The rise of the mega post

February 9th, 2017

Content marketing trends come and go. The ones that stick around are those that yield tactics that marketers can use on behalf of their brands to deliver a very real return on investment.

One tactic that is growing in popularity, and has proved very effective for companies that have experimented with it, is the ‘mega post’ or extended online guide.

Put simply the mega post is an extended blog post which is placed on a client’s website mainly for SEO, new business and customer engagement purposes. Mega posts are a type of longform content, and both share many of the same attributes namely length, number of words and extensive use of illustrations.

Mega posts as a rule however are educational and informative, in other words ‘guides,’ whereas longform content, certainly in the way that the major media companies reference it, is more discursive and interactive – like the classic New York Times’ article Snowfall.

Image result for new york times snowfall

If you are still not sure what I am talking about then check out this post from Calendly. They are a software company that claim make online calendar management simple. The post, “The Ultimate Google Calendar Guide: 90+ tips to supercharge productivity” is a classic example of a mega post in that it positions the company as an authority on the topic while at the same time offers real value to the readers as it is so comprehensive. Every single one of the 90 tips is accompanied by a graphics too whether it be a screen grab or an illustration.

Why write mega posts?

So why then should a website feature a mega post or two? Well, firstly they are really useful from an SEO perspective. Google’s algorithm increasingly rewards what it perceives to be quality content, and if the the mega post adheres to other Google guidelines in that it is unique, and well written then they are sure to improve a company’s standing with Google and attract readers organically.

blogging audience

Secondly, and arguably more importantly, mega posts underline to the reader that the company is a real authority on a subject. Take this post on building a blog audience from Quicksprout. Sure it might be lengthy but it pretty much nails the subject.

There is of course an argument which suggests that there are times when rather than producing one long post it makes sense to produce a series of short ones. This may help click through rates, but as esteemed online content specialist Problogger points outs “for me, I think the main advantage of long form content is that it is just more useful and convenient for readers to get it all in one go. A series of blog posts is great for page views and helping you to fill a week’s editorial calendar, however if you put yourself in a reader’s shoes, it can also be a little (or a lot) painful.”

Also from a marketing perspective one post is easier to promote. Bearing in mind that if you produce an extended piece of content you are most likely going to support it via paid for, and maybe even earned media, it makes sense to have all your words, images and maybe even video in the same place.

Another reason to consider them is their usefulness from a sales and new business perspective. Especially in the B2B arena it is essential to have content that sits at the top of the funnel and pulls people into a website to examine a company’s offering. Mega posts fit this bill perfectly.

One final reason for taking mega posts very seriously is that they do as a rule deliver high levels of engagement. If someone is searching for an answer to a problem and your company delivers the last word on that issue, then chances are they going spend a long time on that post gathering the information that they need. They may also bookmark it for future use.

In a world where measuring the effectiveness of content is still a very hot issue being able to show any type of engagement is crucial. This is an area where mega posts really deliver.

The only real difficulty of mega posts might be from a sales perspective. They are inevitably time consuming to produce and cost significantly more than standard editorial content. It is up to agencies and brand marketing managers to work out how to enthuse stakeholders about their potential.

They might not be ideal or essential for all companies, but I am convinced that mega posts are a very effective content marketing tactic.

Commissioned by The CMA

 

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