Creating engaging content is one of the biggest struggles brands face. First of all, it’s time-consuming, but it’s also tricky to know what to write about to stand out.
If you’re one of those brands that feels like they’re running uphill through treacle when it comes to content, listen up.
You want more leads, right?
You want more customers, right?
According to research, brands that implement a blog see a 67% increase in leads than those that don’t.
That’s pretty epic.
But it’s not enough to simply whack out a quick 300-word article and publish it, hoping for the sales to come rolling in.
Oh no, content needs to be much more strategic than that. But you knew that already, right? (Find out how I can help you get strategic with your content here).
If you want to actively generate leads and continue to consistently generate leads, you need to be publishing meaty long-form posts. Because, according to research, long-form content generates 9x more leads than short-form content.
What is Longform Content?
Longform articles usually run at over 1,000-words, which seems a lot considering the average internet browser has an attention span shorter than a goldfish.
That’s where the epic-ness of longform content comes in. These pieces aren’t just words thrown together in a hurried display of fluff and rambling; they’re well thought-out pieces that actively leave the reader having learned something actionable.
And, while big names like Seth Godin seem to have done well with shorter blog posts, these are the exception to the rule.
So, why is it so important for you to create longform blog posts?
Why Longform Content Generates More Leads
1. It Puts You Head and Shoulders Above the Rest
Most blog posts circulating the interwebs run at 500-words or less, meaning there’s a gap in the market for longer pieces.
If everyone is posting short, surface-level articles, you can stand out by digging deeper and creating pieces that slice beneath the surface and provide real information.
2. It Gets You More Shares
Shares seem to be the currency of the internet. We’re all eager to get just one more thumbs up, so how can we make it happen?
Longform content, of course!
BuzzSumo analysed more than 100 million articles and found out that longer, deeper pieces get considerably more shares on social media than their shorter counterparts.
3. It Ranks You Higher on Google
Getting to the first page of Google is a pivotal goal for many businesses, and longform content can help you get there.
Pieces that are 1,000 words or more tend to generate more backlinks, which means Google automatically considers them more authoritative and places them higher up in the search results.
This means you’ll get business leads over a longer period of time because you’ll always be getting new potential customers organically visiting your site.
4. It Boosts Your Authority
Customers are more likely to buy from brands that they see as an authority figure in their field. Fact. But it’s difficult to get to that stage, particularly when you’re just starting out and don’t have that many years’ experience behind you.
However, with longform content, you can deep-dive into topics that centre around your audience’s pain points.
People appreciate comprehensive posts that help tackle a problem they’re facing and, when you can do that, you send out the message that you know what you’re talking about.
5. It Provides You With Years of Content
Creating super long pieces of content might seem like a mammoth task, but you’re doing yourself a favour in the long run.
How? You can easily repurpose parts of the posts or the entire post and publish it in different mediums. For example, you might turn a single longform blog post into a video series, breaking up each part into smaller chunks for an audience that hangs out in a different place.
So now you know why longform content can help you get more leads, here’s how you can make your pieces more epic than your competitor’s and get more leads.
How to Generate More Leads with Longform Content
1. Add Visuals
People retain visual information better than they retain written information, so peppering your pieces with striking visuals is a great way to keep readers engaged and wanting more.
Visuals can come in the form of graphs and pie charts to back up any data you’re integrating, or it could be stock images or cartoons to add a quirky twist to your post.
Without visuals, you run the risk of losing readers because of the sheer amount of text in a longform blog post.
2. Integrate Data
The key to making a longform piece authoritative and better than the next piece is to sprinkle in a hearty bit of data. That means facts and figures relating to the topic you’re writing about to back up points your making.
See this piece here? I’ve dropped in a few numbers and percentages to hammer home the importance of longform content, and it’s worked, right?
3. Create Calls-to-Action
Having longform content isn’t enough if you’re not telling your readers what they should do once they’ve finished reading it.
This is one of the biggest mistakes brands make when it comes to their content: they create these awesome posts, but don’t tell readers to get in touch or download their e-book because they’re too scared to ask for the sell.
In reality, readers want to be told what to do.
When you consider that a whopping 70% of businesses don’t use calls-to-action, it’s easy to think that you don’t need them.
Guess what, my friend, you’re wrong.
Brafton added well-placed CTAs for a client throughout their blog posts, which increased revenue by 83% in one month. Taking it further, their conversion rate increased by 22% quarter over quarter.
But where is the best place to put these magical CTAs?
The middle is the hot spot. Sprinkle them throughout the piece, but focus on really “asking” your readers to take action partway through the post and towards the end.
4. Sprinkle in Stories
Humans live for stories. It’s how we’ve communicated for millions of years and it’s how we pass down our knowledge. Tap into this basic human need in your longform blog posts and you’ll build a connection with your readers quicker.
People are more likely to buy from brands they relate to, so by sharing anecdotes and real-life stories, you’re letting your audience get to know you on a deeper level and encouraging them to become loyal fans rather than one-time buyers.
So, if you want to generate 9x more leads with your content, the answer is to make your posts longer – much, much longer!
Longform content not only gives you the space to really exert your authority on a subject matter, but it helps you create connections with your audience which builds a loyal fan base over an on-going period of time.
If you’re ready to generate more leads, get in touch today and see how I can help you do that.
Lizzie Davey is a professional business and marketing writer.