Long Form Content Is Not Dead

Case for Long Form Content

Pursuit of Virality

Marketers are obsessed with going viral these days. Writing short, shareable posts that evoke a reaction is the new normal. Memes, quote pictures, three-minute videos, or 140-characters seem to be the most we communicate. Does it only take short content for marketing or Internet popularity to rise?

Time is short and people are busier than ever. Marketers and content producers realize they are competing for the consumer’s attention and every second counts. I, myself, have argued for short, shareable content to build awareness and then follow up with that person you made an impression on. What about long form content? What about longer blog posts, periodicals, and half-an-hour podcast shows? Are we destined to live in an age where transmission of information is unlimited, but can only be digested in small chunks while we ride the escalator at the mall? No way.

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More from Daily Download

Gatekeepers

Conversational Social Media

Going Viral

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The Quartz Curve

Quartz Curve courtesy of Martin Belam

Kevin Delaney, Editor-in-Chief at the news site Quartz, spoke at the October 2013 Digital Editors’ Network event at the United Kingdom, according to Journalism. Delany showed a U-shaped curve, later called the Quartz Curve. It explained the likelihood of a post’s success along a graphed line. Content below 500 or above 800-words showed an exponentially higher read rate than content between 501 and 799. “People read short, fast content on the web,” he said, and also long form, analytical pieces. “Articles between 500 and 800 words are too long to be shareable, and too short to be in-depth,” he said in the same article.

Making a Change

This column is usually 500 to 700-words and has seen mild success. I’ve had some top over 700. Moving forward, Rae Publishing will adopt the Quartz Curve and test the validity of the less than 500-word shareable content as well as the over 800-word features or how-tos in Wednesday Writer’s Workshops and Friday Fiction Breakdowns. Delaney argued for a mixture of short and long pieces. I agree. You’ll get this daily, less than 500-word article and twice a week I’ll post 1,000 to 2,500-word features on writing and storytelling. Let’s see how it goes.

Thanks for reading this Daily Download. Do you like long features or quick, sharable-content? Please comment and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Until tomorrow.

Quartz Curve Credit

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