A graphic of a long form article next to the text '2024 Guide'

Oban’s long-form guide to creating long-form content in 2024

In recent years, platforms like TikTok and Instagram have dominated with short-form content, shaping user expectations. Despite this, there’s a growing trend back towards long-form content. This shift isn’t merely nostalgia; it’s a strategic response to consumer demands for depth, information, and value. It seems we are making a conscious effort to revive our focus and engage with more enriching content.

However, for many marketers, the task of creating successful long-form content can feel daunting and overwhelming. With this guide, we aim to demystify the process, providing you with the insights and tools you need to navigate the world of long-form content creation.


Table of Contents

Click to jump to each section

What is long-form content?

Why publish long-form content?

Types of long-form content

Is long-form content right for your brand?

Differences between long-form and short-form content

Understanding your audience before you start

General principles for creating long-form content

The importance of localisation in long-form content

How to make long-form content by type (with examples)

How to make long-form content work on social media

How to measure long-form content success

Useful tools for long-form content creation

FAQs about long-form content



What is long-form content?

Long-form content refers to written, audio, or visual content that delves deeply into a topic, typically exceeding traditional length standards. Unlike shorter forms like newsletters or social media updates, long-form content is characterised by its comprehensive nature, usually offering in-depth analysis, thorough research, and detailed explanations. This type of content usually goes beyond 1,000 words for written content, lasts longer than 30 minutes for podcasts or videos, and aims to provide extensive insights, context, and value to the audience.


Why publish long-form content?

Incorporating long-form content into your mix offers several benefits, including:

  1. Strategic value and authority: Demonstrates thorough analysis and high-quality information, helping you stand out and build trust as a thought leader.
  2. SEO and visibility: Enhances SEO by engaging readers for longer, leading to higher search rankings and better visibility.
  3. User engagement: Encourages more interaction, such as comments and shares, leading to higher conversion rates.
  4. Content versatility: Can be repurposed into infographics, podcasts, and video snippets, extending reach across platforms.
  5. Content library: Contributes to a substantial resource over time, valuable for current and potential customers.
  6. Customer education: Provides detailed information, leading to better-informed purchasing decisions and increased satisfaction.
  7. Long-term traffic: Attracts visitors over a longer period due to its lasting relevance and depth.

An infographic showing search rankings on a phone


Types of long-form content

Long-form content can take various forms, some of the most common being:

  • Longer blog posts: These can range from in-depth analysis to narrative-driven stories, with the blog format adding a personal touch and conversational tone to complex topics.
  • Feature articles: These articles, often found in magazines or online, offer detailed analysis, extensive research, and expert insights to provide a thorough understanding of various subjects.
  • Research papers: Often (although not always) with an academic tone, these papers involve comprehensive studies with extensive research, data analysis, and discussions of findings.
  • E-books: These digital books explore topics in depth, often serving as educational resources or detailed guides on specific subjects.
  • Longer form videos: These offer an in-depth exploration of a topic, using interviews, narration, and visual storytelling. They are effective for illustrating complex ideas in an engaging and accessible way. There’s a growing demand for video content – one 2024 video marketing surveyreveals that 89% of customers want to see more videos from brands in 2024.
  • Podcasts: Audio programmes that cover topics over single or multiple episodes. They provide thorough discussions and are often conversational, featuring experts, interviews, and analysis. The time people spend listening to podcasts has nearly doubledin the last five years.
  • Infographics and visual data representations: These use a combination of data and design to present information in a visually appealing and easily digestible format, often supplementing longer text-based content.
  • Interactive content: This includes web-based materials that promote user interaction, such as interactive maps, timelines, or quizzes.


Is long-form content right for your brand?

Before producing long-form content, consider several crucial factors. First, assess whether your industry deals with complex topics that require detailed explanations, such as technology, healthcare, or finance. Decide whether your target audience seeks thorough, in-depth information or prefers shorter, more digestible content. Evaluate if long-form content matches your marketing goals, such as establishing thought leadership or enhancing SEO.

Next, identify gaps in your current content strategy that long-form content could fill and assess the resources available for creating quality content, including time, budget, and expertise. Review past content performance to understand how your audience engages with different types of content.

Investing in long-form content is particularly beneficial if you aim to rank highly on Google or other search engines for specific queries, offer high-end or expensive enterprise services that require more commitment, work with larger enterprises in a B2B context, or have a product or service that is technical, complex, or impacts users’ health, finances, or lives. Long-form content can also help broaden your marketing funnel to attract more customers in the awareness stage.

