When promoting your creative work, using the right marketing strategies can make all the difference in the success and growth of your business. Marketing is all about communicating with your target audience and finding potential customers and fans. The most effective way of doing this is by using a strategic blend of short form and long form content. In this post, we will dive into the difference between long-form vs. short-form content, and the best ways to blend these types of content marketing so you get the most reach for your time and effort.
What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing refers to the use of information or “content” for promoting a brand or product. There are many forms of content marketing, including written, photo, video, or audio. These chunks of information take time and energy to create, but once they are made, they support your brand and act as assets to you and your creative business.
Content serves your brand in several ways. It educates your audience about you and the nuances of your business. It also builds trust with your target market and helps you connect with your ideal customer on a deeper level.
You can even repurpose old content and sell your templates to other companies. Many media companies make money by selling pre-made content across various platforms.
Content marketing is an effective strategy for growing your brand, especially when you use long-form and short-form content together.
If you need more information about the basics of marketing your creative business, check out this post: 12 Essential Marketing Basics To Grow Your Creative Business
Long Form Vs Short Form Content
Long-form content refers to longer, more detailed chunks of information. This content is typically used to educate or entertain your target audience. It requires more effort to create, but if done correctly can build more trust in your brand and bring more value to your potential customers.
Short-form content refers to smaller, easily digestible bits of information that your audience can consume quickly. This content requires less time and focus from your target audience, so it spreads more quickly. Short-form content is more effective than long-form in gaining attention from potential customers and convincing them to take some kind of action quickly.
Using long-form and short-form content together gives you a well-rounded marketing strategy that can support and grow your brand for years to come.
Here are some examples of the different content out there, and suggestions on how to use them together to build your creative business.
Long-Form Content: Educate Your Audience
Long-form content gives more information than a typical social media post. It can be structured as a blog post, video, podcast or even a book.
Long-form content will take more time to create, but you can make your content ever-green so that the information included stays relevant and valuable for a long time. In this way, you can use this same content to grow your business for years to come.
Blogging is a powerful type of long-form content because you can bring a great deal of information to your audience at one time. You should set up your blog in one central location that you can trust. This is where you will send your potential customers to learn more about your brand.
Blogging is great for people who enjoy writing and doing a deeper dive into the details of their products and businesses. They can help you build trust with your target audience and educate them about the important parts of your business.
However, posts can take a long time to create and they can take years to build traction and gain organic reach. Blogs often need support from SEO strategies or other marketing channels such as social media or paid advertising to get traffic.
Yes, there are other platforms for posting your long-form video content besides just YouTube.
However, since YouTube is owned by Google and is the 2nd largest search engine in the world, you will reach a lot more people by posting your videos to YouTube rather than most other video platforms.
YouTube videos offer a great long-form option for anyone who prefers talking to a camera over writing and editing blog posts.
In fact, video content has been on the rise in recent years. More people are turning to YouTube to answer their questions and provide entertainment than ever before.
Long-form videos are also versatile. You can splice and edit them into shorter content for other platforms, such as TikTok and Instagram. And with YouTube’s new “shorts” feature, you can even share short-form content quickly right on the platform.
Like blog posts, YouTube videos should focus on answering customer questions and doing a deeper dive into your brand. Use videos to educate and support your target audience so they will be ready to purchase from you when the time comes.
If you prefer to talk about your brand, but you don’t want to edit videos, Podcasts might be the right avenue for you.
Podcasts are a great way to talk to your audience and let them get to know you. You can focus your podcast episodes on specific topics and even create a series that keeps them engaged for longer periods of time.
Podcasts are a good way to connect with potential customers. However, they do not provide a good “home base” location for your audience to gather. Also, most podcast platforms do not offer the option to leave comments or interact with you.
Use podcasts for supportive content that educates your audience and gives them information about you and your business. But the goal of each episode should be to send them to your “hub” to communicate with you directly and to sign up for your offers.
I like podcasts as an educational tool. However, this is my least favorite long-form content option. The nature of podcasting makes it difficult to connect with your audience on a deeper level and capture leads for future promotions. To grow your business, you must send your listeners elsewhere to comment or purchase. This means you are likely to lose some of them along the way.
Books are another type of long-form content that can support your brand.
For some, the book IS the main product of the brand, and marketing it effectively is the purpose of your business.
