No matter how worn out it may sound, blogging is still one of the best ways to put your business on the map. It allows you to reach your target audience, boost your website’s organic traffic, and generate content that promises a high ROI.
But are you using your business blog posts to their fullest potential?
According to research done by Orbit Media, the average blog post in 2019 was 1236 words long, 56% up in length compared to posts written in 2014. This type of growth is no surprise. After all, there are 70 million posts published on WordPress each month, which is a clear indicator that businesses need to go above and beyond if they’re going to reap the benefits of a content marketing strategy focused on blogging.
Is longer better? Wouldn’t people prefer to get the info they’re after in a more condensed fashion?
Well, it appears that brevity doesn’t do much for social shares, except for posts under 250 words which are usually infographics, and a category of their own.
In fact, according to an SEO social media study performed by HubSpot, the posts that got the highest amount of organic traffic were the ones between 2250 and 2500 words long. As for social shares, the numbers favor articles longer than 2500 words.
With this information in mind, it becomes apparent that investing in long-form content makes for the perfect choice for a large number of businesses. But, it also takes some fine-tuning, compared to the average blog post. After all, a chunk of text that takes almost 20 minutes to read is going to have to be of exceptional quality to keep its audience around till the end.
So, if you’re looking for ways to make your long-form content readable and valuable to your customers, here are the top five things to pay attention to.
1. Get acquainted with readability scores
The easiest way to see if your long-form content is readable enough for the average consumer is to check your post’s Flesch-Kincaid readability score. Simply put, this test evaluates how difficult it is to understand a written passage of text by comparing sentence and word length. The higher the score, the less effort it takes for the reader to understand it.
Of course, depending on your area of work, you may need to use industry-specific language, which could potentially bring your Flesch-Kincaid down. Nonetheless, aim to make your blog posts as accessible as possible.
2. Add visuals to break up the text
Knowing that the human brain does better at processing images and visuals than text, it’s not a bad idea to break up your posts with different media types. For most long-form content, pictures and videos make the best choice. But, you could even include GIFs or other types of media you feel are appropriate.
Try to add visual representations of data, like in this example from Reshoevn8r. This way, you’re likely to provide your website visitors with a better user experience, helping them get the info they need without too much hassle.
But consumption speed is not the only reason you want to add visuals.
According to scientific research, reading on digital screens is more complicated than doing so from books. Thus, an image or headline after every 250-300 words may help your readers get a needed break to process what they’ve read.
All in all, you want your long-form content to be a valuable source of information to your customers. So, try to make it as user-friendly as you can.
3. Share your expertise and research
One of your strongest attributes when writing a business blog is going to be your expertise. So, when creating long-form content, consider sharing that expertise. It’s not only an excellent marketing strategy but also a branding tactic that will help you build up your authority in your field.
There are numerous examples of businesses that have made it by offering potential customers insightful information. For example, you can look at SavvySleeper, a site focused entirely on helping people get better quality sleep at night. By covering sleep-related topics in-depth, they’re growing their traffic (thanks to proper keyword research) and building up their business for success.
4. Make your content an extension of your products
When producing long-form content for your business blog, most people think about acquiring new customers. After all, when combined with SEO and social media marketing, content does a great job of widening your reach.
But, what a lot of entrepreneurs forget is that content can also be a way for you to retain existing customers.
Write insightful how-to guides, describe new uses for your products, or even cover topics that are closely related to your niche. Any of these are excellent ways to maintain a committed relationship with your customers and to stay at the forefront of their minds. And the great thing is, there are bound to be numerous topics you could cover week to week. If you’re ever stuck for ideas, just research your competition.
For an example of a versatile, helpful business blog, check out Runtastic, a wellness service app developed by Adidas. It’s a precious resource on anything fitness, nutrition, and health-related.
5. Don’t forget to share
The last tip on this list of ways to make your content readable and valuable has to deal with making sure that your efforts pay off. Because, no matter how great your writing is, it’s not going to do you any good unless people actually read it.
So, every time you publish a new article on your business blog, make sure that you also share it with your audience. Post it to your social media, include it in your weekly (or monthly) newsletter, and, of course, encourage your followers and partners to link to it as well.
Additionally, don’t be afraid of re-sharing your blog posts (or parts of them). After all, if the information you included is helpful and valuable, then you want to use it. Experiment with different formats like infographics, video, or even audio, and follow the results you get. You might be surprised at how effective long-form content is at boosting traffic and conversions.
There you have it, our top five tips for taking your content to the next level.
Even though long articles can take a lot of time to put together, and the idea of writing 2500 or more seems intimidating, remember that long-form content works. So, do everything in your power to make it as amazing as you possibly can. In the end, the effort is going to pay off.
Natasha Lane is a lady with a keyboard and one hell of a growth-hack geek. She is always happy to collaborate with awesome blogs and share her knowledge about IT, business growth strategies and digital marketing trends. To see what she is up to next, check out her Twitter Dashboard.
Feature photo: depositphotos.com