However, long-form content isn’t always the best choice for every situation. Short-form content also has its merits and plays an important role in a balanced content strategy.


Differences between long-form and short-form content

While it’s not a binary choice between short-form and long-form content, each serves distinct purposes and caters to different audience needs. The table below outlines the key differences:

Aspect Short form content Long-form content
Length Typically under 1000 words Usually over 1000 words
Depth Covers topics briefly, often summarising key points Provides in-depth analysis and detailed information
Purpose Quick consumption, immediate engagement Comprehensive understanding, long-term engagement
SEO impact Short-term traffic spikes Sustained traffic over time, better SEO performance
Audience engagement Quick reads, easily shareable Encourages comments, shares, and in-depth interaction
Authority building Limited impact on perceived expertise Positions brand as thought leader with authority
User time investment Minimal, a few minutes Significant, over ten minutes
Content versatility Less flexible, often text based More versatile, can be repurposed into multiple content formats
Examples Social media posts, news articles, short blog posts Long blog posts, e-books, research papers, feature articles, longer videos, and podcasts
Ideal use cases Breaking news, quick updates, social media Detailed guides, comprehensive tutorials, in-depth analysis


Understanding your audience before you start

Effectively targeting the right audience for long-form content is essential for maximising its impact across diverse markets and languages. Here’s how to ensure your content resonates with the appropriate audience:

  • First, conduct thorough audience research by analysing demographics such as age, gender, location, and income, along with psychographic insights like interests and values. Use analytics tools like Google Analytics and social media insights to track visitor behaviour and identify engaging topics.
  • Develop detailed buyer personas representing different audience segments. Ensure these personas are tailored for each market, adjusting content to address the specific needs and preferences of each group.
  • Engage with your audience through surveys, feedback collection, and community participation to understand their preferences. Analyse competitor content to identify gaps and opportunities for unique insights. Test and iterate your content strategies based on performance metrics like time spent on page and conversion rates.


General principles for creating long-form content

Creating effective long-form content, whether written, video, or audio, requires careful planning and execution. The precise process will vary depending on your brand and objective, but in general, these are the steps to follow:

  1. Conduct comprehensive research
    • Gather extensive information from diverse sources such as industry reports, expert articles, competitor websites, and social media insights. This thorough research will be the foundation of your content’s depth and value.
  1. Outline your content
    • Develop a detailed outline that structures your content logically. Include key points, subtopics, and relevant data or case studies. A clear outline ensures your content flows seamlessly and covers all necessary aspects.
  1. Engage through storytelling
    • Use storytelling elements to make your content more engaging. Integrate authentic real-world instances, personal anecdotes, or detailed case studies to ensure the content resonates with your audience.
  1. Ensure quality production
    • For written content, focus on clarity, coherence, and an engaging writing style. Avoid complex language or jargon. For video and audio content, ensure high production quality with clear visuals and sound.
  1. Incorporate visuals and multimedia
    • Enhance your content with relevant images, infographics, videos, or audio clips. Visuals and multimedia elements break up text-heavy sections and make your content more engaging and digestible.
  1. Edit and revise
    • Thoroughly review and edit your content for accuracy, grammar, and style. For videos and audio, ensure clear editing and sound quality. Consider obtaining feedback from peers or using professional services to refine your content.
  1. Maintain a consistent publishing schedule
    • Plan and schedule your content releases strategically. Regularly publishing high-quality content helps build and maintain an engaged audience.
  1. Promote and monitor engagement
    • Promote your content across various channels and platforms. Use social media, email newsletters, and other marketing tools. Monitor engagement through comments, shares, and analytics to understand audience response and gather insights for future content.
  1. Localise content for international markets
    • Adapt your content for different languages and cultures to reach a global audience by working with Local In-Market Experts. This involves localising written content and adding subtitles or dubbing for videos. Ensure cultural relevance and sensitivity in all localised content. Read more about content localisation below.


The importance of localisation in long-form content

Localisation in international marketing is about making sure content resonates with diverse audiences worldwide, improving engagement and trust. This involves:


Adapting content:

  • Begin by using Local In-Market Experts to localise content.
  • Adjust idioms, references, and visuals to fit cultural norms.
  • Use popular local formats and platforms for content distribution.


Market research:

  • Study local consumer habits, competitor strategies, and regulatory environments.
  • Identify market trends and emerging opportunities in target countries.


