The Long And Short Of It
“I am more trustworthy, informative and reliable”, yelled Long arrogantly.
“Well, I am quick, friendly yet explanatory” debated back Short.
It was yet another argument between Long and Short, the two best buddies of Content, who never got along. Their topics of arguments ranged from- who was more expressive and more preferred, to who was a better companion for their mutual best friend, Content.
While this debacle is a common subject for discussion for every marketer, let's take this opportunity to dissect the long due argument on the credibility of long and short forms of content.
Whether a writer prefers it long or short depends entirely on that individual's requirements. A purely business-based communication would prefer long content formats, constituting more than 1000 words, like White Papers, elaborate e-books, case studies, editorials, etc.
On the other hand, direct communication with consumers paves way for crisp, short content formats, like social media captions, infographics, e-mailers, etc. These content formats generally have 100 to 500 words.
Who’s More Informative?
While long content forms are unbeatable at being detailed and informative, short forms of content do not compromise on the quality of the facts either. Long-form content ensures to elaborately answer all questions that may arise in a reader’s mind regarding the concerned topic. It has the liberty to explore all possible aspects of explanation due to the broader word limit.
Short-form content may fall behind when it comes to word count, but a well-written short content is always self-sufficient. The lack of length does not affect its effectiveness of being self- explanatory, allowing content creators to be more creative and attractive while presenting it. Moreover, being composed in quantity, the short content format can be more quirky and experimental, as opposed to long formats.
Look who’s reading
The quantity of content depends on its purpose and reader cycle. While Long caters to business to business communications, Short delivers directly to consumers and potential customers. Long has to be credible, well-researched and deeply insightful, a need justified by its length.
Communicating directly with consumers, on the other hand, requires keeping them entertained and being informative while pertaining to their short attention spans. Short content formats are considered ideal in such cases. Hence, to know what content suits you best, understand who you’re talking to.
By far you know that both the content formats are unique and beneficial in their own ways, but have you considered the challenges that they face?
Short often feels at a loss of words, given its word limitations. Long on the other hand often feels monotonous, despite having so many words to express itself with. While short faces credibility issues, Long fears not being able to retain its reader’s attention until the end.
As a marketer, your choice to depend on long content formats or short ones should solely depend upon who you are addressing, what the message is and how you wish to present it. The next step is to overcome the challenges faced by both, in order to gain successful views on whichever format you have picked for your brand. If attempted and presented wisely, both Long and Short can gain impressive attention for you from your target readers.