How Small Businesses Can Win Over Local Audiences with Longform Content
Compared to social media posts, short ad spots, brief newsletters and quickly written blog posts, long-form content takes more time and can take more resources—and the right distribution channels aren’t always obvious.
When results aren’t guaranteed, small businesses are safer sticking to marketing and advertising strategies that require less effort and offer more predictable results. But ignoring long-form storytelling can also hurt your small business as your brand misses out on the opportunity to generate deep engagement and connection with your local audience. Innovative solutions like YurView offer local “channels” capable of delivering long-form content to your local audience—empowering your small business with influential tools and capabilities that have largely been out of reach.
The business case for long-form content is strong—and some of the advantages of this approach are particularly relevant to small, local businesses.
Those benefits include the following:
- Your audience is engaged for longer periods of time. The more time your audience spends consuming your brand’s content, the more meaningful that touchpoint becomes. Short, snackable content can sometimes struggle to make a lasting impression or influence a purchasing decision, but longer content inevitably increases the opportunity for those outcomes—which can support a number of different marketing and advertising goals.
- Brand retention and recognition are greatly improved. A number of studies have independently confirmed that longer periods of engagement lead to higher rates of brand recall. Long-form content gives space for your business to reinforce logos, music, messaging and other branded elements that help your audience remember your brand after their content-viewing experience has passed.
- Long-form stories give you the space to showcase your expertise. Some businesses depend on their ability to establish their owners, service providers or other personnel as experts in their field. Long-form storytelling can put this expertise on display to establish and reinforce this reputation.
- Long-form content can be repurposed into many smaller pieces of short-form content. Whether it’s a video, an in-depth article or other long-form content, that finished asset can then be used to produce many different short-form assets, including social media posts, shareable videos, company blog posts, newsletter updates, and more. Strategic repurposing can increase the ROI of your long-form investment while making sure short-form content is still supporting your marketing goals.
Long-form content can make an impact for almost any type of business. But the value of this strategy may be particularly high if any of the following scenarios are true:
- Your brand and its values are unfamiliar to your target audience. Younger businesses are a natural fit for long-form content that gives them space to introduce themselves, but many established businesses will turn to long-form stories as a way of supporting rebranding efforts, or when trying to connect with a new audience segment.
- You have impactful branded stories that don’t fit into short-form channels. Some stories and brand messaging are difficult to fit into the constraints of short-form content. Thought leadership, customer stories, and other forms of narrative storytelling are often better served by a long-form approach.
- You are working with a partner offering creative production services. High-quality production is often more important for long-form content than for other types of marketing and advertising assets. If you’re producing an eBook or serial content distributed as a TV or digital video experience, you’ll get better value from this investment by creating this content in collaboration with creative professionals.
- You have access to distribution channels that will reach a relevant audience. One of the risks of long-form content is that the story you create won’t generate an audience on its own. To get a strong return from your long-form investment, you need a clear plan for how that story will be distributed. This could be a mix of owned media channels, paid promotion, partnerships, and products like YurView that can deliver your content to a hyperlocal audience.
Long-form storytelling needs to be supported by an end-to-end strategy that accounts for the goals of the content, how it will be created, and how the finished product will reach its intended audience.
An audience for long-form stories isn’t guaranteed. Instead, your business should identify distribution channels that can reliably deliver this content to a relevant, engaged audience. YurView’s platform, for example, can deliver long-form content through a local “channel” available to cable subscribers in local Cox Markets, appearing alongside other local programming and content such as local sports events.
This content is also available through the YurView mobile app, which is available through the Google Play Store, Roku, Fire TV, and other app-based solutions.
Cox Media’s YurView experts can work to create and deliver long-form content that is targeted to your brand’s local audience (here’s a great example!). With reliable distribution and reach, your business can enjoy greater peace of mind when adding long-form content to your larger digital marketing and advertising strategy.
Discover how long-form storytelling can serve your local business—contact us today to get started.
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