As a SaaS firm, you know that content marketing is crucial for building brand awareness, generating leads, and driving conversions. But with so many content formats available, it can be challenging to decide what type of content to create.
One format that has gained popularity in recent years is long-form content, typically defined as content that exceeds 2,000 words. However, just because long-form content is popular doesn't mean it's always the right choice for your SaaS business.
In this article, we'll explore the question, "Do SaaS firms really need long-form content?" and provide you with a comprehensive guide to help you determine when to invest in long-form content and when to avoid it. So, grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let's dive in!
… If the depth of the topic is large
Some topics related to your industry can be complex, and your product features and functionalities that address this topic can be difficult to explain in a few hundred words. For instance, an ecommerce analytics tool may have a range of features such as extracting new reports, automating data collection, connecting with multiple platforms, etc.
So if you're writing an extensive article on Ecommerce Analytics and want to embed each of your features into this article then it's certainly going to be a very large article. In these scenarios, it's ideal to go with long-form content. In fact, explaining each of the features in detail may require a more in-depth approach, which is only possible through long-form content.
With long-form content, you have the space to explore different angles, and provide your audience with a comprehensive understanding of the subject. Think of it like a buffet of information, where your audience can pick and choose the parts they find most interesting.
By creating comprehensive guides, or how-to articles, your SaaS firm can provide the audience with valuable insights and help them make informed decisions.
… If you have to answer multiple semantic search queries
Semantic search queries refer to searches that go beyond simple keyword queries and instead focus on the intent behind the search. These types of searches are becoming increasingly common, and long-form content can be an effective way to target them.
Google's search algorithm has become increasingly sophisticated over the years, and it can now understand the intent behind search queries. For instance, if a user searches for "best project management tool," Google knows that the user is looking for a recommendation.
In contrast, if a user searches for "how to use a project management tool," Google understands that the user is looking for a tutorial. By creating long-form content that addresses multiple semantic search queries, SaaS firms can increase their chances of appearing in search results and attract more traffic to their website.
… If you need to give practical examples from your extensive knowledge base
As a SaaS firm, you likely have a wealth of knowledge and expertise about your product or service. Long-form content can be an excellent way to showcase this knowledge and provide your audience with practical examples of how your product or service can solve their pain points.
For instance, a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software vendor can create a case study that highlights how one of their customers increased their sales by using their product.
By weaving real-world examples into your content, you make it more relatable and easier to understand for your audience. Think of it like a cooking show, where the chef walks you through the steps and provides you with tips and tricks along the way.
Such examples not only demonstrate the value of the product but also provide the audience with actionable insights that they can use in their own business. By creating long-form content that includes practical examples, SaaS firms can establish themselves as thought leaders and build trust with their audience.
… If you have multiple product use cases
Some SaaS products can be used in multiple ways across different industries. For instance, a video conferencing tool can be used for remote work, online education, virtual events, etc. If your product or service has multiple use cases, long-form content can be an effective way to cover them all.
Creating long-form content that covers each use case can help your firm expand your audience and reach new markets. By creating content that is relevant to different industries and use cases, you can position yourselves as versatile and adaptable. By creating comprehensive guides that explore each use case in-depth, you provide your audience with a more holistic understanding of your product or service.
Additionally, by including testimonials or case studies from customers who have successfully used your product or service in different ways, you can demonstrate value. Think of it like choosing your own adventure book, where your audience can explore different paths and find the one that works best for them.
… If you're addressing a competitive keyword
If you're looking to rank for a competitive keyword, long-form content can be a powerful tool.
By creating content that covers the keyword in-depth and providing additional value to the reader, you increase your chances of ranking higher in search engine results.
Additionally, by including visuals, videos, or other multimedia elements, you make your content more engaging and shareable, which can further boost your SEO efforts. Think of it like a marathon, where the more training you do, the better your chances of crossing the finish line first.
On the other hand, there are scenarios where SaaS firms don't need long-form content.
… If you can succinctly answer a critical query
Not all queries require an in-depth answer. For instance, a user searching for "how to reset a password" may only need a few steps to resolve their issue. Creating a long-form guide on such a topic may not add much value to the user and may even discourage them from reading the content. In such scenarios, SaaS firms can opt for a more concise format such as a short blog post or a video tutorial.
While long-form content can be valuable in certain situations, there are times when a shorter, more concise format may be more appropriate. Think of it like a game of 20 questions, where the shorter and more precise your answers, the closer you get to the truth.
… If the topic does not require too much info
Some topics may be straightforward and require only a brief explanation. For instance, a SaaS firm offering a simple online scheduling tool may not require a lengthy guide to explain its how to quickly fix an online appointment. In such cases, creating long-form content may not add much value to the audience.
Another example, if you're creating content about a straightforward feature of your product or service, a short explainer video or blog post may be all you need to get your point across. Don't be afraid to let the content dictate the format, rather than forcing a specific format onto the content. Think of it like a pair of shoes, where you choose the size and style that fits the occasion.
… If you're doing it out of FOMO
Many SaaS firms may feel pressured to create long-form content simply because it's a popular trend in content marketing. However, creating long-form content just for the sake of it may not provide any significant benefits to the audience or the business. It's essential to assess whether creating long-form content aligns with the overall content marketing strategy and whether it serves a purpose.
In fact, if you're creating long-form content just because everyone else is doing it, you risk diluting your brand's message and confusing your audience. Instead, focus on creating content that is aligned with your brand's values and goals, and that provides real value to your audience. Think of it like a fashion trend, where not everything that's in style is right for you.
… If you're doing it for word count
Another common mistake that SaaS firms make is focusing too much on word count rather than the quality of the content. While long-form content may require more words, it's crucial to ensure that every word adds value to the content. Creating content that is filled with fluff and unnecessary information may not resonate well with the audience and may even harm the brand's reputation.
Focus on creating content that is well-researched, engaging, and informative, regardless of its length. Your audience will appreciate the effort you put into creating high-quality content, regardless of its length. Think of it like a painting, where the beauty lies in the brushstrokes, not in the canvas size.
… If you have an AI the can churn out content
With the rise of AI-powered content generators, some SaaS firms may be tempted to rely solely on technology to create long-form content. However, while AI can assist in generating content, it's crucial to ensure that the content is still informative and engaging. Using AI to generate content can be a time-saving strategy, but it should not compromise the quality of the content.
AI-generated content has come a long way in recent years, it's still not a substitute for human creativity and expertise. If you're relying solely on AI to create your content, you risk producing generic, formulaic content that fails to engage your audience or convey your brand's unique voice.
While AI can be a useful tool for streamlining certain aspects of the content creation process, it should never replace the human touch. Think of it like a recipe, where the quality of the ingredients and the chef's skill determine the outcome.
Use Long form Content For Your SaaS Firm Only When Needed
The decision to create long-form content for a SaaS firm should be based on the specific needs and goals of the brand, rather than on a general rule or trend.
While long-form content can be an effective way to provide in-depth information, answer multiple queries, showcase expertise, cover multiple use cases, and rank for competitive keywords, it's important to consider the audience's needs and preferences, as well as the quality and relevance of the content. Additionally, the decision to create long-form content should never be driven by fear of missing out or a desire to meet a specific word count.
The best approach is to focus on creating high-quality content that provides real value to the audience, whether it's short or long-form. By doing so, SaaS firms can establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry, build trust with their audience, and drive engagement and conversions.