You’ve just made the decision to purchase a long-form copy of a popular novel, and you’re browsing online to find the best price. You come across a page that claims to offer a 17% discount if you purchase three or more copies. Impressed, you click the link and discover that the price drops to an even better 14% if you purchase the books within the next 24 hours. Happy to have found a bargain, you quickly order three copies and head to the checkout. As you’re entering in your credit card details, you notice that the form has changed. Instead of the expected greeting and order details, you are presented with a sales page that offers you a free audiobook if you complete a quick survey about the novel. The last thing you want to do is to give away your credit card details to an unknown company, but you’re so happy to have found a bargain that you decide to take a chance and order anyway.
This kind of unexpected encounter with an online store is common these days, and it leaves many consumers feeling a little frustrated. After all, if you’re reading this blog post, then you most likely already know what a long-form sales page is and why you might want to consider using one. But since the form on that website was so aggressive and the deal so appealing, you decide to give it a try, even though you’re not really planning to make a purchase after all.
So what is a long-form sales page?
Simply put, a long-form sales page is a page that offers lots of content in one spot. It usually covers different aspects of the product or service, such as pricing, features, comparisons, etc. Since there’s so much content on one page, visitors have ample opportunity to read and digest the information quickly.
These days, with so much content getting lost in social media, people are looking for ways to read longer articles. There’s also been an increase in the number of long-form articles on niche websites, like this one.
Long-form articles give the reader the opportunity to explore more about the topic while being immersed in the article. For instance, you might read about the pricing of a popular camera on a site that focuses on technology, or learn about the history of photography on a site that focuses on art.
Since long-form articles can be more detailed and help people make better purchasing decisions, they’re often included in a sales page alongside other types of content. However, it’s not always necessary for all types of content to be long-form. Sometimes a simple graph or a short video will suffice.
The Pros And Cons Of Using Long-Form Articles
While there are some clear benefits to using longer articles on your website or in an e-mail campaign, there are also some drawbacks that you must be aware of.
One advantage of a long-form article is that it offers the reader a much more immersive experience. If you read a detailed article about the benefits of a particular product, then you’ll be able to get a much better sense of what that product is like than if you only read brief product descriptions scattered throughout social media.
Even if you don’t end up purchasing the product, or products, discussed in a long-form article, you’ll still have gained a much deeper understanding of what that item is like. In some cases, this can even influence your perception of that item, for better or for worse. This increased immersion makes longer articles a highly attractive option for digital marketers.
Another advantage of long-forms is that they make the content easier to digest for the reader. Since there’s more content on one page, it’s less likely that the visitor will be distracted by other content on the page and inadvertently leave before finishing the article. Even though the content might be engaging enough to keep the reader on the page for the full article, it might not be compelling enough to actually persuade them to make a purchase.
There are, however, some disadvantages to a long-form article. If you look at our example above, you’ll see that we were presented with an aggressive sale that we had to pass on. Had we decided to make a purchase after all, we almost certainly would’ve been distracted by the pop-up and the aggressive sales tactics, even if only for a short amount of time.
If your goal is to persuade the reader to make a purchase, then you might want to consider using shorter articles. Videos, especially short videos, are also becoming an increasingly attractive option for marketers. Short videos give the viewer the opportunity to digest the content more quickly while also being presented with fewer distractions.
Why Should You Use Different Types Of Content On Your Sales Page?
In our example above, we saw how a long-form article about camera pricing prompted us to purchase a camera ourselves. While that might have been purely coincidental, it’s certainly possible that the type of content had something to do with it. Even if the article was well-written and the information was valuable, there’s little chance that we would’ve decided to purchase a camera just from reading that article.
Since our goal is to persuade the reader to make a purchase, we want to ensure that they encounter as few barriers to entry as possible. If we want someone to become a customer, then we need to make sure that they find the information they need as quickly as possible and perceive that our product is the best option for them. If that means including more video content on our website or in our emails, then so be it.
Even if you don’t end up converting that one particular visitor into a customer, you’ll see how having different types of content on your sales page can enhance the overall user experience. If you, for example, have an e-commerce store and you notice that your product descriptions are regularly derailed by long-form articles, then you might consider removing or modifying those descriptions. Sometimes a simple graph or video can persuade a reader into making a purchase that they might not have considered otherwise.
Even if you don’t use long-form articles on your website, you should consider using them in your emails. While a short snippet of text might suffice in your social media posts, you’ll see how a longer email might better persuade someone to make a purchase. Just remember that videos and longer articles might not be for everyone.
Since videos and longer articles can take more time to create, they might not be the best option for anyone who’s already pressed for time. Short videos give you the opportunity to create content that’s more attractive to your target audience, while long-form articles give you the opportunity to explore more about a particular product or service.
How Long Should Your Content Be?
If your target audience is more focused on content consumption than they are on product or service purchase, then you might consider making your content as lengthy as possible. We’re regularly reminded that long articles are gaining in popularity, which speaks to the importance of having engaging content to keep an audience interested.
If your product is a video or audio podcast, then you might want to consider creating content that’s as long-form as possible. While videos can be quite short, usually shorter than five minutes, audio podcasts can get quite lengthy. Think of all the valuable information that was contained in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. While you might only need five minutes of information to understand the basic premise of a discworld novel, you’ll be able to listen to or watch the entire thing if you want to. Creating content that’s as long as possible gives you the opportunity to explore more about your topic and to incorporate more valuable information.
Always Be Testing
One of the best things that can help your business grow is constant experimentation and testing. This might mean trying out different types of content, testing to see which one converts better, or trying different prices and offerts to see what resonates with your target audience.
Since you’re always learning, it’s crucial that you continue to try new things and look for ways to improve. If you’ve found a piece of content that performs well, then it’s likely that you’ll be able to replicate that success. The only thing holding you back is yourself, knowing what would be the best content to use and knowing that you can’t always be motivated to do what’s best for your business.
These days, everyone’s in a scramble to find new ways to grow their business. If you’re looking for ways to improve your conversion rates or looking for a way to get more people to join your email list, then consider all the content that you have available and see what would work best for you.