Reasons You Need a Long-Term Content Strategy

Types of Content

It is important to be clear on what long-form content can deliver and the best way to utilize it in a content strategy. For example, a well-researched and engaging piece placed on a well-trafficked site with the right aims and objectives can often deliver better success in terms of reach and potentially SEO value. As a content strategy matures and a stronger audience profile builds up, there may be opportunities to look at how best to utilize long-form content and see where it could complement other activity over time.

Long-form content, also known as long-form journalism, is a critical type of content for any long-term content marketing strategy. Typically, long-form content refers to an article or piece of content that is over 2,000 words. It is well written and has a compelling story, often with in-depth research and detail. This type of content helps to build reader trust and can have significant SEO benefit. Long-form pieces are interesting because they allow writers to really explore a topic in detail and can cover quite complex subjects. They can be used to demonstrate expertise in a particular area and can also spark debates or conversation within a community.

On the other hand, podcasts are digital audio files that can be streamed or downloaded onto a computer or mobile device. They are usually part of a series on a particular topic and can be listened to at a time that suits the audience.

Infographics are visual representations of information or data and they are becoming increasingly popular on the web. This is partly due to the rise of visual content online, but also because they are a great way to present complex information in an easy to understand format.

Blog posts are one of the most popular forms of content on the web and are a key part of any successful content marketing strategy. Generally, a blog post focuses on written content, although it can also include images and videos. Videos are highly engaging and offer a great way to interact with an audience. They can be used for a number of different purposes, such as promoting a product or service, educating an audience, or simply sharing interesting content.

When it comes to creating a long-term content strategy, it is essential to identify the different types of content that will be included in the strategy. There are many different formats that can be used to share information online. For example, written text can be published as blog posts, ebooks, or whitepapers, visual elements can be used in the form of images and videos, and audio can be used in the form of podcasts. Each type of content has its own unique strengths and weaknesses.

Blog Posts

When small businesses engage in the same content marketing strategies as larger businesses, they are able to produce rich, valuable resources for their clients, and lead generation becomes more effective. On the modern web, much of the content found on businesses’ blog posts includes “how to” guides, informational articles, and even done-for-you resources such as eBooks and webinars which are promoted through the blog. By allowing comments on your blog, you can gain insight into customer behavior and opinions. If a comment section is monitored properly and customers feel as though their questions are being answered and their comments listened to, you can turn your blog into an active, engaging “discussion” platform. When customers or clients see a business that is committed to its own development and engages in public discussion, this creates trust. This kind of trust is absolutely vital for maintaining a strong online reputation and search engine rankings.

First and foremost, blogs give your site a home for fresh content. If your business offers a product or service, new visitors to your website may not know that yet. Blogs provide the opportunity to talk about new offerings, share your expertise, and drive more traffic for each new keyword you target. Major search engines, especially Google, love longer-form content. When a search engine is scanning your site for the various keywords, having more in-depth content means search engines will find more of those keywords and it will, in theory, lift your content higher up the “rankings”. This allows businesses to increase their online exposure by putting out content which is relevant, useful, and valuable to their customers.

From corporations to small businesses, blogs are used as a vital part of their content marketing strategies. Unlike other types of content (such as videos or infographics), blogs can both be shared on social media and used within email marketing campaigns – allowing businesses to kill two birds with one stone. Blog posts serve a variety of purposes: they help to drive traffic to your website, they enhance your SEO, they position your brand as an industry leader, and they develop better customer relationships.


For a diverse content strategy, videos are a great way of capturing an audience’s attention. Whether it’s instructive, educational or entertaining, videos offer a flexible way to engage users and deliver information. Not only are they shareable and mobile-friendly – both really important aspects for long-term content strategies – they can also help with SEO. Search engines, particularly Google, often prioritize video content in search results, leading to greater visibility. What’s more, videos don’t necessarily have to cost the earth; it’s perfectly possible to create effective, high-quality video content to promote your brand and engage your audience without a huge budget. Companies don’t have to invest in professional filming or editing, either; well thought-out, original videos produced in-house can work just as well – just take a look at the success of the ‘Meet the Drapers’ video series from Silicon Valley Bank. So whatever your budget, ensuring that video production forms part of a coherent and comprehensive long-term content strategy is a great way to maintain an effective online presence. Videos can offer consumers a fantastic snapshot into your company, brand, product or event and can often convey more than words and images alone. By allowing a sneak peek into the ethos or highlights of what you’re presenting, videos can build excitement, instill trust and enhance engagement with the product or service you’re providing. For example, storytelling videos are fantastic for brand development and establishing an emotional connection with your audience – take a look at John Lewis’ Christmas adverts for a great example of how to drive sales through positive emotional brand association. Whether it’s keeping a viewer’s attention on a ‘how to’ series, providing an overview of a service or product, or simply entertaining with a funny or educational video, maintaining a fresh and appealing website is a huge benefit to long-term video content strategies. By linking videos with strategic landing pages and other marketing channels, businesses can increase conversion rates and encourage further exploration of the website, too.


