In an op-ed piece for Content-Marketing Insider, Thom Forbes mentions several examples of how custom printing and even long form content is making a resurgence in an era of tweets and vines. Combine that with the announcement from Huffington Post earlier this spring that they were launching a long form initiative and there’s enough evidence to support the idea that the supposed death spiral of print has been halted or at least slowed.
However, what makes it difficult to determine what to do from here are the ongoing announcements that traditional publications are either laying off more print journalists or adding video content to their online platforms. So what to make of this?
First, long form content has a place when done well. Trying to rely on 140 characters or a few seconds to tell a more complete story is impossible. You can tell snippets maybe even chapters, but not the whole story.
Second, don’t confuse long form content with adding more words to shorter content. It means taking a more considered approach to what you’re writing about and understanding what kind of time your customer is willing to invest in digesting that content.
Third, it can’t stand on its own. As with any content, it must be integrated and have a purpose. It can’t be an add-on because it seems like the thing to do.
As someone who appreciates good writing, long or short, I’m glad to see that there’s still a place for print and that there are people out there who are consciously keeping it alive. The history of the world and its greatest ideas weren't built on bits and pieces of content. It would be a shame to see a day where we all lost interest and the time in digesting something of substance.