For others, books are simply a supportive mechanism to entice potential customers to get to know them better and help them with a specific problem.
If you choose to include books in your marketing strategy, decide on your purpose in advance. If your books are the main focus of your creative business, then choose at least 2 other marketing mechanisms to help you promote them. Treat them like a product rather than a marketing tool.
However, if the purpose of your books is to support other products or services in your business, you can use them much like you would your other long-form content options. You can use books as lead magnets to attract more customers or to direct your target audience to your central hub.
Books take a much longer time to produce than the other content options on this list. However, once they exist, you can use them in many ways to promote your brand and grow your business.
Published books also add authenticity and authority to your brand and can build more trust with your target audience.
Short-Form Content: Capture Attention And Spread Awareness
Short-Form content focuses on smaller bits of information that your audience can absorb quickly. Most social media posts are short form content.
This type of content should communicate a precise message and should be structured to grab attention quickly. Most social media posts will only show up on your potential customer’s feed for a few seconds. They must be engaging enough to convince your audience to stop scrolling and pay attention to you.
Because of the quick, digestible nature of short-form content, this information will not be relevant as long as your long-form content.
However, it will spread more quickly and be seen by more people. Short-form content should be your “top-of-funnel” strategy that pulls your audience in to consume your deeper content.
Social Media is the most obvious place to post short-form content. However, discussion feeds also provide excellent opportunities for this type of marketing.
Facebook is still the largest social media platform to date, but it is aging. The platform is over-saturated with content and so all your followers will not see your posts.
However, Facebook offers opportunities for positive engagement with your audience and can be used as a central hub for your business.
- Facebook Pages allow you to set up a central location where your fans can get information and updates about your brand. Your page also lets you link to your website or individual products in your bio and posts.
- Facebook Groups allow you to interact with different levels of fans in different ways. They make it easy to set up contests and polls and to collaborate with your ideal customer.
Facebook is a great hub for your brand, and marketing should focus on community and conversation.
It’s not the ideal platform for spreading the word about who you are. You must post consistently on your pages and groups to be seen by your followers, and you are not likely to find new customers simply by posting content.
However, if you join the right groups and interact with other people’s fans strategically, you may gain extra reach. Paid ads can also be an effective outreach strategy.
Instagram is all about visual aesthetics and representation. If your products are visually appealing, or you have a unique way of presenting them and displaying them, you may do well on Instagram.
Instagram has become saturated in recent years, so getting organic reach has become more difficult. To grow on Instagram and reach new customers, you have to post several times a day and remain active on the platform.
Stories and short-form video (called reels) do reasonably well. However, even when you put extra effort into these videos, it’s still difficult to reach a new audience without a strategic plan.
Instagram used to be my go-to social media platform, but I feel that in recent years, their support of small business has declined. One of my least favorite things about the platform is how hard they make it to share content elsewhere.
You can still build a business on the platform itself, but keep in mind that strategies that worked a few years ago or even a few months ago may no longer be effective.
If you choose to focus on Instagram, pay attention to the aesthetics of your feed. Once you post, your content stays available on your grid for people to see whenever they visit your profile.
Use Instagram as a gallery to showcase your brand and what it can do for your potential customers. Post pictures and videos of your products, your processes, and yourself to illustrate the personality behind your business.
Twitter can be a helpful marketing tool if you are consistently active on the platform. Twitter users are looking for short, precise bits of information, so you can use it to promote powerful ideas and statements quickly.
However, because the platform limits the amount of information you can share, it does not make a good home-base for your brand. Unlike Facebook and Instagram, you would have a difficult time building your entire business on Twitter.
Make sure you have somewhere else to send your customers to purchase, such as a Facebook Page or website.
Twitter is an excellent place to communicate small bits of information about your brand. So, use twitter to share quotes and ideas that support your brand and products. Also, tweet about upcoming promotions and sales, or to tell people about upcoming events.
Because tweets are easily shareable, Twitter is an excellent option for reaching new people. To gain more reach, use popular hashtags, and post inspirational or helpful pieces of information that others will want to share with their friends and followers.
Tiktok is a fun place to spread awareness about your brand. Following trends can help you grow your account and reach more people faster. However, those followers don’t always translate into sales.
TikTok has grown exponentially in recent years, so it’s the one platform that marketers seem to suggest the most. However, the platform’s main focus is entertainment, not supporting your business.
