Did you know 87% of marketers said content marketing helped them achieve their company branding goals? Nearly 80% said it helped them build credibility with their target audience.
Long-form content, in particular, can turn interest into action. Do it well, and you can generate leads and increase brand awareness. The catch is that long-form content must be worth it to be effective.
This article will discuss how to use long-form content effectively and where to include it in your content marketing plan to develop stronger B2B relationships.
- You can find long-form content in different lengths, formats and contexts.
- The benefits of using long-form content include SEO value, building trust in business relationships and educating the reader.
- You need a strategy to create and implement long-form B2B content effectively.
Defining long-form B2B content
What is long-form content marketing? Marketers tend to throw this term around generously. You can find definitions with varying word counts, but “long” generally refers to written content between 1,200 and 7,500 words. It can be as casual as a how-to guide or company brochure or as in-depth as a case study or industry report.
With substantial content, how and where you use it is as important as the content itself. To reap the benefits, you need to map your content to meet the buyer at each touchpoint along their journey.
Benefits of using long-form content in B2B marketing
What do you get from using long-form content in your marketing strategy? The benefits are vast and calculable.
Gain higher search rankings
If you know anything about content creation, you know the power of search engine optimization. Well-crafted blog content pieces have significant SEO value for several reasons:
- It increases click-through rates and time on your page.
- Google’s algorithms prefer websites rich with content.
- It increases your chances of being a featured snippet from a Google search.
- It betters your opportunity to earn quality backlinks.
- Long-form content allows you to showcase your thought leadership.
Boosting your search rankings is one of the best ways to increase organic traffic and ROI. Who doesn’t want to drive more traffic to their business?
Assert your authority on the topic
Credibility is a brand owner’s dream. Long-form content allows you to detail what you have to offer the industry and how it differs from the competitors.
This is why choosing content topics carefully is critical to successful content marketing. It is also your opportunity to show client’s how you can help them grow their business.
What do you do best? How can you translate that into well-organized and researched content? Answer these questions, and you will have the foundation for long-form B2B content designed to grow your brand.
Refurbish your hard work into other marketable content
Long-form content that goes into great depth about a subject can morph into other valuable marketing assets. Pull stats to create infographics or quizzes for social media content. You can turn your longest posts into ebooks or courses with minor alterations.
Best practices for long-form B2B content
You now know the “what” and “why” of long-form content. Next, let’s go over the “how.”
Consider how you can execute quality content targeting your B2B audience and provide your marketing team with content they can store for future use.
Evaluate your competitors’ content
What are your competitors doing? How can you improve upon it? These are the first questions to ask before committing to a long-form content strategy.
A Google search can show what other businesses say on a topic. Use that information to cultivate a voice for your brand by creating something entirely new or approaching the same topic from a unique perspective.
Think about every opportunity to show your thought leadership with what you say and how that will help cultivate long-term relationships with new or existing clients.
Start with a plan
How well do you know your target market? With customer data platforms, marketers control data collection and segmentation, creating a database of content marketing gold.
Once you know who your readers are, you know what they want or need to know. Then you can generate a content creation plan to keep them satiated.
Use formatting techniques to keep the reader interested
What you say and how you say it are equally important. You have the expertise to speak with authority. Now you need the format to keep the buyer interested and help move them to the next stage in your sales pipeline. Consider these techniques as you put together long-form content:
- Create smaller sections, making it easier to skim the content.
- Organize with detailed headings and subheadings.
- Include a content section with hyperlinks to headings for extra-long pieces.
- Use visual aids, such as infographics and charts, to deliver your message in more ways than one.
Keep the content informative, fluff-free and flowing easily into each new heading or subheading.
Implementing long-form content into the sales funnel
Remember, just because long-form content works doesn’t mean every piece you create must be over 1,200 words. Instead, a balanced and effective B2B marketing strategy uses an omnichannel and multi-technique lead generation approach.
For example, you can impress clients with a how-to guide during the early stages of interactions. Use a case study or industry report to capture their imagination when demonstrating your field expertise.
Then, hit them with an interactive piece near the final decision stage, such as a tutorial. Long-form content can improve any marketing and sales funnel.
Long-form content creates long-term success
Clarity and brevity are the hallmarks of B2B marketing. Apply that to long-form content to create pieces with a wealth of reusable information. Remember, longer content is only helpful when the information is valuable.
By keeping your content informative and diving deep into how a partnership will benefit you both, you can use long-form content to develop relationships with existing and new business clients.
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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.