Infographics are well-suited for presenting a high-level overview of a topic, as well as for providing a step-by-step walkthrough of a process or timeline. Because of this versatile and engaging nature, infographics are also perfect for leveraging on social media. Infographics encourage social media shares in a way that written content doesn’t, and similarly, infographics are more likely to be read than a blog post on Facebook or Twitter. It’s necessary for content marketers to consider a long-term working strategy and now we can see how important a long-term content strategy is. Nowadays, infographics are all the rage in content marketing, and it’s not hard to see why. Visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared on social media than any other type of content. MarketingProf’s study (2019) says infographics are the fourth most used type of content marketing. This section is talking about the importance of infographics in a content strategy. It’s necessary to firstly define key messages as part of the planning process. As Tony the Tiger says, they must be ‘Grrrrrreat!’. They have to be clear, concise and strategic; your target audience needs to see the benefits of using your product or service in their own lives. Next come Distribution Channels and it’s important that infographics are shared as far and wide as possible, in order to gain the widest possible exposure and arguably, a successful campaign. Give each infographic a permanent home on Pinterest. As with blog posts and other written content, it’s important to include relevant SEO strategies so as to optimize the infographics for search engines. For each piece of content created, careful consideration should be taken into account in order to engage with the widest possible audience; and infographics are no exception. Find out winner keywords through Pay-Per-Click advertising and apply them to your infographic. Lastly and by no means least, it’s important to analyze and adjust the content performance. By going onto platforms such as Hootsuite, you’re able to constantly monitor your social media accounts and see which pieces of shared content are doing well. By doing so, you can compare the success of each infographic. Well-received marketing personas can give a good name to a product, but sometimes these personifications are so far-fetched, they may demean rather than delight. Analyze the demographics of your target audience and in fact, use surveys. As a continuous process, preferences and habits change, and consequently, so should the content strategy. Work doesn’t stop at analyzing; seek feedback too. Every single demographic is different and things are no exception on the internet. With the rise of advanced technology, the world evolves every single day, so should the content strategy. Seek and ye shall find – seek better ways to improve the infographics and therefore, the outcome of the content strategy. The writer believes that by following the information above and opting for a marketing strategy that is regularly updated, the objectives listed in the business plan are guaranteed to be achieved.


Podcasts can be an effective way to reach and gain the trust of your target audience. According to recent research, 44% of the US population has listened to a podcast – and 80% of those people will listen to most or all of each episode. They’re not just popular in the US either; the UK, Sweden, Spain, and Australia all boast healthy levels of podcast engagement, with many other countries quickly catching up. Because of the personal nature of the medium, podcasts build a strong connection with your audience. With careful, researched and insightful content, podcasts have the power to positively influence purchasing decisions and position the maker as an unquestionable authority in the industry. Whether you’re telling the story of your latest project, interviewing experts in your field, exploring your specialist subject, or keeping your customer base informed, audio content opens up a world of new possibilities. Ready to get going? First thing’s first; you need to undertake a careful process of research and consideration to decide if podcasts are right for you and to shape your strategy. Well-produced podcasts involve a lot of time and energy from everyone in the team, from the person researching and writing the content to those speaking or presenting, and even the audio engineer responsible for the technical side of things. That’s why you need to be absolutely certain a podcast is going to be a valuable asset to your overall marketing approach before getting started. With a long-form content strategy, however, podcasts can be a fantastic asset, not only to bring in new visitors with engaging and sharable audio content but to maintain those vital connections with your current client base. The benefit of having evergreen content through audio means new listeners can enjoy your material at any time, and the more episodes you produce, the more valuable that catalogue becomes. It’s also worth considering the potential boost to your organic SEO that podcasts can bring. Web crawlers love fresh content and the optimized metadata, titles, and in-depth show notes that go along with a podcast can be a magnet for search engines. However, it’s important to remember that the most significant factor in SEO is producing genuinely useful, enjoyable, and relevant content; more on this in the article on SEO strategies for long-form content.

