Longform Content Strategy

By Ian Richardson, Principal Consultant, Fox & Crow

Content creation is hard work (even with the advances in AI technology) and longform content strategy is an important skill to master when you’re adding content marketing to your marketing tool kit.

Understanding your audience is critical. Who are you trying to influence via your content? Who is the “Buyer”?

That buyer persona has certain problems they experience. There are desires they want to have realized. There are beliefs they have, regardless of accuracy, that influence their decisions.

Your content must align around these problems, beliefs, and desires. Without that alignment your messaging will fall flat. You’ll likely feel foolish for the investment of time and treasure.

You might even think marketing will never work for your organization.

Marketing is all about consistency and luck. Present the right message to the right audience on a cadence and something will happen. Usually the something isn’t about what you did – its out of your control. Whatever it was that happened isn’t important – what is important is that your audience shifts. They are now receptive to your message. They engage with you.

That’s the luck.

You can’t control luck.

But you can control consistency. Trying to come up with 52 weeks of great content is overwhelming. Using a longform content strategy can make it manageable.

Create a longform content bank

Jennifer Bleam from MSP Sales Revolution shared the concept of the content bank. You can hear from her below.

Jennifer’s process revolves around the concept of building a longform content bank. The basics are straightforward and simple.

  1. Start creating longform pieces of content (5 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour max).
  2. Take those pieces of longform content and “cut/edit” them. Create small, digestible pieces of “micro-content” (think 30 seconds to 3 minutes max).
  3. You should get 3-5 pieces of micro-content out of each piece of longform content.
  4. Create other mediums (written, graphics, etc.) out of the micro-content.
  5. Schedule the content to your marketing channels.

I had a few best practices that bubbled up from our conversation that I wanted to share:

  • Figure a way to create content that both enhances your brand and creates demand.
  • Schedule routine longform content generation.
  • Build a structure or framework for longform content around the micro-content. Use agendas and checklists.
  • Set goals for each part of the process. Number of pieces per longform. Turnaround time. Supporting content from each micro-content clip.
  • Use a theme-based calendar to hit the major Problems, Beliefs, and Desires for your buyers.
  • Only one buyer targeted per piece of content. Be specific to be terrific.

Final thoughts on longform content

Longform content creation can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Structure helps create routine. Build a library off of a few longform items. If you take 2 – 3 months of longform, you can likely expand it into a year’s worth of micro-content.

Schedule each part of the process onto your calendar. Delegate parts of the process where you can.

If you keep up the pace, you can create grace for your busy seasons.

If you’re looking for processes around marketing, we’ve got your back. Check out our whitepapers at https://foxcrowgroup.com/resources/whitepapers/

If you’d like help, grab some time at Contact | Fox & Crow Group (foxcrowgroup.com) and lets get the conversation started.

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