Tailoring SEO strategies:


Incorporating cultural nuances:


Collaborating with local influencers and partners:

  • Collaborate with local influencers and businesses, including co-branding with established local brands, to enhance credibility and reach.
  • Engage with local communities through events and sponsorships to build a positive brand image.


How to make long-form content by type (with examples)

There are different types of long-form content. Here are some examples of how you can plan and execute different formats:


Long-form blog posts

What they are: In-depth articles that thoroughly cover a topic, often targeting high search volume keywords relevant to your offerings with low competition.


How to get started: Start by conducting keyword research to find high-search-volume keywords with low competition. Develop a comprehensive outline covering all aspects of your topic. Gather information, statistics, and examples to support your points through thorough research. Write a detailed, engaging, and informative post that adds value to your readers. Edit and proofread the content to ensure clarity, conciseness, and accuracy. Incorporate SEO techniques by including relevant keywords, meta descriptions, and internal links to boost search engine rankings.


Long-form blog post example: This Kaspersky article targets the search term ‘internet security’ – of obvious value to a cybersecurity company. The piece is approximately 4,000 words and ranks as number 1 on Google for the query ‘what is internet security’.


Long-form case studies

What they are: In-depth examinations of how a particular company solved a specific problem, showcasing your skills, expertise, and success with clients.


How to get started: Start by selecting a successful client project, gather detailed performance data, client testimonials, and results, and create a narrative that explains the challenges faced, the strategies implemented, and the measurable outcomes achieved. Supplement the case study with visual aids like charts and graphs to illustrate key points and enhance readability.


Case study example: Slack, a leading collaboration and communication tool for teams, is one of the fastest-growing B2B SaaS businesses in recent history. Its website features an effective Customer Stories section, showcasing case studies from satisfied customers who have benefited from using Slack. One notable example is the case study on the online payment platform Stripe. This detailed case study outlines the business challenges Stripe faced, how Slack provided solutions, and includes testimonials from Stripe’s team.



What they are: Research-based, academic-style reports offering solutions to specific problems or issues, establishing the author as an authority and persuading readers of the effectiveness of their solutions. Length varies but they are typically between 2000-5000 words. Their audience is usually prospects for B2B companies or companies offering technical and complex services.

How to get started:

Oban’s 10 tips to B2B whitepaper success is a useful guide. Otherwise, tips include:

  • Determine your objective: Define the purpose of your whitepaper. Are you educating your audience, solving a problem, or highlighting product benefits?
  • Choose the type: Select the format that best matches your goal. Options include technical whitepapers (product specifics), problem/solution whitepapers (issue and solution), and industry trends whitepapers (market insights).
  • Gather information: Collect detailed, credible information on your topic, including research data, case studies, expert opinions, and industry reports.
  • Outline your structure: Organise your content with a clear outline. Typical sections include an introduction, problem statement, background, solution, benefits, case studies, and conclusion.
  • Write, design, review, and edit: Write in a clear, professional tone, using data, graphs, and visuals to enhance engagement. Ensure the layout is visually appealing and easy to navigate. Thoroughly review and edit for clarity and accuracy and seek feedback from colleagues or industry experts.

Whitepaper example: AXA – Global Healthcare’s ‘Creating a workplace that’s fit for the future’ is a good example of the genre. It uses data from over 7,000 employees in 16 countries to tackle workplace wellbeing, a topic relevant to many. By focusing on inclusivity, gender equity, mental health, flexible working, and supportive managers, the whitepaper provides clear, actionable insights for employers. This positions AXA as a leader in the field, offering practical, research-based solutions to boost employee wellbeing and productivity.


Evergreen content

What it is: Search-optimised content that remains relevant and valuable to readers over time (although requiring periodic updates by content managers to stay current).


How to get started: Select topics that will remain relevant for years, and decide on the format you want to offer, such as product webpages, listicles, tutorials, or product reviews. Regularly update the post with new tips or changing best practices to ensure it remains a valuable resource for your audience.


Evergreen content example: Evergreen Garden’s Care’s blog on ‘How to choose the best compost for your plants’ is a good example of evergreen content. It’s an enduring topic that will interest readers year after year. The post is detailed and engaging with clear information, helpful tips, and relevant links. It has FAQs at the end which are useful for SEO purposes.



What it is: An engaging, well-designed digital ‘book’ that provides in-depth visual and written content on a specific topic or solution the reader is searching for. These are useful for positioning brands as thought leaders within their fields, as well as capturing new leads.