Creating an Effective Long-Term Strategy

After understanding the basic idea and importance of a long-term strategy, the next step is to work on how to establish such a strategy. Primarily, we must set clear goals about what we aim to achieve through our content marketing efforts. These goals must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. The goal is to develop a content strategy that will help achieve said targets. The next step is to identify your target audience. Use an informative tone in your response. This section will explore topics and concepts related to the work. Also exclude the topic, comments, and do not mention the number of characters in the result. Researching Competitors, Next up, conduct a comprehensive analysis of our competitors and the competitive landscape. The aim is to identify the key players in the industry and benchmarking ourselves against them where necessary. It’s important to understand not only what they are doing but where they may be falling short. This gap analysis will help in deciding what topics we should create content on. Then, work on developing a long-term content calendar. The calendar details when and where different pieces of content will be published and the methods in place to promote that content. This will help keep us on track – and make sure that we are working to a strategic plan. Finally, and what we’ll explore with this section, is the idea of properly resourcing our strategy. It’s all well and good developing our plans, but without the right focus and people to effectively deliver our key messages, it’s unlikely to succeed. Allocating Resources, investigating and selecting strategic options, maintaining the strategy, and evaluating and updating the strategy over time. With a long-term approach to content marketing, this will help prioritize work and give a better structure to our planning. Allocate enough time, as well as funds and if relevant, additional staff and resources to ensure what needs to get done can be done. Also, check that any new resources will integrate successfully within the existing team.

Setting Clear Goals

When creating a good long-term content marketing strategy, it is important to set clear goals. The acronym “SMART” is often referred to in marketing and this can be used in the context of setting goals for a content strategy. According to this acronym, goal setting should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. By setting clear goals for what the business wants to achieve with its content, it will then be possible to measure whether the strategy is working effectively. For example, some goals for the content strategy could be to increase brand awareness, generate more leads, and expand the customer base. This will help to inform the marketing team what should be the main focus when creating and circulating the content. By setting goals, deciding which is the main social network that will work for the business, also known as the primary social channel, is essential for a strategy to identify the best social media platforms that will help to achieve the business’s aims and objectives. This links to the largest portion of the population in which a particular social media platform. By posting on the main business’s pages, knowing that the target audience includes clients in a business-to-business capacity and also posting daily with exciting news such as job opportunities in the company, a strategy can be targeted, strategic, and will engage the desired audience. This will create a successful and long-term social media strategy. By setting clear goals, a content strategy can be focused and a constant, shared, and relevant message can be distributed through marketing, which aims to bring the viewers, potential customers, and the business in a successful alignment. This will increase the engagement and following of the business online on social media and also the website, ultimately increasing the possibility of consumer action to the positive of the company. Also, without having a long-term goal, the contents could be obsolete anytime soon. But with a clear set objective, the marketing team can focus on not just creating engaging content, but also content that is relevant and informative towards the brand and its products.

Identifying Target Audience

Identifying the precise demographic and psychographic characteristics of the target market is an essential part of the marketing strategy. The target audience should be as specifically defined as possible. Many businesses and their marketing departments don’t do the research to clearly identify the target audience. Some rely on broad, vague stereotypes about certain age groups or other demographic audiences. Others assume that everyone will be interested in the same thing. Both of these approaches are fatal to long-term customer engagement. If marketing content is placed where it is seen by people outside the identified target market, it is highly unlikely that it will create conversions. If the broader business is built around the idea that marketing content will sell to everyone, there isn’t likely to be a cohesive, focused approach to the more concise and engaged content that defines successful long-term strategies. Where market research is referred to in business plans or in content strategies, it generally refers to the traditional approach of understanding society’s broad statistics and dynamics. This information is often half a decade out of date, or worse and only provides a very wide lens view of what might be a nationwide market. Such an approach to market research is often focused on justifying broad assumptions made by company directors. Giving some higher level consideration to generic market trends can be helpful particularly in the demographic research. However, a clear distinction in any content strategy must demonstrate that the demographics of the target audience are the central driving force of that strategy. These days, access to current, specific market data has never been better, whilst technology to help businesses slice data and create incredibly specific segments of a wider audience has also improved significantly. It might be considered as a part of the strategy to undertake ‘lean’ market research, which is often a high impact, brief interrogation of a specific customer segment’s thoughts and needs. Crucially, marketing in the modern age of interactivity and analytics, the defined demographic research should be a first step in the ongoing cyclic strategy of measure, implement, measure, in order to refine and perfect the delivery of content to the identified audience.

