When I was originally writing this post, it looked more like spring. You know, sun, a light breeze, the temperature high enough that you don’t have to wear a coat, hat, AND gloves. Now, a few days later, winter has gotten a second wind, as it were, and continues to fight back against the inevitable approach of spring. (I tend to prefer cooler weather, and even I’m ready to say goodbye to the snow.)
Will it ever end?
Have you ever had that feeling when reading an article, blog post, or email, or listening to a podcast? Ever wondered when it would end or if the author would ever get to the point?
Well, today we’re talking about content length, and what is appropriate for your organization. Unfortunately, there is no one, simple answer for all companies.
Organizations choose their marketing techniques based on a variety of factors, such as budget, intended audience, and goal. The same goes for choosing between short- or long-form content.
So how do you decide? Here are a few ways.
How long should marketing content be?
1. What is the content’s purpose?
Research shows that longer, in-depth content tends to get the most shares and links. So if you want your web page, blog post, or article to be shared more widely (and position you as a thought leader), aim for something at least 1,000 words in length.
However, modern attention spans and the use of mobile devices may prevent people from reading longer content. So if you want to answer questions or provide quick, actionable advice, such as in a how-to or FAQ, then short and sweet is the way to go.
2. Who are you looking to please?
Despite what many people still believe, Google and your readers are not the same things, so they can’t be targeted with the same tactics. Remember, SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization,” not “Search Engine user Optimization”! Even if you have perfect SEO and get on the first page of Google’s results, that means nothing if the actual content isn’t what your target audience is looking for.
Google seems to favor longer content in general. Longer content also lets you include more of the search terms and keywords you want to rank for. If your business (or website) is relatively new, it may be better to post longer content to help increase your search rankings. If you already have a good presence in your location or industry, then it may help to post shorter, effective, reader-friendly content.
3. How often do you post content?
Consistency is important for both Google and readers. If you can post fairly frequently (at least once or twice a week), then it’s fine to aim for shorter, but still quality, content of 300-500 words. If you can’t manage to post that often, then aim for longer, meaty posts once a month or so.
For the best results, however, most content marketing experts suggest that you aim for a mixture of frequent content of 300-800-word posts and long, in-depth, less frequent content of 1,500 words or more. Maintaining an editorial calendar can help you plan and schedule your content so you can stay on track.
There’s really no single, fail-safe formula for content length. The two most important elements to your content should be quality, and your audience’s preferences.
High-quality, informative, entertaining content that aims to solve your reader’s problems will have the best impact on your traffic, SEO, conversions, and engagement—no matter how many words it has.
What kind of content does your business use, and how? If you have questions, or want to share what works for you, feel free to get in touch!