Which is Better For Content Marketing: Long-Form or Short, Regular Posts?

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Which is Better For Content Marketing: Long-Form or Short, Regular Posts?

There seems to be some confusion over which is a better content marketing strategy: Long, deep well-researched articles or short, to-the-point regular updates. Not any more.

Long Versus Short Articles

There’s no reason to debate the issue of which is better: Long, deep, well-researched articles posted from time to time on your website or short, to-the-point regular, daily or multiple times daily, updates? I know the answer. And I have the proof.

Long Articles

There’s a fella I have known for quite some time (eight internet years is equal to the same in dog years). He ignores all of my rules and writes only long, deep, well-researched articles. About one article each day or less but not more. And he gets 10-13K unique visitors daily. See? I am wrong. Right? Well, it took him about seven years to get to his current level of traffic. If you have seven years, go ahead and use his method.

Very Short Articles

There’s another guy who punches out as many as a hundred tiny bits of posts daily. They are almost like Twitter-length posts. Even sound bites. He, too, ignores all my rules and can get 100+K visits each day. See,  I am wrong again. Right? He also has a near 100 percent bounce rate. If his method works for you, by all means, go for it.

Long Articles Plus Social

There’s yet another person I know who writes three to four posts weekly, sometimes less but never more and he gets several thousand people to read each post, sometimes more. But when he is not writing, he is on the phone, or traipsing throughout the social networks both virtually and physically to make contact and bring more attention to his posts. By the time he has attracted those 1,000 or 10,000 visitors to an article, he has spent a LOT of time (hours) doing so. 5 to 10 hours to get 10,000 visitors?  Is it worth it? That time might have been better spent writing more quality content that gets found. This strategy is NOT content marketing. This fellow is marketing his content.  They are NOT the same.

Just Right Articles

In a previous article here at Search Engine Journal, I made reference to a class I taught in an MBA program at a fully-accredited university in Silicon Valley. In that class I allowed my students to pick their own strategy – multiple daily bite-sized updates on their topic of choice, or deeper, more researched articles on a daily basis. You can have a glimpse of the results here: Top 20 sites in the Marketing with Social Media Course after 9 weeks. (Keep in mind, most students let their hosting expire after the class was finished.) Not one student writing long, deep, well-researched articles made it to the top 20.

The students who updated their sites multiple times daily without sacrificing the integrity of the content, far outperformed the students who updated their sites just once a day. After just four months, the students who updated their sites multiple times were seeing from 3,500 – 7,500 unique organic visits monthly with 4,ooo – 5,000 being the average. You can see their results at a previous post here at Search Engine Journal – from zero to 3,000 unique visitors in 4 months.

The students who updated their sites once a day saw 150 – 1500 unique organic visits monthly with 200 – 300 being the norm. Here are screen shots of three students. Keep in mind, these students were highly motivated to write good stuff and stay on pace (their grades depended on it).

Long Deep Well-researched Articles

Long Deep Well-researched Articles

Long Deep Well-researched Articles - 2

Long Deep Well-researched Articles – 2

Long Deep Well-researched Articles - 3

Long Deep Well-researched Articles – 3

Results

Compare the high number of visitors to sites that posted multiple times daily (3,500) to the low number of visitors to sites that posted once each day (300). Posting quality, bite-sized articles multiple times a day versus once a day produced more than 10 times the organic search results.

Next question, please!

Next Article – Quantity versus Quality – Must we decide?

 

Image: Property of Bill Belew

Screen shots taken March 2, 2014. 

Bill Belew
Professor, Speaker, Author, blogger, all-around old man. Having taught a full 48-hour MBA course in Marketing with Social Media at a graduate school in Silicon... Read Full Bio
Bill Belew
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