What Is Short-Form Content? Why It Works

July 11, 2022

You’ve probably heard digital marketers say that the longer a content piece, the higher it’s search engine ranking. Or, great content needs to be at least 1000 words.

But is this always the case?

While your content’s length dramatically determines the success of your eCommerce content marketing campaigns, a longer piece doesn’t always mean high sales or conversions.

Sometimes your readers just need quick answers to their questions, and if you fail to meet this need and provide in-depth explanations instead, you’ll lose potential clients.

Short-form content aims to deliver a message fast and effectively, making it an excellent writing strategy for readers with a short attention span.

Studies indicate that 95% of B2B buyers prefer short-form content to long-form content. Thus, it’s essential to understand this type of content and why it works.

Short-Form Content: Definition

Short-form content is typically made of 1000 words or less (although some publishers draw the mark at 1200 words). 

The argument behind short-form copy stems from the readers’ short attention span in the digital field. Most consumers want to find answers quickly without scrolling through thousands of words. Short-form copy enables this since it’s easy to digest and doesn’t cover a particular topic in detail.

Below are examples of short-copy content:

  • Short blog posts
  • Social media content
  • Event reminders
  • Short videos
  • News articles (breaking news, developing stories)

Ideally, you want to keep the writing simple and memorable, with just one idea to explain your story quickly. 

If you write engaging and quality content, you don’t even need to tell your story in-depth because prospective buyers only need certain elements, and they’ll fill in the stories’ gaps themselves.

Short-form content delivers the most value on your eCommerce content marketing strategy when:

  • You’ve identified your buyer persona and gained returning clients
  • You’re promoting commonly used products that need a brief product description
  • Your customers know your business and trust your products and services 
  • You’re writing content that requires short copies, such as emails and pay-per-click (PPC) ads

Why Short-Form Content Works

Short-form content plays a crucial role in every content marketing strategy, yet its benefits are often overlooked.

Let’s see why this type of copy works.

1: Short-Form Content Is Quicker to Produce

It takes less time and effort to produce short-form content compared to long-form content, which often requires extensive research, data analysis, and even surveys and interviews. 

So if your content marketing strategy requires spending less time creating content and more time focusing on other marketing efforts like distribution and promotion, this is your best bet. 

Alternatively, you can outsource your blogs to a reputable content shop like CopySmiths for a quicker turnaround. With your content marketing settled, you can focus on other aspects of your business to maximize the ROI.

Related: Who to Hire? — A Custom Content Shop or a Freelance SEO Writer

2: Short-Form Content Is Easier to Consume

Netizens spend more than 10 hours per day skimming through media of all kinds online. Therefore, they don’t have time to read an entire 3000 word blog post word by word or watch a 30-minute long video.

A three-minute read will always triumph over a fifteen-minute read in the visitor’s eyes. Short-form content reduces their commitment level and encourages them to stay till the end of the article.

When used effectively, short-form content can enhance your readership and engagement metrics by reducing your site’s bounce rate.

3: Short-Form Content Is Mobile Friendly

Did you know that the average consumer spends 5–6 hours on their mobile phone every day? Thus, creating mobile-friendly content serves as an excellent content marketing strategy.

When using a mobile device, less is always more. No buyer enjoys scrolling through piles of text on their phone. On the contrary, they love to read less, so they’ll skim through the text to capture only the important points.

This is why most netizens using mobile phones prefer short-form blogs. It caters to even those with small mobile screens.

4: Short-Form Content Leads to Quicker Conversions

The amount of content that hits the consumers’ screens in just an hour is insane! Every business owner wants to grab consumers’ attention and convert them to customers.

You can easily capture the potential buyer’s attention with short, engaging content compared to lengthier content.

Short, succinct messages require less time to consume. When you usher in visitors with this type of content, they’ll get to your CTAs and internal links faster, keeping them glued to your site and converting them to customers.

Also, if a visitor clicks on your site for a grab-and-go answer or for an immediate solution, and they get exactly that, it’s easier for them to convert.

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5: Short-Form Content Engages and Entertains the Reader

A unique advantage of using short-form copy is its ability to blend different types of emotions in your writing. It allows you to engage your audience in a light-hearted manner.

As much as you’re selling your products or services to a buyer, your writing tone shouldn’t be so formal, but persuasive and entertaining. Any consumer would prefer reading a humor-filled post to a long, bland, informational article.

To capture your readers’ attention, entertain them with goofy and funny short-form content. As you make them laugh, you’re influencing their emotions and earning their trust while also increasing traffic and boosting sales.

Short Form-Content vs. Long-Form Content: The Great Debate

Thanks to the many years of content writing, it’s no doubt that the length of content would stir a debate amongst content creators.

Today, the internet provides a platform to tell stories in diverse ways. You may choose to create content through a:

  • 3-minute video
  • 30 character tweet
  • 300-word listicle
  • 3000-word article
  • 30,000-word e-book

But which method best communicates your agenda? Is short-form content better than long-form content?

Short-Form ContentLong-Form Content
Has less than 1000 wordsHas 1000+ words
Require little time and resources to produceNeed in-depth research hence requires more time and money to produce
Easily captures the reader’s attentionReader may easily lose attention because of its length
Mobile-friendly—it’s easy to scheme and consume on tiny mobile screensRequires a lot of reading hence not suitable for mobile-use

Even though long-form content performs better in search engines and ranks for more keywords than short-form content, it’s the short form copy that helps you connect and engage better with your audience.

Short-form copy is a crucial content marketing strategy, particularly to mobile users, who typically account for 54% of website visits.

In addition, you’ll always have to create content that best answers your audience’s questions, and this is not always long-form copy. Your product descriptions and social media posts need briefly written copy.

Get Regular Supply of Short-Form Content Today

To engage your audience and build a reputable brand, you’ll need quality and succinctly written articles. One way to achieve this is by hiring a content shop.

At CopySmiths, we understand that content needs time to customize, test, and optimize. 

However, a higher ROI is only achieved if the site directly serves customers by answering their questions and creating more meaningful connections through authentic short-form copy. 

We’ll write quality short blog articles, how-to guides, listicles, pillar posts, and other related posts suitable for your brand.

So contact us today, and let us do the work for you, from content ideation to publishing. You’ll marvel at the end results, just like Daniel:

“My results have been outstanding and the velocity at which they can generate quality content is amazing.” — Daniel Walker, Battery Specialists

Frequently Asked Questions

When should you use short-form content?

Opt for short-form content if you aim to:

  • Produce content quickly
  • Create a mobile-friendly eCommerce site
  • Increase engagement on your site
  • Talk about a single or simple idea

Why do readers prefer shorter content?

Readers want to gain as much information as possible about a product or service without spending a lot of time. That’s why they prefer shorter content which will require less time to read.

What are the cons of short-form content?

Despite being an excellent eCommerce content marketing strategy, short-form content has some downsides.

  • It’s often not evergreen, so its interest and performance decrease over time.
  • It’s impossible to cover a topic in-depth with short-form content.

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CopySmiths

I'm Katrina McKinnon, founder of CopySmiths and Small Revolution. In my 20 years of experience, I have helped online businesses create high-performing content specifically on an eCommerce store's blog. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.


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