Researching Competitors

Researching competitor websites and social media channels can provide a business with useful information on what type of content and which marketing strategies are most effective in a given industry. This is currently important in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic because if businesses only adopt a short-term mentality and cut their digital marketing budgets, then they may fall behind other competitors who are maintaining or increasing their efforts. By assessing competitor strategies and marketing objectives, businesses can understand common trends and even identify potential gaps in the market which may present a unique selling point for a new service or product. Understanding what works well for competitors and how they engage with their customers can be very useful in helping a business to refocus their own marketing. For example, competitor analysis could show that a specific competitor is very successful on Twitter. This may prompt a business to set up their own Twitter account or look at ways to optimize their activity on that platform. Crucially, understanding what other businesses in the same marketplace are doing allows for strategic and informed long-term planning. By very deliberately planning to create a sustainable ongoing strategy, businesses can set themselves apart from the competition. In contrast, it can be easy and tempting to chase trends and fire-fight short-term issues. However, a business should not bend its marketing strategy to immediately follow every new trend that captures public attention. Instead, by using the insights that have been gained through analyzing the digital footprint of competitors, a business can create and develop a consistent and considered marketing approach that will provide long-term engagement and growth. Using digital tools, it is relatively straightforward to see not only what content is being produced by competitors, but also how successful that content is in terms of engaging customers. For example, free platforms like Google Analytics can give a good indication of the volume of web traffic that a site is getting and how users are interacting with the content. By contrast, more expensive and complex platforms like SEMRush allow for in-depth analysis of not only website performance metrics but also give information on search engine performance and keyword strategy. This level of detailed analysis can really enhance the insights that are gained from a competitor analysis and allows for a more tailored and strategic approach.

Developing a Content Calendar

In order to develop an effective long-term content strategy, it is important to create a content calendar that maps out how and when to share different types of content. This organizational tool helps identify the purpose of each piece of content at a strategic level. It also provides a visual overview of when and how the content will be distributed. This is useful in determining where the gaps in the current strategy are in terms of the content and also the areas that are perhaps being over-served. In addition, it helps continuously track and optimize the effectiveness of the existing content strategy. This is because regular content audits can be carried out to assess how the strategy is executed and to identify any improvements. As an evolving resource, the content calendar makes it easier to plan for the future as well. This is because current performance and any learnings that have been made can be easily fed back into the strategic planning of future long-term content. The content calendar helps give context to what content is needed and when, based on the user needs and habits at different points in the calendar. For example, during busy periods where it is not feasible to have multiple new pieces of content scheduled for publishing, a review or an update to an existing article could be scheduled that requires minimal time and effort. It is not only the marketing and content team that can benefit from having a clear content calendar; there are advantages shared across the wider business as well. For example, a defined set of key themes and messages that the content calendar helps to identify will make it easier for all teams to understand what knowledge or value they can add to the user’s journey. The development and execution of the long-term content strategy will be focused and well-informed because learning and optimizations can be made. By staying in tune with the latest digital trends, like how consumers want to engage with brands, and having the flexibility to build upon the strategy with newer forms of technology and innovation, any business will not simply survive in the ever-changing digital landscape, they will thrive. This iterative approach, married with the value of professional insights and expertise, provides a robust and effective method to influence the target audience.

