Here are four reasons why fashion, beauty and lifestyle businesses should be posting 2000+ word articles or blog posts. And let me warn you, I can be quite convincing.
When content marketing started to really get traction in the marketing world and businesses started to take notice, I interviewed for a Content Manager position. And I will never forget when the interviewer asked me, “Have you ever written 2000+ word content?” And I looked like, “What!?” And my eyes were super huge. I flat out responded, “No, I definitely have not.” I couldn’t even fake it. I knew right then and there, I was not going to be hired for this position nor was it a good fit. They were specifically in the interior products business, and at the time, I just didn’t believe that long-form content was the answer for a brand like their's. I quickly realized how wrong I was.
A lot of SEO specialists and digital marketers were singing long-form content’s praises for generating more leads, but I wasn’t convinced it applied to all businesses. But the more I researched, the more I understood. Of course, fashion, beauty, and lifestyle businesses should be doing this. Think about how many of us type in, “how to style a striped dress” or “hacks to getting a close shave.” And we all know there is written and video content out there to answer these questions, but most of these questions are answered and created by media, not by brands. Why is that?
Brands and businesses (especially online businesses) need to be the first search result to answer the questions of their customers. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. We’re not even talking about the creativity in content. Just simply providing answers that are directly (or indirectly) tied to your business is a great strategy, alone. Salons, doctors’ offices specializing in laser treatments, cosmetic surgery centers, spas, etc. should be producing tons of video and long-form as a part of their marketing strategy. Not just relying on paid ads, Groupon and LivingSocial.
Most fashion and beauty businesses have measly and neglected (and did I mention not pleasing to the eye) blogs that are periodically updated with news, sales, or short blog posts that don’t really bring value to the reader (aka a potential customer). Remember, this is the attraction part of the buyer cycle. But, you want to know what is great about knowing this info? It means you can drastically improve your traffic, your leads, and get more customers. You can actually kill the competition by doing one thing-- posting more long-form content that brings value to potential customers.
First, let’s define long-form content:
According to Wordstream, long-form content is generally defined as blog post content with more than 700 words, with a potential average of around 1200 words.
You don’t have to stick to this word count, but this is a good guide. And as you probably suspected, the longer, the better. More like 1500 - 2000 words. But it can’t just be 2000 words for the sake of being 2000 words. It needs to resonate, be relevant and interesting to your target audience. This is assuming you have customer or buyer personas written out that can help drive the tone and perspective of the content. Quality over quantity, always.
Sounds good? Good. I’m not completely done convincing you yet. I’ve listed, in detail, my top reasons why it is a winning digital strategy.
1. I promise you will rank higher in search results (without having to do paid ads!)
Creating a high-quality 1500 word piece of content that delights your audience, optimized with the right keywords, and is mobile responsive will generate more traffic to your business. And who doesn’t want that?
Trusted digital marketer and blogger, Neil Patel says including links with additional information to learn more about other resources your business provides, or resources that are related to your business is also necessary. And after a while, you will notice bloggers and websites start linking to you! See Neil’s stats below for some of his blog posts. The number one ranked post was 2,416 words. And you can get these kinds of numbers with any industry. You just have to be creative.
2. Add value for your customers without discounting products or services
I believe this should be the main driver for creating any type of content, whether it is a video, short blog post or long-form content. What more can you provide to your customer that will make you look more credible and trustworthy? By helping your customer find answers to questions that are relevant to what your business offers and its surrounding ‘lifestyle.’ So, what the heck am I talking about?
For example, let’s say you are a doctor’s office that focuses on laser treatments, among other things. But, let’s go with laser. I’m picking laser because I’m a huge fan and just wrapped my final treatment a month ago. So, obviously I’ve been telling the world how it has basically changed my life. Not kidding.
If you Google, “laser hair removal,” see what comes up:
Of course, you’ll see the big guys specializing in laser and paying the big bucks at the top of the page, but you also see the WebMd search result that says, “Benefits, Side Effects, and Cost”. This is a prime opportunity to post a doctor endorsed long-form blog post to include video, multimedia, and links to more information. And the doctor’s office would also be reaching a specific customer persona with this tactic.
If you scroll further down, you will notice related searches. And there you have it, seven topics to write a long-form blog post specifically focused on laser hair removal.
Okay, let’s try another example. Let’s go with a jewelry company. Chokers to be exact, since they have recently become a huge trend. I searched, 'choker necklaces' and per usual, the huge brands are dominating the keywords, but take a look at related searches. I see ‘chocker necklace diy’.
You are probably wondering, “Why would a jewelry brand want to create a post around a diy choker? They won’t end up buying from the brand!” Breathe, I got this. Hear me out.
Let’s look at the facts. According to Google, there are between 1,000 to 10,000 searches for ‘choker necklace diy.’ So, why wouldn’t you want to get in on that?
So, my strategy would be to feature one of the jewelry brand’s best-selling chokers as the focal point for inspiration, and then provide a step-by-step blog post on how to create one very similar, but not EXACTLY like the one the brand sells. The post would also include some history on the origin of the choker as well as styling suggestions. In the end, the reader may or may not create the DIY or buy from the brand, but at least the reader has been exposed to the brand and has received value. It tells readers, I don’t mind showing you how it’s done because I know my product is superior and I’m confident in that. BOOM.
3. Which leads me to the third reason. You become a thought leader in the industry!
Like, who doesn’t want to become the number one resource and/or publisher as a business? This can easily happen when you are focused on creating content around your customer personas, speaking to them in their language and meeting their needs, concerns, and most importantly, desires. Net-A-Porter does an excellent job at this, and is THE leading online luxury retailer. And a big reason for this is their commitment to content and editorial with their magazine, The Edit.
They got on the train early and won. Their customers come to the site for more than products, they get styling and storytelling. Not only is it shoppable, is also provides another revenue stream by selling ads against the magazine as well. Sounds like a good ROI to me.
3. Long-form content can save you a lot of time in resources in the long-run.
You can do a whole lot more with long-form content than you can with quick and dirty blog or social media posts. The possibilities are endless - you can take a 2,000-word article or post, and pull captions for Instagram and Facebook, as well as create shorter blog posts. Do a photoshoot, so you have excellent and original photos to accompany your post, which most of you probably already have in your arsenal of imagery. Plus, how about shooting video during the photoshoot? Remember, you need to have a strategic game plan for the video, like a script. Edit a 30-50 second video for Instagram and Facebook, and post the full version on your site. You see how that one post gave you weeks worth of content.
4. Converting readers into buyers!
Isn’t this what we really care about anyway? When you have evergreen content (aka, content that doesn’t go out of style), it can keep working for you long after a paid ad will. As I mentioned earlier, in order to convert and close you need to attract strangers to your business with some useful and creative content, engage them and turn them into leads, and hopefully customers. Check out the visual below courtesy of Quick Sprout. Is it a lot of work? Yes. Will it happen overnight, or even a week? No. But most things worth having without spending extra mula, is worth it.
I’m sure your heart is beating super fast and you are feeling overwhelmed. Breathe, you can relax. All of your content doesn’t HAVE to be long-form. But committing to writing one to two posts a week over a 3-6 months period will do wonders for your business.
And if you’re feeling like, “shit, I have to start doing this like, today,” and need help figuring this mess out? Hit the button, below.