in-depth and long-form content. This format captures the expertise of your team and turns it into an incredibly actionable e-book or video that you can then feature on your website, social media channels, email list, blog, etc.
Take a look at this long-form guide by BeMo, an academic consulting firm, on how to choose a medical school. It’s packed with information that could prove very helpful to potential students.
Here’s another example of a how-to from Quantic School of Business and Technology. This one explains the process of setting up a learning organization.
Your customers and users have amazing stories to tell about your company: both personal and professional. Why not turn those stories into full-length articles and give them the spotlight?
Case studies are one of your best options for creating high-quality long-form content. Anecdotes or examples of the work you’ve done for your customers will give people insight into the kind of business you are. This kind of content will be invaluable for those still on the fence about your services. For the best format to inspire your own, check out this case study by Adobe about how the company’s solutions helped the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Market Trend Predictions And Forecast Reports
Even long-form pieces that offer expert perspectives on what’s to come in your industry can be a valuable content asset. This Gartner report on top technology trends impacting higher education is an excellent illustration of how trend prediction reports can be done.
Why Should You Invest In A Long-form Content Strategy?
Longer form pieces of content have the potential to excite and engage customers in a way that feels authentic. Of course, this means more work on the creator’s part — but here are three reasons why it’s worth the time and effort.
In a world where our attention is being pulled in every direction, it’s possible that your company’s marketing doesn’t grab prospects by the collar and demand they pay attention. This may be easier to accomplish with long-form content than with short-form content.
One of the most interesting benefits of longer content is the amount of time visitors spend on it. When website visitors stay on your page longer, they are exposed to more opportunities to engage with your brand, thereby increasing your website’s engagement rate. To further illustrate the engaging capabilities of long-form content, let’s look at a case study from Wordstream.
The people at WordStream realised that they needed to improve their average visit duration. So, they made use of long-form content to help them garner more engagement. As a result of switching from short blog posts to detailed and in-depth ones, their average visit duration almost tripled. This simply goes to show how engaging longer-form content can be.
Longer content usually has a higher ranking on SERPs. In essence, Google’s mission is to provide searchers with the most relevant, detailed responses to their queries, which oftentimes is supported by long-form content. This is one of the reasons why long-form content is better for SEO as it’s viewed as quality content by search engines.
In order to demonstrate this concept, SerpIQ ran a study where they plotted the top 10 search results by content length. As the chart shows, the majority of the time, longer content ranked higher. This suggests that Google prefers longer content more than shorter content.
Aids In Closing The Deal
Another benefit of long-form content that often goes unacknowledged is that it can be used as a gateway to push users towards your products and services.
Long-form content is a great way to get readers involved in the flow of content. Longer pieces of content allow for more detailed information and explanations, which helps readers understand topics better and often helps them develop deeper connections with your brand. In the end, it is designed to aid readers in understanding the value proposition presented by any given organization and persuade them to move forward in their purchasing decisions.
The definition of “content” has become convoluted lately. It’s no longer enough to publish something every week, make it flashy, and leave it at that. Content is meant to be long-form, detailed, and organised. Longer pieces, crafted uniquely for your industry, are a way to build deeper relationships with customers. They aren’t just to engage visitors. Instead, they show that you understand the challenges and intricacies of the customer’s journey better than anyone else.
I’m a London-born lover of technology, e-commerce and digital marketing in general. I love learning, researching and curating value nuggets to save you time, money and help you achieve your goals. In my spare time I write for my website: benguonline.com