As an integrated communications agency, we’re often asked the same question: what content performs best?
The answer isn’t straightforward, but brands are increasingly finding that long-form content can effectively connect, engage and convert customers. That’s why you see so much of it – from whitepapers, to ebooks, to podcasts. Done right, great long-form content can build dedicated audiences, brand loyalty and advocacy.
In fact, one content marketing expert shared 316 short-form videos that received more than 280,000 views across TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, and then compared the impact to that of 48 blogs, 52 emails and 12 longer format YouTube videos. Ultimately, they found that long-form content performed significantly better, resulting in 95% new traffic and 62 leads.
In our experience working with brands, including Meta, Samsung, Zendesk, and Meltwater, amongst others, it’s apparent that long-form content presents businesses with opportunities, and gives them a real competitive advantage. Here’s how:
Have clarity in your your business objectives
Creating content for content’s sake isn’t a recipe for success. For many brands, this has resulted in a more ad hoc use of content – and because of this, they are missing out on the big-picture gains.
Long-form pieces can be used across every part of the sales funnel, but it is important to first consider what your objectives are. Are you aiming to shift perceptions? Establish yourself as a subject matter expert or strengthen your positioning in specific markets or areas? Whatever your goals, it’s important to present your long-form content as a solution to people’s problems while giving them the agency of choice. From there, consider what useful data or fresh insights you can provide before identifying the content angle and plan.
One example of this comes from a big tech brand we work with. After years that brought uncertainty, digital transformation and an ecommerce boom, the company noticed that clients of all sizes wanted advice: they needed to know how to navigate the new online ecosystem, which tech solutions to adopt, and the best marketing strategies to help them grow.
To remedy this situation, it partnered with a strategic management consultancy to conduct in-depth interviews with business founders, leaders and experts, and create a new methodology for helping businesses understand their digital commerce roadmap. From there, this client worked with Mutant to transform the interviews and methodology into a useful and accessible guide for businesses. Our team in Singapore helped to craft a narrative and design a whitepaper based on the new methodology.
The whitepaper launched at the end of 2022 and was very well-received by the industry. In addition to the whitepaper, Mutant Communications helped put together both the copy and design for ancillary content, including the microsite, sales enablement materials, thought leadership articles, and both photo and video ads tailored for different markets throughout Asia Pacific. Through the creation of these “bite-sized” pieces of content based on the whitepaper, the client effectively engaged more people across platforms and used the data in multiple ways.
Bring your long-form story to life
There are many ways to tell a story – share an opinion, present marketing data or explain something effectively. How you go about it depends on who your audience is and what your objectives are. Broadly speaking, good pieces of long-form content follow these principles:
- Whether your story takes the form of a blog, byline or research report, it will focus on a conflict between opposing forces. Often, businesses and communications agencies in Singapore and elsewhere try to avoid negatives, only focusing on highlighting positive attributes. However, doing so can come across as dishonest and inauthentic.
- Throughout the creation process, always make sure your narrative doesn’t jump from one theme to another. Flow and structure are crucial to make your content writing seamless, effective and outstanding.
- Feature examples and case studies of your business that give readers something to think about or act on.
- Remember, the best content revolves around people rather than products and services
Give your content more shelf life
Long-form content creation takes time– so you want to be sure you’re making the most of it. Ideally, it should be a gated asset for the website, with content extracted to develop thought leadership pieces for earned and owned platforms.
If it’s data and insights, you can use this material for press releases, talking points for media interviews, sales decks, blogs, one-sheeters, newsletters, webinars and so on. To further extend the shelf life of your long-form content, it can be rolled out gradually with different cuts for sub groups within your target audience. It can also go a level deeper for local markets via market-specific findings.
Overall, it’s clear that long-form content is extremely important for brands in the current competitive environment within Singapore and the broader Asia Pacific region. This is especially so when your goal is to build trust, establish authority, drive leads, and strengthen credibility.
If you want to invest in long-form content – write to us at [email protected], and we’ll help tell your story.