Long Form Content vs Video Format

And the winner is . . .

Ann Handley is a content marketing whiz, respected author and speaker at some of the most well-known marketing conferences around the world. In her interview at an Oslo Epic Content Marketing conference, Ann sheds light on the idea of video and long-form content being equal in weight.

Wait a minute. Video? As in the most hyped about form of content we’ve seen in recent years? Yes. With some respect, I would have to agree. And here’s why.

Video is an amazing attention grabber in short form. It captures an audience quickly. It can also be lengthened to produce long, informative pieces of content, making video content flexible in its nature. However, long-form written content is not going anywhere either. It may be a “dying breed” up against more stimulating, upbeat and fast content, but long-form content has its place.

Working in the aviation industry for several years now, I’ve seen a trend in how audiences in this particular industry consume information. Becoming a pilot, or simply learning about airplanes in general is complex.

To aid an effective marketing strategy with a tactical plan, you need both long-form written content and video to do so. The buying cycle on average for a conceptual lead turned aircraft owner is 18 months long. This means you, as a marketer, need to nurture this prospect through a funnel with mixed media and tons of information.

Long form articles can be informative, and can teach the viewer about different parts of an airplane, the steps to take to acquire an aircraft and what do all those warranties really mean? It’s technical and let’s the reader go at their own pace.

Video is more flexible. In the aviation industry, we use video to capture customer testimonials in long and short form to share with prospects who might like to hear from an existing customer. Videos can also include technical details about airplane parts and service.

It’s ideal to switch up your content formats to keep viewers engaged, especially if the buying cycle is longer. Some long-form pieces of content can be reproduced into a shorter video. Now you have two pieces of complimentary content that can be shared differently among places like online pilot forums versus general social media channels.

Ann Handley stated in her Epic Content Marketing interview “You need to plan out your content strategy… it doesn’t start with [a deadline], it starts with your customer.”

This way of thinking can be applied to the thought of long-form content versus video format. One does not outweigh the other. With your customer in mind, you very likely will need both.

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