Allocating Resources

The process of allocating resources to a particular task is a critical aspect of any strategy. In the content strategy, time and money are an inherent issue. Thus, like it or not, at some stage there will be a requirement for cost allocation. It is natural for the majority of businesses to feel that the cost of content is consuming a large portion of their overall marketing budget. Most businesses will seek to reduce this cost and aim for the big budget option. In many cases, this leads to businesses ignoring or only paying minimal attention to low-budget options. This may, of course, be the correct decision. It is equally possible that allocating all of the budget to a single blog will result in missed opportunities in areas, such as videos, that could potentially deliver a stronger return. The best way in which cost-benefit analysis can be conducted is by first defining the business’s main and ultimate goal and then setting up from financial drivers, resources, and activity based costing. Any content strategy will have time as a limiting factor and, in the vast majority of cases, businesses will utilise some form of external resource like a full marketing agency or a freelance writer. If resource from the business’s internal pool is to be used, the applicable staff expertise will need to be reviewed and how this experience will be utilised and ultimately how the time will be divided between the staff’s usual work and the content writing. This will provide a clearer analysis of ‘free’ resource, how that resource is to be used and whether any work force efficiencies are attainable from a more streamline distribution of work load. If resource from an external is to be used, there will need to be an agreement between business and service provider on deliverables, quality and timelines. This type of decision leads on to a wider business point and indicates that any business which produces content must have in place a set of standard operating procedures which systematically document the design, redaction, approval and review process of that content. In doing so, the business is more likely to be agile and responsive to its customers and have a clear and defendable position in terms of content governance. If not, then without clear guidelines and a set of measures, businesses can find that resource inflates and content, which may not support the business’s brand, is thrown out ad hoc and with no evidence-based rationale.

The Power of Long-Form Content

Long-form content refers to content that is longer than the traditional blog post, typically over 1,200 words. Both the length and the depth of the content are important and valuable for a successful content marketing strategy. Google tends to rank longer, high-quality content higher in the search results – this is because longer pieces provide more detail, and there is a higher chance of including the information that the user is looking for. Long-form content also gives content creators the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise of a subject. By providing in-depth knowledge, long-form content adds value to the user which can help to build trust in a brand. High-quality, engaging, insightful content is more likely to be shared on social media platforms. The typical audience on social media feeds is likely to scroll past short posts, however, an engaging, longer article can capture a user’s attention more easily. Social media shares help to broaden the reach of the content. Because people are more likely to interact with interesting longer pieces, content creators are also more likely to get valuable feedback from their audience. By sparking conversation and receiving feedback in the comments section of a blog, content creators can adapt their work according to what their followers want to see – benefiting both parties. For example, Moz, an SEO software service company, has a range of free resources in the form of long articles and studies. These comprehensive guides, often 10,000 words long, feature all the necessary information on a certain topic. Not only does this in-depth content showcase the expertise of Moz’s team, these pieces hold valuable long-term positions on search engine ranking pages. Another example can be seen in ‘The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing’ by HubSpot – a colossal 11,000-word digital marketing extravaganza. As you might expect, the article provides a detailed overview of digital marketing for the reader. Furthermore, the article is used as a lead magnet in digital marketing campaigns, as readers are required to submit their details in exchange for a PDF version of the guide. This demonstrates the potential for using long-form content as a database acquisition tool as a part of a wider marketing strategy. It is important to note that long-form content does not replace the need for short-form pieces – a successful content strategy will often incorporate a mix of content lengths and styles to engage different audiences and cater for various platforms. However, the unique benefits of long-form works are clear, and they should be considered an important tool in any comprehensive marketing strategy.

