Is less more?

It’s probably safe to say that social media has driven the popularity of content marketing. Many of us use social media to share content, and as social media generally requires users to be concise, you may think that only short-form writing, videos and pictures can go viral. But an article I’ve just read in Fast Company suggests otherwise.

The article says that there’s no need to worry about our attention spans not going beyond 140 characters, as one website Wait But Why shows that there’s demand for long-form writing. The content produced by this website takes the form on lengthy essays, with some passing the 2,000 words mark. Most of its content achieves between 300,000 to 600,000 shares, so there’s proof that long-form content has as much potential to be shared as short-form.

As a B2B PR agency, we always keep an eye on the success of different areas of marketing. The demand for long-form content suggests that we aren’t such a ‘throw away culture’ with what we share online. Businesses should ensure quality of their content as much as the quantity and reap the benefits of long-form writing. There’s a limit to what short blogs and concise articles can explore, but an essay can engage with readers to a great extent. A lengthy piece of writing might draw in more commentary on issues raised in the article and on-going debates can be formed among readers. This could mean that content’s online lifespan can be prolonged by being of a greater length. Something that content marketers may need to take note of.

Alex Brown has just started his career at Skout PR and will be a regular contributor to the Skout blog.

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