What is Content?

Simply put, content is any message you send an audience. Your company is producing content all the time, whether it intends to or not. Every message is an opportunity to educate, entertain, inspire or convince. But to ensure you’re sending the right message to the right person at the right time, content must be intentional and always on brand. How? First, you need to understand the different forms of content and how to use each one strategically.

There are many ways to categorize content, but marketers can separate content into two broad groups: long-form and short-form. These categories are not a be-all and end-all but rather a helpful way of grouping similar forms of content so we can better understand their potential.

Short-Form Content

Laptop surrounded by paper graphsIt’s no secret that bite-sized content does well online, but short blog articles aren’t the only successful type of short-form content. Social media is also short-form content, as are infographics and the 60-second videos you see circulating online. Short-form content is usually informal and quickly gets to the point.

In order to catch an audience’s attention, your short-form content must be powerful and unique to you. It’s a great opportunity to showcase humor, quick wit, answer questions, or do something unexpected. Short-form content can be made even more effective by evoking emotions, such as nostalgia, empathy, pride, regret, or patriotism. Although the emotions may last only a moment, a moment is all you need to build brand recognition and drive an audience to action.

As far as results go, short-form content is more “shareable” so it can more easily drive views and engagement. As you produce short content over time, you can build brand awareness and expand your audience for future content.

Long-Form Content

Long-form content may mean different things to different industries, but let’s assume long-form means 1,200 words or more, from a written-content perspective. There’s a common misconception that only short content is successful, especially online, but that is not the case. Wordstream has identified that long-form content is highly successful.

Content of this length gives you the opportunity to showcase your expertise and dive into your topic thoroughly. This form of content also works well for white papers or gated content on your website—something useful to provide in exchange for contact information of a lead.

In addition to lengthier blog posts and white papers, long-form content can include longer videos, e-books and case studies. Regardless of the format, these opportunities are ideal to show your storytelling abilities, lay out a thoughtful case for a conclusion, or explain and simplify a nuanced matter.

With well planned long-form content you can establish yourself and your brand as a thought leader in the industry, engage with leads closer to converting, and foster loyalty and trust with the consumers of this media.

While both types of content serve different purposes and reach different people, a healthy marketing plan will include strategies for utilizing both. If you only produce long-form content, it’s almost like eating a 5-course dinner for every meal—it’s just too much sometimes. Alternatively, if you only ever create short-form content, it’s like snacking on little appetizers and never getting anything substantial.

A balanced diet takes both, and so does a balanced marketing plan. If you feel overwhelmed by the quantity of content on your various platforms or how to combine the right mix of long-form and short-form content, we can help. EVG thrives on large-scale, global content projects, and we have the software to manage the workflow from ideation and assignment through quality assurance and distribution. Let us become your long-term partner so your content is and remains ahead of the curve.

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