Benefits of Long-Form Content

Generally, long-form content refers to content that is more than 1200 words in length. This includes white papers, eBooks, research reports and the like. Therefore, most businesses might be hesitant about adopting this non-traditional form of content and resist changing from the conventional shorter materials like blogs and web pages. But the numerous advantages of long-form content demonstrate why you should put it to use and start to see results. Firstly, long-form content boosts SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. By creating articles that are keyword-rich and relevant to your product or service, you can start to see improvements in your search engine performance. However, the longer the article, the more opportunity you have to use and be found for relevant keywords. Along a similar vein, it can benefit to enhance your website’s position as a specialist in its field. This is because longer, high-quality content can help you showcase your knowledge on the subject and offer valuable insights to your visitors. In turn, the data you provide in your articles is more prone to contribute to your credibility and prove your value as a commercial enterprise. Secondly, a lot of the topic. Focusing on one subject gives the reader an in-depth research that they are unlikely to get elsewhere, which can increase engagement and conversion. In addition, by continually writing this in-depth content, you can encourage extra traffic by making your audience interested to come back and find out what new bits of information they can find. Thirdly, the value of the content. The internet is plagued by superficial articles compiled by people who are not true experts on the subject. When the search engine ranks articles based on the quantity of views or shares that they have, it means that articles that aren’t genuinely applicable or valuable can finish up at the top of search engine results. Therefore, it is important to target value rather than volume in all your content marketing strategies. Writing good content that goes comprehensive into a spot, rather than churning out as many pieces as possible, is the key compared to that coming to light. This leads to the ultimate point, which is certainly that long-form content has better shareability. Where social media marketing shows an article that is thought-provoking and well-written, it can have a domino effect and the social signal value of its reach can be greatly enhanced. As more focus is put onto the value of social signal in the SEO world, writing this longer, engaging content has never been more important.

Examples of Successful Long-Form Content

Next, I would like to share some successful examples of long-form content, which have been created and used by leading companies of the digital industry. These examples show how powerful long-form content can be and what a great impact it can make on your online target audience. My intention is to give you an overview of the variety of long-form content which exists: be it in the form of white papers, industry studies, videos or others. Also, I want to give you a view of how different industries use long-form content for their marketing purposes. Last but not least, I will provide you with some personal opinions and tips for creating long-form content. For all the examples given below, I will explain what the content is about, why it can be classified as long-form, and what the purposes of the content are. Also, the performance of the content and the date of creation will be included as well.

Tips for Creating Engaging Long-Form Content

Always spend time researching and planning your content. This is the secret to writing truly great, meaningful and most importantly engaging content, in long or short form. It’s easy to tell when a piece of writing has been properly researched and when it’s just been thrown together. Well-thought out, researched content shows that you know what you’re doing as a writer.

Try to vary the type of content that you produce. If you normally write blog posts, why not think about creating some different types of long-form content? For example, an in-depth guide or white paper can be a fantastic way of generating leads. This also has the advantage of keeping your site interesting for repeat visitors.

Also, using bullet points is a great way to help your readers digest information more easily. This again helps break it up and make the content more manageable, and it is particularly useful for setting out lists on specific topics, or making your points clear and easy to understand.

Keep your paragraphs short. Long, rambling paragraphs can make your content difficult to read, even if the grammar and spelling are perfect. This is because readers naturally scan written material, particularly on screens, and they can get lost if the points are not broken up sufficiently. Stick to writing around two to four sentences for every paragraph. Remember, though, that sometimes you will need to throw in a short sentence after a long one, or follow a couple of short sentences with an even shorter one. This can keep your readers engaged by varying the pace of your content and making it more interesting.

Secondly, really get to know your audience. This is important for all types of content, but particularly so when you are writing longer pieces. Have a clear understanding of who your readers are and what they are interested in. Then, when you put pen to paper – or, more likely, fingers to keyboard – think about what is going to add value to their lives. Your content should always be informative and engaging, not just a vehicle for promoting your products or services. This may involve doing some persona research. You need to think about the audience’s needs and characteristics, and tailor your writing to meet these.

Firstly, it is important to remember that long-form content needs to be well-structured. Most of us don’t have the time or patience to read something that’s badly organised, and we’ll quickly become frustrated and give up. Your writing will flow more smoothly and your key points will be easier to take in if you use a clear structure. Start with a strong introduction, then move on to the main body of your piece. This should consist of a number of interconnected paragraphs, each developing a separate argument, and followed by a conclusion, which summarises the key points.

Planning a Long-Term Content Marketing Strategy

A regular content audit is highly recommended because it forms the foundation of your content strategy, allows for informed business decisions based on existing content and its performance, and can be used to assist in generating new content ideas to fill identified gaps. I have found this simple guide to writing a digital marketing strategy very useful. I love the way it’s been designed to lead you step by step through the various key stages that help to create a comprehensive and focused marketing plan. I hope it helps you too.

