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Feb 7, 2017 | 5 min read

10 Brilliant Examples of Long-Form Content

Content Marketing

It’s not all about listicles. These brands make a supersized word count work for the internet.

In a content-saturated digital marketplace, brands are constantly looking for ways to stand out. Well executed long-form content is an excellent way to build your brand’s reputation for in-depth research, contextual expertise, and a mastery of your market niche. The diverse collection of long-form stories below show the different ways brands have leveraged the freedom of writing online — no word count restrictions here!

1. The Atlantic: My President Was Black

The Atlantic published Ta-Nehisi Coates’ powerful tribute to Barack Obama’s presidency in its print issue as well as on its website. The piece comes to life online with the addition of an audio version narrated by Coates himself, along with stunning imagery and video content spread throughout six chapters. The chapters are formatted to create a single, seamless scrolling experience.


2. The New York Times: Snow Fall

Alongside the breaking news and features reporting their audience has come to expect, digital long-form has given the New York Times new opportunities to flex its storytelling muscles. In Snow Fall, features reporter John Brand relates the tale of Washington state’s Tunnel Creek avalanche through photographs, video, and graphics splashed across a multi-chapter microsite.


3. Moz: The Machine Learning Revolution

Some topics just take a little more explaining than others. Moz tackles the complexities of machine learning in an excellently formatted long-form feature that truly addresses each facet of of the subject matter and its implications across various industries.


4. Search Engine Journal: SEO Trends in 2017

Search Engine Journal’s annual trends series leverages a built-in, return audience comprised of industry insiders looking for a variety of expert opinions on one hot topic. 2017’s feature includes insights from 44 industry insiders and influencers, all of whom are motivated to share great insights and perspectives. Use of headlines, images, and other formatting tricks help improve the article readability.


5. Google Trends: The Year in Search

How does a giant like Google organize its data? With a powerful sequence of long-form resources, of course! Google’s annual breakdown of the world’s most searched topics is organized into nearly endless lists and groupings, and includes a video that encompasses the most iconic moments of the past year. Users can discover trends by topic, country, and month in the search engine’s enormous database.


6. Neil Patel: Follow These Long-Form Content Examples to Boost Your SEO Rankings

Yes, this is a piece of long-form content about long-form content. Neil Patel’s in-depth how-to post offers helpful, actionable takeaways for readers, alongside easy-to-follow formatting, insightful infographics, and a diverse array of examples.


7. CoSchedule: Here are the 101 Catchy Blog Title Formulas That Will Boost Traffic By 438%

Looking for ways to get your digital content in front of more readers? CoSchedule’s guide to writing catchy blog headlines is here to help. In a meta nod to its subject matter, this service-oriented content leverages the power of listicles in its headline, thereby practicing what the article preaches. The extremely readable piece is broken up by images, lists, and subheads to help guide audiences through the story in its entirety.


8. Buffer Social: The Future of Social Media

Who said learning can’t be fun? Long-form templates provide a great platform to present data and infographics in an engaging way. Buffer Social utilized a long-form template to present its report on the state of social media in 2016. Hard data and owned research is so often gated, but Buffer Social offers it free of charge to entice organic clicks.


9. National Geographic: Canada’s 50 Places of a Lifetime

There’s no shortage of eye-catching visuals in this National Geographic feature (sponsored by Canada) on must-visit destinations across Canada. The multi-feature long-form package is comprised of 50 pieces of content, organized into easy-to-follow chapters by category: towns, cities, natural wonders, adventures, etc. Because readers are likely to reference this information later as they plan their own excursions, National Geographic offers a handy PDF download option in exchange for an email address.

10. Design You Trust: Photographer Tracks Down People He Snapped In His Hometown Almost 40 Years Ago To Recreate The Remarkable Images


OK, to be fair, this Design You Trust feature is not long-form in the traditional sense. But for those of us who believe a picture is worth a thousand words, this 60-image portfolio more than qualifies. The images here tell the remarkable story of a small British town over the span of 40 years, promoting the photographer’s book while garnering high engagement and share counts.


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