Longform Content Strategy

Longform Content Strategy

By Ian Richardson, Managing Partner, Richardson & Richardson Consulting LLC

Inspired by Thursday Process with guest Jennifer Bleam, MSP Sales Revolution

Longform Content Strategy

Content creation is hard work (even with the advances in AI technology). You have to understand your target client profile (TCP) fully, specifically the buyer persona you want to target. That persona will have problems, beliefs, and desires that resonate with them, and you need to craft your content accordingly. Without the right strategy, supported by the right messaging targeted to the right TCP, you could find yourself feeling foolish for investing the time and treasure, as well as skeptical that marketing could work for your organization.

Marketing is all about consistency and luck – you present the right message geared towards your TCP consistently, and something (likely out of your control) will cause that prospective client to be receptive to your message and engage – That’s the “luck” part of the equation. Trying to come up with 52 weeks of relevant content for that TCP can be overwhelming for even seasoned marketing professionals, however using a longform content strategy can make the task far more manageable.

Create a longform content bank

I hosted my friend and I.T. channel colleague Jennifer Bleam, CEO and founder of MSP Sales Revolution, on the Richardson & Richardson webinar series, The Thursday Process, to talk about her content strategy and process. As Jennifer mentions in the above Video Clip, her process revolves around the concept of building a longform content bank. The basics are straightforward and simple (as is any good strategy or process – complexity breeds confusion):

  1. Start creating longform pieces of content (5 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour at the maximum).
  2. Take those pieces of longform content and “cut/edit” them into small, digestible pieces of “micro-content” (think 30 seconds to 3 minutes maximum).
    1. You should get 3-5 pieces of micro-content out of each piece of longform content, minimum.
  3. Create blog articles, quote cards, infographics, and other pieces of content based on your micro-content.
  4. Schedule the content to post to your website, social media platforms, etc. based on a marketing calendar.

I had a few best practices that bubbled up from our conversation that I wanted to share:

  • Figure a way to make your longform content creation process hit both marketing strategy buckets: demand generation & brand awareness.
  • Try to schedule routine ways for creating your longform content: Thursday Process for example is part of the way Carrie and I create longform content, and we do it every week.
  • Create a structure for your longform content that makes it easy to find the places where you could pull micro-content from. (Thursday Process has a set agenda)
  • Create goals for micro-content creation: number of pieces per longform content, turn around time, and supporting content per piece of micro-content.
  • Create a calendar with themes based on your TCP’s buyer persona(s) to help guide both longform content creation and micro-content creation activities.

Final thoughts on longform content

Longform content creation can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. If you can create a structure where routine creation of longform content feeds into your demand generation activities, and then take that recorded longform content and slice/dice it to build your micro-content library along with supporting content materials, you’ve got yourself a content library.

If you get 2-3 months’ worth of longform content created in advance, you will find yourself with 6-9 months of weekly content consisting of micro-content video clips, blogs, infographics, quote cards, social media posts, and more in your ”content library bank.” Keep up the pace and you’ll have plenty of “grace” to take those illusive vacations Jennifer mentioned during the webinar.

If you’re struggling with creating thought leadership content, figuring out how to effectively present it, or getting alignment with your team on the need to invest in the effort, Richardson & Richardson can help. Check out our case studies for stories of organizations that we’ve assisted with similar issues and download our white papers for deep dives on tools you can use in your organization. If you’re wondering where to start, book a complimentary session with one of the Richardsons today to come up with a plan on how to move forward.


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