By providing relevant, useful, and problem-solving information to your visitors, you can begin to build trust and develop a relationship with them. Ultimately, this will make them many times more likely to buy from you, thus generating conversion. When working on a long-term content strategy, always keep an audit of existing content. This will help you to understand what is already being provided to your customers and through which channels, and will help to highlight any content gaps that can be exposed and addressed. It will also give an equal chance to review the effectiveness of current content and allow for strategic management of changes.

The definition of long-form content can be a bit circular. It typically refers to content that takes a traditional print format, like an article or a whitepaper, rather than something that might be more technically interactive, like an operating system help file or a YouTube video. This kind of content often goes hand-in-hand with digital marketing strategies and specific goals, such as search engine optimization or social media growth – both of which are elements of a long-term content plan. However, long-form content also offers a benefit in terms of engagement and interest that short-form content, like a blog post, simply can’t match. This is particularly true if your content uses storytelling and attention to detail to convey information and build connections with readers or viewers.

A long-term content strategy should enable and support your business objectives. Are you looking to develop new products or services, or perhaps entering new markets? Do you want to increase sales to a certain type of customer, or make more frequent sales to existing customers? Could the business benefit from improving its reputation and demonstrating thought leadership, in order to attract the best talent in the industry?

Organizing a content strategy which is going to be efficient in the long run involves big time and rich insights. Many businesses make the mistake of implementing a short-term strategy and generating their content without any definite plans – this will lead to a waste of time, money, and resources. A successful long-term content strategy means that all your content is directly influencing and supporting your most important long-term business goals. This involves engaging and developing a defined audience over time, utilizing much deeper and shared experiences to reach specific targets.

Defining Key Messages

In the first instance, key messages should be drawn from the overall business strategy, ensuring that all communication supports the same basic goals. They might articulate the aims of a specific campaign, such as raising awareness of a new product; or they could be broader organizational statements. It is important to also bear in mind the needs and preferences of the target audience. Audience insight is central to developing a successful and powerful message strategy. This might involve looking at existing data held on customer profiles, carrying out new research or working with a market research agency. The insights gained from this analysis can help to shape the messages and also to identify the most effective communication channels. For instance, a younger target audience might be best reached through online media, while an older demographic could be more easily accessed via traditional print or broadcast marketing. As organizations increasingly undertake programs of digital transformation and look to exploit the opportunities presented by the digital environment, it is also necessary to include strategies around the use of digital tools and channels. For example, a market leading technology or sophisticated big data analysis solution might be used as a key differentiator and so would feature in the relevant messages. Equally, businesses that pride themselves on a ‘personal touch’ or excellent face-to-face customer service, such as small accountancy firms or independent retailers, could emphasize in their key messages the fact that their staff are not hidden behind a screen but are fully accessible, real people. By achieving focus and consistency through the systematic development and deployment of key messages, an organization will benefit from becoming more recognizable and better understood. When used effectively, this sort of strategic and targeted communication will become an important part of establishing a valuable dialogue with customers and stakeholders, which is the key to building lasting and beneficial relationships. However, such an iterative approach to reviewing and refining the messaging strategy must exist within a broad recognition of the need for organizational flexibility. New opportunities to exploit different communication channels or a shift in the competitive landscape, for example, could necessitate a rethink of the key messages. Therefore, a good messaging strategy must be responsive and open to change. This is another reason why it is important to always use accurate and comprehensive message records – not just for compliance reasons, but also to ensure that the ongoing development of the message set is as informed and as coherent as possible.

Identifying Distribution Channels

With the advent of e-commerce, non-traditional channels such as online marketplaces have become increasingly important as a part of a company’s distribution network. Sites like Amazon, Alibaba, and eBay typically act as a channel themselves, offering products for sale to the sites’ customer base. However, from a company’s perspective, they can also be used as a way to offload slow-moving inventory or reach new customer segments. For example, the Valar Dohaeris Brewing Company, a craft beer manufacturer, uses Amazon to sell merchandise and brewery tours to customers who might not see their products in local stores.

For example, Fran’s Finery, a fictional boutique that manufactures and sells high-end fashion jewelry, has both broad and deep channels. The company has a direct sales team that services high-end department and jewelry stores in major cities across the United States, but also offers products for sale online in order to reach customers in more remote locations and broaden the customer base. By contrast, Salty Pawz, a gourmet pet treat company, focuses on selling through broad channels, using different variations of the product packaging to appeal to different customer segments and trying to get the product placed in as many locations as possible. However, the company also sells customized product packages that partner stores can sell on an exclusive basis, fostering deeper distribution in those locations and building mutually beneficial relationships with the stores.