How to get started: Identify a valuable topic or solution that is both relevant to your product and compelling enough for potential customers to exchange their email addresses. Ensure the content is informative, engaging, and well-designed.

E-book example: Oban’s book, Going Global: How to improve your digital marketing performance in any market on the planet is a good example of an e-book. It’s aimed at marketers looking to grow their businesses internationally, offering practical advice on market research, SEO, paid media, social media, link-building, influencer collaboration, CRO, UX, global payments, e-commerce fulfilment, and setting global KPIs. It’s a valuable resource, addressing common pitfalls and providing actionable insights for successful global expansion.


How to make long-form content work on social media

To maximise the impact of long-form content on social media, you can adapt it to fit various platform formats and engage audiences effectively. Here’s how to do it:

  • Re-purpose content: Break down long-form content into digestible posts, create threads, or share key insights as teasers with links to the full article. This keeps your audience engaged and interested over time.
  • Visualise content: Use graphics, infographics, or video snippets to make complex information more accessible and shareable on visually-driven platforms like Instagram, TikTok, or Pinterest.
  • Serialise content: Split longer content into multiple parts to create anticipation and encourage return visits. This works well on platforms like X (formerly Twitter) or Facebook, fostering ongoing engagement.
  • Use interactive elements: Incorporate polls, questions, or calls-to-action to invite interaction and discussion.
  • Host live sessions: Use platforms like Facebook Live or Instagram Live to discuss topics from your long-form content, adding a personal touch and allowing real-time engagement.
  • Create community discussions: Use long-form content as a basis for discussion threads in online communities or groups, encouraging deeper conversation and engagement.
  • Use Stories and Reels: Highlight interesting parts of long-form content with short video formats like Stories or Reels on Instagram and Facebook, directing viewers to the full piece.


How to measure long-form content success

Once you’ve created your long-form content, you’ll want to analyse various metrics to gauge its impact and effectiveness. Here are key steps to help you evaluate your content’s performance:

  1. Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Identify the metrics that correspond to your content objectives, such as the duration users spend on a page, engagement levels, conversion rates, and SEO outcomes.
  2. Analyse metrics and performance data: Use tools like Google Analytics to track user behaviour, including page views, bounce rates, and click-through rates. Analyse these metrics regularly to understand how your content is performing and identify areas for improvement.
  3. Gather feedback and iterate for improvement: Solicit audience feedback through surveys, comments, and social media interactions. Use their preferences and suggestions to refine your content strategy.

An infographic showing long form video analytics


Useful tools for long-form content creation

A non-exhaustive list of tools you might find use for long-form content creation include:

  1. Google Analytics – Analyse website traffic and user behaviour to evaluate content performance.
  2. Trello and Asana – Plan and manage content effectively.
  3. Grammarly – Ensure error-free and polished written content.
  4. Monday.com and Basecamp – Manage projects and improve team collaboration.
  5. SEMrush Keyword Overview – Analyse and target keywords for SEO to reach ideal customers.
  6. Canva – Create designs for blog posts, videos, social media, and more without graphic design skills.
  7. Google Trends – Analyse search query popularity to understand seasonal trends and patterns.

. . .

Oban can help you succeed

Ready to start your long-form content journey in 2024? At Oban, we’re here to help you create in-depth, high-quality content that resonates with global audiences and sets you apart from the competition. Contact us today to find out how.


FAQs about long-form content

Why should I publish long-form content?
Long-form content provides several benefits, including improved SEO, enhanced user engagement, establishing authority and trust, content versatility, and long-term traffic. It helps position your brand as a thought leader and builds a valuable content library.

How do I start creating long-form content?
Begin by defining your objective and choosing the right type of long-form content. Conduct thorough research, create a detailed outline, and write in a clear, professional tone. Use visuals to support your points and review your content for clarity and accuracy.

How can long-form content be repurposed?
Long-form content can be repurposed into various formats, such as infographics, video snippets, podcasts, or social media posts. This extends its reach and appeal across multiple platforms, making the most of your investment.

How do I measure the success of long-form content?
Measure success using key performance indicators (KPIs) like time spent on page, engagement metrics, conversion rates, and SEO performance. Analysing these metrics helps you understand the impact of your content so you can make necessary adjustments.

Oban International is the digital marketing agency specialising in international expansion.
Our LIME (Local In-Market Expert) Network provides up to date cultural input and insights from over 80 markets around the world, helping clients realise the best marketing opportunities and avoid the costliest mistakes.

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