Why your content should be short, sweet, and straight to the point.

While lengthy information is beneficial in its own right, content that’s short and sweet can be just as valuable, depending on your audience and message. So what constitutes “short-form” and what do you need to know to produce the most compelling content? Let’s start with the basics:

What is Short-Form Content?

Short-form content is exactly what it sounds like: short content. But just how short are we talking?

Our in-house Content Strategist Danny Goodwin considers short-form content to be “in the ballpark of 250 to 500 words.” However, other content strategists would define short-form content as anything shorter than 1,000 words. While there’s no consensus on exact length, short-form content is meant to be concise, quippy, and to the point.

Instead of providing a long, detailed explanation, short-form content visually represents or quickly summarizes an idea by compiling information into a:

  • Checklist
  • Chart
  • Listicle
  • Blog Post
  • Infographic
  • Video

And the list goes on…

Why Use Short-Form Content?

“Online users have a tendency to scan through content, rather than reading every last word,” as Volume Nine points out. “Using concise verbiage, a brand can convey a strong message to their audience quickly and effectively.” In other words, readers are searching for easily digestible content that handily answers their question or solves their problem. If you can communicate a complex message using fewer words, do it!

Aside from the simple fact that it’s easier for readers to process, shorter content translates well to mobile devices — so while long-form content may get more shares, short-form content is more likely to be consumed across platforms.

When to Use Short-Form Content

The frequency with which you publish short-form content may depend on your industry. If you’re an entertainment site, for example, readers likely won’t be interested in a 2,000-word blow-by-blow report of the latest celebrity breakup. Similarly, if you cover breaking news, short-form is preferable to disseminate the developing story quickly and effectively.

Additionally, you should always consider your intended message and target audience before you begin writing. Think of your content as an answer to one clear question that potential consumers may have. Can their query be addressed with a few paragraphs, an image, or a short video? If so, short-form content may be your best bet.

Remember, your ultimate goal as a marketer is to gain the attention of your target audience by offering them content they find valuable. While your strategy should include a healthy mix of lengthy and concise information, learning when and how to create both types of content is essential to achieving your goals.

Longneck and Thunderfoot offer content marketing services and strategies to transform your company blog into an authoritative trade publication. Click to learn more about how to produce great content and prove ROI on your marketing efforts.

Author Hilary Krutt

A graduate of Dartmouth College, Hilary joined L&T after several years in the publishing industry at Simon & Schuster. As a member of the editorial board for the Off the Shelf book blog, her writing has been featured on the Huffington Post, among other major publications. At L&T, Hilary manages content quality and production, collaborating directly with writers, content managers, and clients to ensure every piece we write hits the mark every time. In her free time, Hilary is an avid reader and live music enthusiast. She hails from Boston but currently calls Brooklyn home.

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