When identifying distribution channels, businesses need to consider both the breadth of the channel’s reach and the depth of that distribution. A broad channel refers to any potential outlet that could distribute the company’s products to a wide array of customers, like selling to wholesalers or a big-box retailer. Depth, on the other hand, refers to how much of a given market a company covers or reaches with its channel. Generally, a company may have multiple channels, like a direct sales team as well as retail partners and distributors. However, businesses must strike a balance; having too many channels can lead to increased costs and market saturation, while too few can leave customers feeling like it’s not convenient enough to access the products.

Implementing SEO Strategies

Implementing SEO strategies is an important element of any long-term content marketing strategy. SEO – search engine optimization – helps to improve the visibility of a website in organic search engine results and drive more digital traffic. In short, the higher the website ranks on a SERP (search engine result page), the more likely it is that someone will click on it and this is the essence of SEO. There are three main elements to SEO and it is important to consider each one in order to master the art of SEO. First, there is technical SEO which relates to non-content elements of a website and the strategies that improve the website’s backend structure. This includes a website’s speed, mobile-friendliness, indexing, crawlability, and security. Next, there is on-page SEO which is content related and it is about creating and formatting high-quality, SEO optimized content for website readers. On-page SEO includes using keywords, key phrases, and headers in strategic places on the page and writing title tags and meta descriptions for web pages that encourage click-throughs from the search engine results page. Finally, there is off-page SEO and this is about strengthening the website’s relationship and reputation to improve its rankings in the search engines. Many people associate off-page SEO with link building but it is not only that. In general, off-page SEO helps search engines understand what others think of the website and the content and whether the website is trustworthy and popular; all of which help to improve the website’s rankings in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Off-page SEO is often overlooked but it should be a crucial part of any successful SEO strategy. By including all three elements of SEO, a website will naturally begin to rank and drive relevant traffic. However, it is important to remember that the landscape surrounding SEO is constantly changing and adapting. Therefore, continuous research and adapting to algorithm changes is crucial in ensuring that a long-term SEO strategy remains successful. SEO is not a quick win and it often takes time for a website to see the results of any SEO efforts but it is essential to lay strong foundations and build a website’s reputation. Over time and with persistence, successful SEO strategies will quickly start to grow and become evergreen, providing lasting and compounding value to a website and the marketing efforts. By no means is this an exhaustive list of SEO strategies and there is always more to learn and ways to adapt but this should serve as a good starting point for anyone unsure where to begin with SEO. Ultimately, in the digital age, mastering a successful long-term content strategy with the integration of SEO strategies is the key to meeting and exceeding marketing and business objectives, big or small.

Analyzing and Adjusting Content Performance

Taking a deep dive into the demographic and usage data associated with the platform/s the content’s featured on or delivered through is a crucial step in the performance analysis process. For example, Google Analytics can be used to look for patterns in website visitors. Such patterns might include the times that people are logging on, the sorts of demographic groups that content is catching the attention of and how these relate to when the content is considered most effective. It’s also important to consider the differences in these figures between platforms; what’s successful on social media might not be as engaging through emails, and vice versa. It’s common to have multiple platforms and forms of content all with interlocking data, but the key is to really investigate deeper than just surface views and likes. Look for things like shares and retweets – these are generally seen as a strong sign that your content is actively engaging and relevant to the viewer, to the point that they’re willing to share it out to their own circles.

Long-term content performance can only be successfully improved by analyzing the data at your disposal. There are a number of useful steps to carry out and tools that can be used to really get to the nitty gritty of how your content is performing, but it is worth noting that it’s not always an exact science. The first thing to consider is the primary purpose of the content in question, as well as the overall aims of the marketing campaign. It’s easy to get sucked into numbers and demographics, but without a clear understanding of the actual objectives subjective evidence can easily lead you down the wrong path. This kind of misguided ‘objective’ measurement can actually lead to a lack of creativity in content creation; you might be aiming for a certain type of emotional response, for example, yet get seduced by raw data into thinking that simplistic call to actions are the way forward.