Content, content everywhere. You can’t escape it. In fact, your online content can make or break your business. What you offer to sales leads on your website – aside from products and services – can become what brings them through the virtual doors. Information is power and people are inherently curious.
The downside is that people these days are also on the move so much that their attention span is more “Hey, look! Squirrel!” than “War and Peace”. There is hope, however, as there are some effective rules you can follow for creating ideal length content online.
Size vs Quality
Before we get into the whole ‘size matters’ debate, it’s important to mention the concept of quality. Sure, there’s an ideal length that makes online content more effective in marketing, but if the quality of that content is poor, it’s useless to you. Everything from your tweets to how-to articles must make worthwhile reading as well as be an acceptable length. Be engaging, even entertaining, but above all make sense. Be informative and give your visitors something to think about after they leave your online presence. Therefore, it’s OK to make some content a little outside the prescribed ‘acceptable’ lengths if it meets high quality standards.
Society has reached the point of conciseness where government policies are explained in tweets and grandmothers send their grandchildren emojis more than handwritten notes. Get on board with that. Despite competition, Twitter is still a very viable option for sharing content. While the maximum length for a tweet is 140 characters, trim off 40 characters to hit the ideal length. This includes links, so use a URL shortener like goo.gl to give yourself more room. At this length, a tweet is 60% more likely to be retweeted.
Who doesn’t use Facebook? While armchair political pundits duel with each other in long diatribes, there’s you just wanting to write stuff about your company. The good news is that the ideal length for a Facebook post is just 40 characters or fewer. Stick to this and your posts will be sure to have more readers than the political pugilists. Posts this short get 85% more engagement than any other. Once you hit 80 characters, engagement falls to 66%. 40 characters is just enough to share short info, a link, and a bit of personality.
Don’t give away everything in a headline, no matter how tempting it is. If you want someone to read what you’ve posted in a blog or other content you’ve written, keep the headline short, snappy and intriguing. The ideal length for a headline is just 6 words. Studies have shown the first and the last three words of a headline get the most focus from readers.
Blogs get a different kind of measurement: time. They shouldn’t take longer than 7 minutes to read. For the average reader, 7 minutes is roughly 1,600 words. This doesn’t mean you should pad shorter articles. Far from it. Just stay under 7 minutes. Concise paragraphs are good, too. As Shakespeare said, brevity is the soul of wit.
Speaking of time, videos need to be prepared as carefully as written content. Many of the top ranked YouTube videos are under 3 minutes. Even presenters for the inspirational TED Talks don’t get more than 18 minutes, which is far less than a keynote speaker at a conference, but far more effective. If you use SlideShare, then 6 minutes (approximately 61 slides) is your max.
So, there you have it: the ideal lengths for online content. If you need help with both quality and quantity, consider hiring an online marketing company that utilizes the best knowledge and research to run your campaigns and manage your online presence for you. They’ll show how size and length can really impress!
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