People have precious little time these days to devote to consuming content – online or offline, time is at a premium. And yet, people have a need to be informed and entertained, and that is not diminished by the amount of time they have to devote to these pursuits.
What can they do?
Where is the balance?
As a content producer you cannot please everyone, so put that idea out of your mind right now. Your goal is to target the broadest possible spectrum of your audience while also ranking well in the SERPs. In order to do this, you need to know one thing: Which type of content does your audience prefer, epic length or quick bite content?
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Pros & Cons: Epic Length Content
- Plenty of time / space to explain an idea or illustrate a concept or series of steps
- More text, enables a writer to work in more relative keywords and phrases in a natural way
- Long content can be a turn-off for viewers who are short on time or have shorter attention spans
- Long content means scrolling, something some people do not like to do
Epic length content definitely has its place in the world of content marketing. Publications like The New Yorker and Time Magazine have made a business out of publishing epic length content in print and in the digital space. And it seems to be working for them. The question is, would it work for you?
Some audiences, like those of The New Yorker or Time Magazine, like and deliberately seek out epic length content – this is why these two publications work to produce this content. It is, quite simply, what they are known for.
Some other brands are known for similar work. Here at RankPop we typically work with longer pieces and posts, usually 500+ words minimum. We feel that this allows us to really get our ideas across and provide visual aids and explanation of those aids without sacrificing the ability of the rest of the piece to inform or entertain.
- From the brilliant minds at Copyblogger: How to Create Epic Content – by Demian Farnworth
- From the folks at ThinkTraffic: 7 Ways to Write Epic Sh*t – by Gregory Ciotti
Pros & Cons: Quick Bite Content
- Easy to read in one sitting
- Does not require much (if any) scrolling
- Shorter content doesn’t leave a lot of room for explaining something in detail
- Shorter content cannot deliver the in-depth experience that some people enjoy, and can instead leave them feeling unfulfilled and dissatisfied
More and more, especially over the past few years, quick bite content has been rising to prominence in the world of content marketing. People who do not have a lot of time for consuming content tend to prefer shorter pieces because they can consume them in a few minutes and be on their way.
Video: David Burch on Producing Short Form Content
David talks about research that suggests shorter videos have the lowest immediate click-away or bounce rates.
A lot of brands have adopted this type of content as their primary communication tool for reaching their audiences, and for a lot of them it is working like a charm. The real question as to whether or not quick bite content is effective or not lies in the engagement numbers between your viewers and your brand.
Engagement is the Key
The real deciding factor in the contest between epic length content and quick bite content is how well it goes over with your audience. Some people simply prefer one over the other, and others could go either way depending on the individual piece of content they are consuming.
Different type of content are held to different standards as well; a written piece can be “longer” perceptibly than a video or an audio clip; people will often sit still longer in order to digest a written work but will have less patience for a video for example.
What kind of content do you produce most often (written pieces, videos, audio, etc) and would you say they were epic length or quick bite content?