Whereas it is possible to build a brand and gain a lot of organic reach, it’s also easy to get sucked into creating content that brings in lots of viewers but few customers.
If you want to use TikTok as part of your marketing strategy, focus on short-form, valuable content. Also, be patient and let your account grow over time. Chasing trends may bring you more reach, but that reach will only be helpful to you if you reach the right audience.
So, use trends strategically. Niche down and focus on your target market.
Like Instagram, you can only have one link in your profile on TikTok. So either link to your most important long-form content, or use a link-tree to showcase multiple options for your potential customers.
Pinterest is my favorite social media platform because it’s set up to support businesses. Users go to Pinterest to find things they want to buy, make or do. Because the audience on this platform is already in the frame of mind to take action, they are more likely to click through to your content.
If you want to grow on Pinterest, focus on reach more than followers. Followers are nice, but it’s the keywords and SEO that will help you grow your audience.
Keep in mind, however, that Pinterest is a great platform for reach but not as a home-base. For this reason, it is an excellent supportive platform, but it should not be your only marketing strategy.
Your pins should direct potential customers back to a central hub such as a Facebook Page, Website or Email list.
If you want to know more about using Pinterest for your creative business, check out this post: How To Grow A Remarkable Brand with Pinterest
LinkedIn is a great platform for professional networking. However, I haven’t found the platform to be particularly helpful in promoting creative work.
On the other hand, if your creative business is based around helping people in a professional setting using creative tools such as printables or similar products, LinkedIn might be a good place to start.
Like Facebook, you can set up a central page so that all of your relevant information is accessible. You can even write blog posts on the platform to share with your connections and on other social media.
LinkedIn is a suitable alternative to Facebook if you are looking for more business-oriented clients.
There are several discussion feeds out there that support conversations on creative topics. Reddit and Quora are two of the most popular.
Many people forget about these platforms as possible marketing avenues, but they can be quite effective when used strategically.
I have gotten the best results simply by sharing my most relevant blog posts to my profile and then interacting with people in related feeds. When I offer helpful information and answer people’s questions, they occasionally check out my profile and click through to my website.
This is another strategy that I recommend as a supportive marketing technique. Because your profile is set up more like a discussion feed than a page, people who check out your profile will only see a limited amount of information.
To use this marketing method effectively, you must have a hub somewhere else to send people who want more information. Once again, send potential customers to one or two highly relevant places such as your Facebook Page, Website, or Email list.
How To Use Short-Form and Long-Form Content Together
Short-form and long-form content are most powerful when combined strategically. As a creator, you have a limited amount of time and energy to spend on your content marketing. You can’t do it all.
Instead, choose one type of long-form content and only 2 or 3 types of short-form content to focus on. These content forms should complement each other so your marketing efforts become simpler and more powerful.
Powerhouse Content Combinations
To combine content strategies in the most effective way possible, pair like-content together.
If blogging is your long-form of choice, then choose short-form content options that work well with written content. Once your blog post is complete, share quotes on Twitter, and Pins on Pinterest.
As a bonus, head over to Discussion Threads like Reddit and Quora and answer questions related to your blog content. Then direct those who are interested back to your blog.
If video is your most comfortable form of content, choose YouTube as your long-form content option. Then, film and edit your long videos to be repurposed in short-form posts. This works best for posting on Instagram Reels and TikTok.
If podcasting is your preferred long-form content marketing, then dictate it into written content or keep notes handy. Pull quotes from your episodes and turn them into attractive graphics for Instagram and Pinterest. Also share new episodes on Facebook.
No matter what form you choose, you should always direct your target audience back to your “central hub”. This can be a website, Facebook Page, or LinkedIn profile. And bonus points if you entice your audience to join your email list.
Learn more about why email lists are so important here: What’s The Big Deal About Email Lists?
Using these marketing strategies together will propel your content marketing efforts much further.
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Long-Form and Short-Form content marketing are both great ways to promote your creative business. However, when used together, they become a powerhouse of content that can support and grow your brand exponentially.
Long-Form Content such as blogs, YouTube videos, and Podcasts provide great opportunities for educating your audience and building trust with potential customers.
Short-Form content, such as social media and discussion feeds, give you more potential reach and entice your audience to pay attention to your brand.
Use like-content to support each other, and cut your marketing work in half. And focus on the content types that are best for your particular business.
What is your favorite form of content marketing? Tell me about it in the comments!
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