I enjoyed your thoughtful and fact-filled post, Tim.
I concur with — to make an impression and to convert ‘considerers’ to customers, long-form content is key.
B2B content consumers — customers, analysts, prospects, and advocates — are part of an ecosystem — where there is no one way to enter. This ecosystem is part discovery-driven, part funnel-driven, part sustainability-driven. Effective businesses teach, help solve, and partner with readers to continue to build and sustain a relationship.
The ‘lily pads’ of that ecosystem are content and content marketing. Search, form factor, short-form video, factoids, tweets, 2,000-word blog posts and 18-page white papers each have a role and responsibility in the content marketing ecosystem. Without one, the other ones do not thrive. Take away the tweets and graphic factoids and the social referrals to the 2000-word blog post decrease — along with the white paper downloads. Remove the 2000-word blog post from the ecosystem and the social referrals amount to nothing more than billboards with no destination.
Successful content marketers holistically think of content. Social posts and short-form content are based on the long-form content destination — like one lily pad leading to another. The user experience is critical — always pointing to the next step — in a B2B marketing ecosystem. Sometimes shorter content is quicker and easier to produce than longer content. However, if it's created in the context of this bigger ecosystem, then it's not so easy — since we have to weave together the story allowing multiple entry points into the ecosystem.
As keepers of the content marketing ecosystem, we need to pay attention to all of the lily pads and other things influencing its health. Things change, ecosystems change, and content marketing strategies change.
Here’s to feeding the ecosystem with long-form, short-form, and new-form content!