Here at Atomic Reach, our job is to analyze your content based on your target audience. We care about your content and want to assist in nourishing your articles. A hot topic online publishers often encounter is the debate of long vs. short form content. Which performs better? Which sustains the life of your content and keeps your audience engaged?
In a world where we can glimpse the news in 60 seconds or in a 250 character status update, one might think that short form content will stimulate a larger audience. Sure, this may stimulate a ton of shares for the time being, but does this content resonate with your audience? Is the content able to mature and flourish, see growth of page views? Ultimately short form content is short lived and experiences virtual death. You want to keep your reader coming back for more and strengthen the bond with your audience.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of long vs. short form content and how this will impact your content evolution.
What is long form content? It is articles or posts averaging around 2000 words and longer. Long form content production is informative and thought provoking. The content is educational and enlightening to your readers.
It experiences longer dwell time on your site and establishes online visibility. This includes social shares and links. Long form content presents a broad and deeper view on the topic and allows your audience to invest in the content.
The cons of long form content are that it does not cater to the short attention span of certain audiences. It is often not as eye catching and visually stimulating. This can harness the ability to go viral.
Short form content is usually 1000 words or less. It is often presented in the form of status update, vine video, infographic, tweets, Instagram photos, short articles and blog posts. Short form content is ready to allocate to various social media outlets.
The benefit of short form content is that it takes less time to write and is ready to share. It is often visually stimulating and easy to read on a hand held device. It allows the reader to scan rather than go into depth.
The negative aspects of short form content is that it does not establish deep investment into your content. Your audience interest may peak for 5 minutes, but does not hold interest. You may miss important views from your target audience.
That being said, the virtual life of your content is a delicate balance. You want to keep your audience engaged, but maintaining interest is tricky. It is important to understand your target audience and their expectations. Are they looking for a flashy update or informative articles that hold substance.
At Atomic Reach, we recommend writing content 26 - 50 sentences in length. By conducting research on real engagement data, approximately 20,000 articles of published online content, we have established that content at this length cultivates the highest engagement. Writing content at this length shows you want to develop your thoughts and that you invest time and research into your articles.
In order to avoid virtual death, nourish and care for your content. Cultivating great content will always benefit you and your readers. The more you nurture your content, the more engagement you will receive. Your audience will continue to grow and evolve with you.